Andy Maddox remembers tuning in to the first-ever night game at Michigan Stadium as a middle schooler back in 2011.
The “Big House,” as it’s known, was rocking that September night as more than 100,000 fans watched quarterback Denard Robinson connect with Roy Roundtree on a 16 yard pass with just two seconds on the clock to win the game over hated rival Notre Dame.
“I just loved the energy,” he said. “I pretty much wanted to go there and play football ever since.”
On Saturday, Maddox found out his dream was coming true.
The senior SM East quarterback had been in contact with Michigan’s staff for a couple years since he attended a summer football camp in Ann Arbor. As he entered the final phase of his college search, he’d been looking at a number of schools on the east coast — Dartmouth, Princeton and Cornell among them — but was holding out hope that an opportunity with the Wolverines might present itself.
He and his family got an invitation from the team to attend the highly anticipated Michigan-Wisconsin game Saturday. Head coach Jim Harbaugh gave the team’s guests a walk through of the stadium ahead of the game. After it was over, he asked Andy what he thought of the school.
“He asked me ‘How do you like Michigan?'” Andy recalled. “I said I loved it and that this is where I wanted to be. And he put out his hand and said, “Let’s shake on it.'”
As a preferred walk-on, Maddox won’t get a scholarship to attend the school for his freshman year. But he’ll have the chance to compete for a spot on the traveling squad and for a scholarship slot as well.
“That’s the thing that I love about it is they treat scholarship guys and walk-ons the same,” he said. “The play the best 11 guys, so you always have an opportunity and can always work your way up the roster.”
And while Maddox, who attended Corinth Elementary, had been inside the Big House for the camp he attended, he’d never been to an actual game there before. He said that experience, as well as the fact that he’ll get to stand on the sidelines as part of the team next year, is still sinking it.
“It was nuts,” Maddox said of the stadium environment. “You’ve got 110,000 people in there watching them roll Wisconsin. It was great. I’m still trying to believe it all. You hope for it, but honestly I’m not sure I ever thought I’d be in this situation. I’m relieved that all the hard work has paid off.”
Maddox will start training with the Wolverines football team this summer.