2017 Montreal (QC) Cegep du Vieux cornerback Benjamin St. Juste hasn’t gone through the typical recruiting process of the high caliber prospect he has turned out to be. He entered Michigan’s week long summer camp last June with no offers or interest. He left with an offer and committed shortly after.
“Before I went to the four-day camp at Michigan last June, I had zero offers and zero interest from any schools; I was not on any school’s radar. It was my first ever college camp,” St. Juste said.
If it weren’t for St. Juste’s parents and a little luck, he probably would never have even attended the camp and earned the offer.
“It was really a coincidence because my dad had a job interview in Grand Rapids and he told me if I wanted to do football camps in the area, just check so I did this one because it was four days. It turns out I got a full scholarship and I really fell in love with the university so I committed there,” St. Juste added. “Everything just fell into place.”
From being unknown to invited to The Opening, St. Juste took it all in stride. Last weekend he earned respect from fellow recruits and coaches at The Opening. The experience was certainly one to remember for St. Juste.
“It was awesome, it was great. It was the best football experience I have ever had; really, really great. I had fun competing against the best and improving,” St. Juste said.
St. Juste got a chance to bond with several Michigan commits and targets at The Opening. He was happy to build and make relationships that would not have been possible without the week long camp.
“It was great. Before The Opening we were talking on Twitter because I had never seen Dylan (McCaffrey) and Josh (Ross). I had saw AJ (Dillon) at the regional but I had never seen the other recruits and commits in person. After seeing them and competing with them for four days, we really started to create a bond as future teammates,” St. Juste said.
The Michigan commits made good work of building friendships with their targets, according to St. Juste. They didn’t force anything but left The Opening with several guys strongly considering the Wolverines.
“I think a couple guys have Michigan as their leader after The Opening. Dylan (McCaffrey) did a really good job telling guys about Michigan. Nico Collins, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and Ambry Thomas,” St. Juste said.
Since his commitment to Michigan on June 22 of 2015, St. Juste hasn’t been in contact with any other schools because he is a “hard commit to Michigan.” However, with six months-plus until National Signing Day, St. Juste is looking into two official visits in the fall to compare to Michigan.
“There’s probably two teams that I will take official visits to in the fall and that’s Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State. But between the two, Virginia Tech is the only other option I would consider other than Michigan,” St. Juste said.
Virginia Tech is relatively close to St. Juste’s home in Montreal and he has built a good relationship with their new coaching staff since they began talking in the spring.
“With Virginia Tech, it’s close to home on the east coast. They have great coaches, I’ve been talking to them for a few months. I want to see if it’s a good fit for me before I enroll early,” St. Juste said.
St. Juste and fellow Canadian, Chubba Hubbard, have a strong friendship. Hubbard, from Alberta, committed to Oklahoma State in May and has told St. Juste good things about the Cowboys.
“One of the players I know from Canada (Hubbard) committed to Oklahoma State a couple months ago and I want to see what it’s like,” St. Juste said.
The two possible visits are because of how early St. Juste committed and how little recruiting he had been through when he recruited.
“I committed so soon that I didn’t get to see what other teams are offering to me. Right now I’m trying to see if other schools have the same things that Michigan is offering me. That’s why I would like to take the two other official visits.”
Although St. Juste hasn’t visited Michigan since the Ohio State game last November, he is working with Luiji Vilain on riding to the BBQ at the Big House together in August.
“My dad doesn’t have the weekend off so he can’t come with me, but I am trying to reach out to Luiji because he lives about two hours from me in Ontario,” St. Juste said.
St. Juste remains committed to Michigan and still feels the same way he did when he committed thirteen months ago.
“Michigan has an experienced coaching staff, they’re going to turn you into an NFL player. With all of the experience and hard work, they are also really enthusiastic, especially Jim (Harbaugh). You can talk to Jim as a friend and you have to respect him.”
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