Michigan fifth-year senior David Molk was set on calling it a career.

Heading into his junior year at Lemont Township (Ill.) High School, the center had received little attention on the recruiting trail — and he was OK with that.

“Going through high school, it really wasn’t, ‘Oh, I’ll just go play college football now,’ ” Molk said after practice Tuesday. “(I was thinking) I have a year left, or two years left, and then football’s done.”

But then his dad received a phone call. It was Northwestern University.

When he received the call, Molk was in his usual hang-out spot — the weight room.

“My dad sprints up to the weight room and goes, ‘Dave! Northwestern offered you,’ ” Molk said, a smile creeping onto his face.

“You’re gonna play college football,” his dad told him. “And you’re going to college for free!”

Molk, who lived only about an hour away from Evanston, laughed when recalling the story. He was happy about the offer — but it was more than just a scholarship for him.

“(My dad) was more happy about (me getting a scholarship) than that I was gonna play there,” Molk said. “But it came to bite him in the ass, because me and my brother made a deal with him when we were real young.

“We said that if either of us gets a full scholarship to college, we get any American-made car we want.”

Naturally, Molk took advantage of the deal as soon as he could. When he graduated high school, his dad bought him a brand new 2006 Cadillac STS that he still drives today.

But he wasn’t preparing to go to Northwestern when he got the new car, as his father originally expected.

He was getting ready to take himself and his Cadillac to Ann Arbor.

And as the 12th-ranked Wolverines prepare to play a hard-nosed Northwestern team on the road this Saturday night, they’re glad Molk — who was ranked as the No. 3 center in the nation by Scout.com as a high school senior — won’t be on the home sidelines.

Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges has recently opened the playbook more, especially during last weekend’s 58-0 win over Minnesota. The Michigan offense featured a new diamond set with both junior quarterback Denard Robinson and backup sophomore Devin Gardner on the field — something Borges would like to do more often.

But his creativity would have to be limited without an experienced center like Molk.

“It really does help (to have Molk),” Borges said. “He can handle a lot of things they do up front. He can get us all working in the right direction. It’s very, very important.”

With Molk at center, it’s like the Wolverines have another signal caller.

“The center is the quarterback up front,” Borges said. “David Molk certainly fits that role. He’s a great athlete, a smart kid who loves to play football. We’re lucky we’ve got (him).”

And now, Molk feels lucky to be at Michigan as well. It was a difficult decision during high school — he said he narrowed his decision down to Northwestern, Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin — but looking back on it, it seems like a no-brainer.

“I wanted to be part of the greatest football tradition of all time,” Molk said. “I wanted to go where the greats have been.”

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