Cincinnati Moeller rising junior tight end Josh Kattus grew up with Michigan football.
His father, Eric Kattus, was a team captain at Michigan, an All-Big Ten performer, and a fourth-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1986 draft. His senior year in Ann Arbor, Kattus caught eight touchdown passes at tight end, all coming off the arm of current head coach Jim Harbaugh.
But Josh already has had an experience on campus his father did not have: Being offered a scholarship twice by the Wolverines.
“It’s kind of a funny story,” Eric said. “Josh and I were up there and talking with (Harbaugh) and he made the offer, but unfortunately, Eric’s mom was in the back talking to someone else. When she walked up, we were all so excited, so asked what happened, and Josh said, 'Coach Harbaugh offered me.’ She said ‘I missed it,’ so Jim graciously made the offer again.”
Josh was an all-conference performer as a sophomore in the very competitive Greater Cincinnati League. He already is 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and a tenacious blocker as well as a sure-handed receiver. In addition to the Wolverines, Pittsburgh, Toledo and Akron also have offered scholarships.
"I grew up watching Michigan and a lot of Big Ten schools," he said. "I am really excited that they offered me and its a really good school, The Big House is a special place and I can’t wait to go back up there."
Eric has a great deal of pride in Michigan, greatly respects Harbaugh, and is thankful the Wolverines have given Josh the opportunity to play there.
All that said, he wants his son to make his own decision.
“I want him to enjoy the process,” he said. “He was offered by Michigan, I went to Michigan, he grew up watching the games on TV,we would go to the games when we could based on his and his brother’s schedule, so he is more familiar with Michigan than other programs, but I told him he needs to pick what is best for him. In Cincinnati, certain dads say you go to the high school I went to even, and I said ‘you’re the one that has to go there every day, go where you’re happy.’”
That high-school decision led the younger Kattus to Moeller even though his father is a Colerain grad.
With COVID-19 taking away campus visits for the moment, visiting other programs is on hold, but the family feels fortunate that Josh is only a junior and will have more time to look into his options.
“The process is so different now from when I played,” Eric said. “Athletes get offered a lot earlier. That wasn’t the case for me. Most of the athletes went through their senior year and made their official visits then made a decision. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go. I heard of Michigan, knew of Michigan, but looked at other schools too. When I visited there, I decided what was where I wanted to go. The Big House and the campus were great, but what impressed me was the large alumni association. Michigan was the place for me, but I told him to enjoy the process because being recruited is an honor.”
Kattus and Moeller are scheduled to begin their 2020 football season on Aug. 28 against Middletown High.
New offers go out
Michigan has offered Greer (South Carolina) wide receiver/tight end Jaleel Skinner, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound rising junior.
Clemson, South Carolina, LSU, Auburn and more have offered. 247Sports ranks Skinner as the No. 1 tight end prospect nationally in his class.
The Wolverines also extended a scholarship offer to Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus defensive end Devin Strange. Strange (6-2, 220) is only entering his sophomore year, but now has offers from the Wolverines and Southern Miss.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.