Birmingham Groves lineman Avery Gach has been at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Toledo and Michigan football games this season as a recruit.
Avery Gach is only a sophomore in high school. But the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Birmingham Groves lineman already has attracted the attention of big-time college football programs.
He’s made unofficial visits this season for games at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Toledo and Michigan to see the Irish play Marshall, the Buckeyes play Wisconsin, the Rockets play Central Michigan and the Wolverines play Penn State.
Why were they unofficial visits? Official visits can’t start until a football player’s junior year in high school and then, only five are allowed.
While Gach was at Ohio State, he held a Heisman Trophy won by former OSU star Archie Griffin, who won the Heisman Trophy twice and donated one to the university.
Gach has received scholarship offers from Ohio State, Boston College, Toledo and Central Michigan even though he’s two years away from making an official decision on where he’s going to college.
Last spring, Gach made off-season unofficial visits to Michigan and Michigan State. He was at Michigan again Saturday (Oct. 15) on an unofficial visit for the Wolverines’ game vs. Penn State.
Not bad and pretty heady stuff for a young man who just turned 16 on Oct. 8 and has been playing football for only three seasons.
“Yep, it’s all been surreal,” Gach said. “Here I was on the field as a recruit at Notre Dame and Ohio State. There were 105,000 people at the Ohio State game.”
What has Gach learned from the game experiences and up-close looks at Division I football players?
“I need to keep working hard to get there,” he said. “Linemen are big and fast at that level. Ohio State’s right tackle on offense is 6-8, 350.”
While all the college recruiting has gone in, Gach has stayed laser-focused on his most important task at hand this fall … helping Groves win football games.
The Falcons were 4-3 overall and 4-2 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division in mid-October as they have rebounded from their uncharacteristic 2-7 season in 2021 that ended their streak of eight straight playoff appearances. Groves scored only 118 points last season, its lowest season point total since 2007.
“Friday nights are my focus. That’s my mindset,” Gach said.
Gach is a staple at right tackle on Groves’ offensive line for the second straight season. He’s also getting some snaps at defensive end this fall.
Last season, Gach became only the fourth freshman to start for Groves football coach Brendan Flaherty, who is now in his 22nd season in charge of the Falcons. The other freshmen starters during Flaherty’s tenure were a fullback and a defensive end.
“It’s tough for a freshman to play on the offensive line on a high school varsity football team because of the physicality involved, but Avery is tough and strong,” Flaherty said last fall. “And he’s fearless. He isn’t intimidated.”
David and Amy Gach are Avery’s parents. The family lives in Bloomfield Hills.
Avery’s father made a name for himself as an athlete at Berkley High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball and was on the wrestling team before he graduated in 1996.
David Gach had offers to play college football at Division II and Division III schools, but he decided to go to Michigan State to study business. He didn’t play sports in college.
It was a family affair for the Gach family last Friday (Oct. 14) when the Groves football team hosted Berkley.
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