Caden Kolesar, son of John Kolesar, commits to Michigan as gray shirt

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Caden Kolesar, a lifelong Michigan fan, is following his father, John, and grandfather, Bill, to play football for the Wolverines.

He announced his commitment Tuesday morning as a gray shirt and his scholarship will count in the 2020 class. The Kolesars are part of the Michigan football fabric. The late Bill Kolesar was a tackle (1953-1955) and John Kolesar was a receiver (1985-1988).

Caden Kolesar

Caden Kolesar, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound safety, helped lead St. Edward High in Cleveland to a Division I state championship. He was first-team all-state.

The family, not surprisingly, is thrilled the Kolesar legacy at Michigan will continue.

“They all cried — my sister cried, my mom cried, my brother cried. Everybody is crying,” John Kolesar said Tuesday. “My brother, Doug, said when he called Mom, ‘I couldn’t keep myself together I was crying on the phone.’ They’re such big Michigan fans. They’re all ecstatic.”

Caden Kolesar was considering Ivy League and Mid-American Conference programs, as well as Stanford and Northwestern.

“We are just thrilled,” John Kolesar said. “He’s worked so hard these last four years in high school. He was awarded with a first-team all-state selection, a state championship, and now the opportunity to play football at the University of Michigan is just remarkable.”

During an interview with The Detroit News this summer, Caden Kolesar said he always has wanted to play for the Wolverines like his father and grandfather. He said he has been a Michigan fan since he was 3 years old.

“There is that legacy in the back of my mind,” Caden said at the time. “In my room, I have a picture of my grandpa in his uniform. It was a big part of my dream going to Michigan. That dream is still there. It would be fun if I’m able to go there and carry on that legacy, that tradition.”

John Kolesar played football at Michigan with current UM coach Jim Harbaugh. Kolesar is seared into the memories of Michigan fans for two critical performances in victories over Ohio State. He caught a 77-yard fourth-quarter pass from Harbaugh in the Wolverines’ 27-17 win over the Buckeyes in 1985, and in Michigan’s 34-31 victory over Ohio State in 1988, with less than two minutes left, Kolesar returned a kickoff 59 yards and then scored on a 41-yard pass.

Twitter: @chengelis