BOULDER — The football path for Fairview's Carlo Kemp has been officially paved in maize and blue.

Sitting in the home office of his grandfather, Sam Pagano, on Sunday afternoon with family members surrounding him and the Pagano legacy decking the walls, Kemp made a phone call he'll always remember.

On the other end was the University of Michigan's head football coach, Jim Harbaugh, accepting Kemp's verbal commitment to the Wolverines as a highly-sought recruit.

"He told me he did a cartwheel," Kemp said of Harbaugh's reaction, which gave Michigan a 10th four-star recruit from the 2016 class.

A defensive end/linebacker that has been a blip on the radar screen nationally since he was a sophomore, Kemp was purely relieved when he was able to finally able to let his decision be known. He said he had fun letting others guess but literally told no one, and even his mother, Jennifer 'Peach' Pagano, did not know until Sunday morning.

Among the schools he was considering were Notre Dame, Colorado and UCLA. Given the history of Notre Dame and the backyard aspect playing for the Buffaloes offered, Kemp said it made his mind go "a million different ways" but that Michigan brought everything together.


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"Michigan kind of felt like home, as well. Ann Arbor was a lot like Boulder, just close, tight-knit," Kemp said. "It's hard to say no to Notre Dame, it was hard to say no to CU, but at the end of the day it's what's best for me, where I fit and can thrive, and first of all get a great education.

"Where I also have an opportunity to play (early) was a lot better at Michigan."

Fairview High School’s Carlo Kemp talks on the phone with University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh Sunday afternoon proclaiming his intention to
Fairview High School's Carlo Kemp talks on the phone with University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh Sunday afternoon proclaiming his intention to sign a scholarship offer with the Wolverines. Kemp's mother, Jennifer Pagano, is on the right. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Kemp will graduate Fairview early in order to make his way to Ann Arbor in time for spring football activities — a common practice for those in good academic standing. A basketball player as a freshman and sophomore, he said there were no extraneous activities on his plate between now and when he follows that road to the Big House.

After everything was said and done Sunday, however, he was ready to sit down with his family and watch his uncle Chuck Pagano's Indianapolis Colts take on the Denver Broncos.

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24