Going from one side of the state to the other, Harper Creek football standout Josh Bass has verbally committed to accept a scholarship to play at Western Michigan University. The senior had previously committed to Eastern Michigan University.
Early in the summer, Bass had worked out at Eastern Michigan and then quickly accepted a scholarship offer from the Mid-American Conference school – sticking with that decision throughout the season.
But Western Michigan recently changed head coaches as P.J. Fleck took over the program in December and just after the new year, Bass was in communication with the new Bronco coaching staff and decided to give Kalamazoo a look.
“I talked to the new offensive line coach on Jan. 2 and decided to take a visit. I spent last weekend there, I liked the campus, loved the coaches and just felt like it was the right fit for me so I changed my verbal to Western Michigan,” Bass said Monday.
Bass, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound lineman, was a senior captain for a Harper Creek team that advanced to the state semifinals for the second straight season in the fall. Bass was an All-State player last season and is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com.
Bass expects to sign his national letter of intent with WMU on signing day during the first week of February and plans to compete for a job on the offensive line next fall with the Broncos at guard or center.
Fleck is currently the youngest head coach in Division I football taking over at WMU after Bill Cubit was fired as head coach after a 4-8 season. Bass said meeting Fleck made the decision to go to WMU an easy one.
“The energy over there now is amazing with the new head coach, his energy is just contagious,” Bass said. “When you meet the coaching staff you realize they just love football and they will do anything it takes to be successful and to help you be successful as a player.”
When Fleck was introduced as the new head coach at Western Michigan he made a point of saying he wanted to recruit more locally, something the previous Bronco coaching staff did not stress.
In getting Bass to commit to WMU, he seems to be following through with that idea.
“Western had offered me in the summer, but then they didn’t really call me much after that so that’s why I went with Eastern,” Bass said. “Coach Fleck says he wants homegrown kids and wants to recruit local kids and that’s something I really agree with. I think that can help build the program.”
As Bass committed to WMU, he had to inform Eastern Michigan of his intentions to go to the rival school that sees each other on the football field every season.
“I told them it wasn’t anything against them. I just really like it at Western once I visited and I really like the new coaching staff,” Bass said. “I told Eastern I still like them as a school, too and I’d be rooting for them every Saturday in the fall except for one.”