As one of the few defensive line prospects offered so far, Hjalte Froholdt is without a doubt one of the staff's top priorities in the 2015 class. Despite his relatively short time in the US, Froholdt, a Denmark native, drew serious interest from schools across the country on the recruiting trail. In a situation that Froholdt describes as 'kind of random', he was placed at Warren G Harding High School in Ohio as part of a foreign exchange program that allowed him to play football during the 2012 season.
While his time in the United States may have been relatively short, Froholdt has had a much longer history playing football in Denmark, starting when he was 12 years old. Over time, he has progressed from playing 7-on-7 football with three down lineman to 9-on-9, and finally traditional 11-on-11 football during his junior year in Denmark. The league that Froholdt currently plays in uses the NCAA rule book, so that should make the transition back to the US a bit easier. Froholdt describes his work this season in interesting fashion. "I wouldn't call it professional, but it is very good," says Froholdt. "The team I play for also plays against other European teams. The Senior team is a lot bigger than the guys at Warren, but they're grown-ups so they should be." Next year Hjalte plans to return to the US to finish out his senior year playing football for another high school, although which school is still yet to be determined.
Because he grew up across the Atlantic Ocean, Froholdt did not grow up watching college teams play every Saturday, so in a sense every school was on equal ground when it came to pursuing his services. "It's been better [that way] actually. For my standpoint, I've never had a favorite so no matter what color they are or where they're placed in the country- doesn't matter to me. What I look for in a school is the people. If I feel they can bring out the best 'Hjalte' in me, but also a place I can stay 4-5 years and say 'I didn't want to go anywhere else but here.'"
With the importance of his relationship with the staff in mind, Hjalte has built a friendly connection with Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. "Coach Greg Mattison is my recruiting coordinator. We have a great relationship. He's an awesome guy and I experienced it first hand when I was at the Michigan camp." In addition to his rapport with Mattison, other areas of the University of Michigan appeal to Froholdt as well. "I really like their academics. It's a great school and it's easy to get a job if it says UM on your diploma. But I also like the coaching staff very much and the campus is beautiful."
Checking in as a composite 4-star prospect on 247 and holding multiple offers from top programs in the Midwest, there is a lot of competition for the Scandinavian talent. However, Froholdt has already announced a final top group of Arkansas, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State and intends to choose from those schools soon- as in within the next couple months, although an official date has not been set. Froholdt visited Arkansas on Saturday to watch the Razorbacks host South Carolina for a 52-7 beating. Michigan will get the next crack at impressing Froholdt as he will be in Ann Arbor on October 19 to watch the Wolverines host the Indiana Hoosiers.