high school but is already taking ownership of the idea
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The connection began with a simple message of 140 characters or less.

James Hudson III and Rashan Gary forged their friendship through social media, originally connecting more than a year ago through a direct message. That friendship continued when they met in June at a Michigan football day camp geared toward offensive and defensive linemen. Hudson was in the process of choosing where to play college football, and Gary had just arrived at Michigan to join the football program.

It evolved into a path of guidance and good advice. In the process of choosing where he would go to school, Hudson, a defensive lineman from Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio, got some good advice from Gary, the nation’s No. 1 recruit in 2016 and now a defensive end at Michigan.

“He just told me to make the best decision for me,” Hudson said. “He didn’t want to make it seem like he was telling me that I had to choose Michigan. He wanted to choose the best fit for me and where I felt like I could fill in at.”

Hudson verbally committed to join Michigan’s incoming 2017 class in August of 2016, and signed with the Wolverines on Feb. 1. Gary, meanwhile, is one of Michigan’s most high profile returning players — and is less than a year removed from Paramus Catholic N.J. High School.

Gary has made an impact on the field for the Wolverines, with 27 tackles and 6 quarterback hurries as a freshman in 2016. Off the field , he has established bonds with Michigan’s early enrollees and its incoming freshmen http://www.wolverinesjerseyedge.com/jared-wangler-jersey-c-71.html, relationships that those players say have been vital in helping them learn about Michigan’s culture and how to incorporate into it.

Gary believes he has an obligation to do it for Michigan’ recruits because not too long ago, he was the recruit. Gary experienced firsthand that for all the hype of being a heralded recruit, the process came with a lot of stress.

“I felt it was only right,” Gary said. “When I was going through what they went through, I needed help, too. I needed people to rely on, and I just wanted to be that big brother for them. That’s how Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley were for me.”

Gary has made a point to reach out to some of Michigan’s incoming defensive linemen, including 5 star DT Aubrey Solomon of Leesburg, Ga.

Solomon has made it a point to ask questions of Gary.

“I normally ask him, what could I do to improve my game, especially pass rushing, because Rashan is a very good pass rusher,” Solomon said. “That part of my game is lacking. I pick his brain and he tells me a lot of stuff. It’s very good insight with him.

Not too long ago, http://www.wolverinesjerseyedge.com/bradley-deeg-jersey-c-70.html Gary did the same with Charlton and Wormley, a pair of defensive linemen who are projected to be first or second round NFL draft picks this month.

Like Solomon does with Gary, Gary went out of his way to ask questions of Charlton and Wormley, whether it was how they prepared for the NFL combine, or how they prepared for the grind of practices at Michigan.

Charlton and Wormley, Gary said, gave him a solid piece of advice.

“Just keeping my head up,” Gary said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys coming on the D line and I need to take the leadership step. I just keep that, what they told me, in the back of my head my first year.”

Gary has also reached out to Michigan’s early enrollees, particularly DEs Corey Malone Hatcher and Donovan Jeter Dane Drobocky Jersey, knowing that he has already been through one season.

Gary is less than a year out of high school but is already taking ownership of the idea that he is seen as a leader among Michigan’s recruits and early enrollees.

“It’s kind of weird http://www.wolverinesjerseyedge.com/spencer-d***ow-jersey-c-72.html, but something I have to get used to,” Gary said. “Right now, I’m embracing that leadership role and bringing those guys along the way.”

In that same vein, Hudson sees himself doing the same thing Gary has done — growing into the same kind of leader.

“I feel like I can help the players, a lot,” Hudson said. “I’m already helping the players at my school, and I’ve been through this process and know what it’s like. I can help, a lot.”