He may not have thought of it this way before, but it is clear, after Saturday, that Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is a friend of the Michigan program.
Well, maybe not really, but it's certainly in the favor of the Wolverines 'faithful, since the Steelers' organization not only selected a former Michigan star, but an eraser two, taking Devin Bush Jr. after moving to No. 10 in the first round, and then taking former tight end Zach Gentry in the fifth round.
And if you do something like that, you're sure to be in the right direction of NFL Network host Rich Eisen, a prolific alumnus of the university in Ann Arbor.
Tomlin appeared on the NFL Network following the completion of the draft to talk about the new Steel City players, and Eisen did what was gloriously expected: to ask a precise question about why Pittsburgh took two players from the University of Michigan, specifically , what makes the school so special? The thirteen-year-old coach, who is now 13 years old, took the bait, and he knew it.
"Rich, you only have that feeling when you walk into Schembechler Hall, that you're in a college football environment," Tomlin said. "And then you see The Big House in the back, and it lets you know that you're in the right place, and I realize that I'm giving you exactly what you want right now!"
But, in truth, there is something for Michigan players, says Tomlin.
The devotion in Schembechler Hall is different. The experience is different. The fact that the players come from all over the country, and even from the world in some recent cases (the DE Julius Welschof of the second year is from Germany, the affiliate of DE David Ojabo is originally from Scotland before moving to New Jersey) is something very important Appeals to NFL organizations.
Of course, not only players who go to a suburban Detroit location in southeastern Michigan make the bosses of people like Tomlin go crazy. It is what the university represents, and the fact that potential recruits seek it on purpose that attracts the attention of their organization.
"There is no doubt," said Tomlin. "I think certain children are attracted to programs like Michigan, which have a history and a tradition and a legacy that really focuses on fundamental values and football."
"Often, a guy like Gentry from New Mexico makes a conscious decision to go to Michigan. And that is attractive. I think the things that attract these young people to a place like Michigan also attract us, attract us to them. "
Watch the full clip of Tomlin and Eisen below.