PARAMUS -- Rashan Gary, the nation's top recruit, has decided to play for Michigan.
The defensive tackle from Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey went with the school that was considered the front-runner from the start, but he said on ESPN after making his decision that not until the last moments did he know for sure that Michigan was his pick.
"Feeling good. Lot of stress off me," he said.
Gary's former coach at Paramus Catholic, Chris Partridge, is the linebackers coach at Michigan. His former high school teammate, Jabrill Peppers, plays defensive back for the Wolverines. He is one of five high-profile recruits from New Jersey to be part of coach Jim Harbaugh's highly rated class.
Gary was also considering Clemson and a few Southeastern Conference schools. His last official visit was to Clemson and the Tigers sent him and his mother home with a birthday cake shaped like a Tigers jersey for mom.
It wasn't enough. The 6-foot-5, 292-pound Gary is headed to Ann Arbor.
Harbaugh got word of Gary's decision just as Michigan was winding down its "Signing With the Stars" spectacle. The Wolverines brought out former Yankees star Derek Jeter, who nearly went to Michigan before signing with New York, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a former Wolverines star, and pro wrestler Ric Flair.
But the biggest get wasn't in Ann Arbor. Gary made his announcement at ESPN's studios in Bristol, Connecticut, before taking a limousine back to Paramus to celebrate with his teammates.
Paramus Catholic's Rashan Gary, nation's no. 1 football recruit, picks Michigan