by Andrew Stark
Entering this summer, Butler football standout Channing Stribling was getting frustrated. He knew he was good enough to play football at the next level but hadn’t received a single scholarship offer.
Stribling shined on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs, playing cornerback and wide receiver, and pretty soon colleges started making their moves. The Charlotte 49ers, Howard, Ball State, Old Dominion and Hampton all offered scholarships, and Stribling was on his way to a University of Michigan camp to try to generate more interest from college coaches.
It didn’t take long for Michigan coaches to notice, as the Wolverines offered Stribling a scholarship during the camp, which he promptly accepted last week.
As a 6-foot-2, 170-pound cornerback, Stribling had 37 tackles, 14 pass breakups, and six interceptions for the Bulldogs last year. As a receiver, he caught 37 passes for 636 yards and eight touchdowns. Still, the Wolverines weren’t familiar with him until last week.
On the first day of camp, Michigan coaches kept asking him what his name was. Thinking the Wolverines’ roster was full of defensive backs, Stribling had spent the day as a receiver and performed well enough to generate the interest.
After the first day, Michigan coaches asked Butler defensive coordinator Steve Shaughnessy about Stribling. On the second day, Wolverines defensive coaches were on hand to watch Stribling work out at his best position – cornerback.
Michigan offered a scholarship a day later. Stribling was supposed to take a week to decide but talked to his parents that night and committed the very next day. He said he’s always been a Michigan fan, and now he’ll have a chance to wear the maize and blue uniform on Saturdays.
“A week ago, I would not have thought that,” he said. “But now it is starting to sink in.”
Stribling, who moved to Mecklenburg Country from Alabama, said when he arrived on the Butler campus, he’d gaze into the trophy case and see Jamar Adams, a former Bulldogs defensive back who played at Michigan from 2004 to 2008.
“I saw his picture and thought ‘Wow, Jamar is the only Michigan product to come from here,’” Stribling said. “That stuck with me because I knew we have had some good players come from Butler.”
Before the offer from Michigan, Stribling had interest from Kentucky and N.C. State but neither offered a scholarship. But with his future now certain, Stribling isn’t ready to stop working. He’ll participate in Atlanta’s ABC Top 100 camp in July and the Energy Live Prodigy Camp in Naples, Fla., later next month.
“I am still trying to get my name out there,” Stribling said. “I have my offer, but I will accept other offers that come in. I want to get more exposure. (Colleges) have a little idea of who I am, but to get my name out there more would be great.
“(Committing to Michigan) is great. Now all I have to do is show out at a few camps and just focus on the (Butler) season. I don’t have to worry about doing extra. I can just do my thing.”