5-star DT Aubrey Solomon will be taking his first official visit to Michigan this weekend.
LEESBURG, Ga. — Growing up in a family filled with members who have served in the military, Tuesday afternoon was a special moment for 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon.
The 6’3”, 304-pounder from Lee County High School in Leesburg was officially presented his jersey for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl—which will be played on Jan. 7, 2017 in San Antonio.
Solomon admits he’s grown up watching the all-star game that has seen prominent alums such as Adrian Peterson, Andrew Luck and Odell Beckham Jr. star in past years.
“It means a lot coming from a military family,” Solomon told Bleacher Report. “That’s all we know really. My mom, both of my uncles and my grandpa were in the military. It’s just a big honor for me. Growing up and seeing how this game came up, it feels like I was just watching the game on TV. For me to now be in it, I’m still in shock. It’s just a blessing.”
@AubreySolomon91 officially an @ArmyAllAmerican. Tells me “military has been a big part of my family.” Mentions Mom, other family served pic.twitter.com/uS52Mx0jqH
— Sanjay Kirpalani (@SanjayKirpalani) November 1, 2016
Solomon, who rates as the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 20 player overall in the 2017 cycle, also vividly remembers the moment he knew he had a future in the game of football.
“It had to be my freshman year. It was the last regular-season game that year when we played Bainbridge,” Solomon said. “I had like eight tackles and that’s not common for a defensive tackle, especially for a freshman. That’s when I thought to myself, ‘I think I could do this on the next level. I don’t care where I go, but I know I can play on the next level.’ That’s when it just hit me.”
The Peach State defender was once committed to Michigan before backing off that pledge in August.
However, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh is still pushing hard to land him. His efforts appear to be paying off.
“Actually, I’m going up to Michigan on Friday,” Solomon said. “I’m leaving Friday night or Saturday morning after my game to go up there for my first official visit.”
Aside from the Wolverines getting the job done on defense this year, one other critical factor about Harbaugh’s program has his attention.
“The thing about Michigan is their great academic reputation,” he said. “You could be set 10, 20 or 30 years down the road with a degree from there. I love football. Don’t get me wrong. But, it ends at some point for everybody. Football won’t be there forever. At some point, you have to grow up and I know I will have to have a career after sports and do something with my life.”
He also has a few other destinations in mind that he’d like to get to in the coming weeks and months.
UNCOMMITTED ALL AMERICAN @AubreySolomon91 is the best DL in the nation. His D beat #1 team in state bc a 6-4 305 kid can do this! GO LEE pic.twitter.com/on4HDZ92Xo
— Kevin Pych (@pychke) October 8, 2016
“I plan on going to Oregon, USC and hopefully Alabama and Clemson. I may want to see a few more places too,” Solomon said while also confirming that visits to those four programs would be officials.
Home-state power Georgia is another school that has been in the mix with him dating back to his freshman year—which is something that carries a significant amount of weight with him.
“When I was in the ninth grade, Georgia sent the first coach to come talk to me,” Solomon recalled. “That was a big blessing that I didn’t expect. I was in awe. Because we have a separate ninth-grade campus from the high school and he just came to see me. It was [defensive line coach] Tracy Rocker. So for me, it’s about loyalty. They believed in me early on.”
He noted that the Bulldogs, along with Oregon, are the two schools pushing the hardest for him at the moment.
UGA bound ?⚫️?… But first I need to catch some ???
— Aubrey Solomon (@AubreySolomon91) September 10, 2016
Solomon, who reports a 2.6 GPA with tentative plans on majoring in sports medicine or medicine in general, has two things he is looking for when it comes to identifying the school he eventually chooses.
“Education and you have to make my mom happy. [She wants to see] a good academic program. If a school wows me with their academic plan for me, then they got me,” he said.
As for when a final decision could come, he admits he isn’t in any hurry and plans to take his time with the process.
“I haven’t thought of when I will make my decision. I’m just taking things day by day.”
Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of Scout.com.