"We don't have any star players here," Cass Technical High School coach Thomas Wilcher said at the start of a phone conversation. "We have players. We don't have any stars."
Great players have become a hallmark of the Detroit program. But while Wilcher won't classify any of his pupils as stars, he certainly recognizes talent when he sees it.
And he knows cornerback Kalon Gervin falls under that category.
"Success comes but you have to be patient for your success," Wilcher said. "If you're patient, you wait and you have to be ready. He's always ready.
"He's not going to be the type of kid who says, 'Coach, coach, coach, I know this is supposed to be happening.' No, he's knows it's going to come."
Gervin holds scholarship offers from close to 40 major Division I schools. He committed to Notre Dame in mid-February. Perhaps that patience surfaced when he decommitted in May.
"Like I told everyone else, I've got to do what's best for me right now," Gervin said.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back has no timetable for his decision. He doesn't have a public list of schools that's whittled down.
"It's all about who really wants me and who's going to offer the best education," he said before adding he'd like to study communications.
The 247Sports Composite lists Gervin as the No. 22 athlete in the country and a 4-star prospect. He's a speed demon, evidenced by his 4.41 40-yard dash.
Wilcher knows what that attribute means. The head coach of 19 years played running back at Michigan in the mid-80s and was drafted in the ninth round of the NFL Draft by San Diego.
He's watched high-profile athletes walk through his doors and succeed. Two-time All-America defensive back Jourdan Lewis and Wolverines' teammate Delano Hill (a second-team All-Big Ten honoree) both were drafted last month.
"I think he can adapt to (college ball) and be ready for it because No. 1, he has great speed and quickness, that's two things you can't teach," Wilcher said. "You can improve it, but you have to have it.
If you don't have it guess, what? You can't get it."
Gervin visited Virginia Tech on his spring break.
"Yeah, I went down there, took a visit, talked to the coaches, the head man, the (defensive coordinator), all that," he recalled. "It was nice, really nice. What stood out to me was how cool they were at practice."
The Hokies offered him on that visit, although Gervin knew they had a scholarship with his name on it all along. And despite Detroit's distance from Blacksburg, Gervin's well aware of Tech's program. He said location is not a primary factor in his recruitment.
What could be a piece of the puzzle comes in Gervin's relationship with one of defensive coordinator Bud Foster's assistants.
"I've really developed a close relationship with their cornerbacks' coach, Brian Mitchell, since back when he was West Virginia," Gervin said. "He's a really cool guy, he keeps it real. That's my man."
Gervin also took note of Indian River safety Devon Hunter's commitment to the Hokies for the 2017 class.
Hunter's decision has become a theme among a few of the top athletes on Tech's radar.
"He's a good cat, that was a big deal," Gervin said. "That's real big, I was paying attention to that."
The Michigan native would prefer a situation where, like Hunter, he's afforded an opportunity to possibly play as a freshman and work his way into the starting lineup.
That's along the lines of what the Hokies' staff told him.
"They just want me to come in, they said they need me to come in and play right away, maybe even start," he recalled.
He's equipped for that opportunity. Few, if any, passes were completed on Gervin last season. He worked against Donovan Peoples-Jones each day in practice.
The 247Sports Composite tabbed Peoples-Jones as the nation's top receiver last cycle. He enrolled at Michigan in January.
"I lock in, hone in on my technique," Gervin explained. "That's really important when you lock down a side of the field ... I practiced against the No. 1 receiver in the country for a while.
It just showed me that matching up great people like that is great practice. The profile of the top player in the country, it gives you a lot of confidence."
Peoples-Jones' recruitment also included Tech. Wilcher grew familiar with their new staff through their courting of his wideout.
"They've been coming here for a while," the coach said. "I definitely think it's a great school, great atmosphere, great college town. I would love to see kids go that way and prosper."
Wilcher's built a type of iron-sharpens-iron mentality that pours through the Cass Tech program. Last summer, Lewis spoke to the same sentiment to the Detroit Free Press as a reason for his success in Ann Arbor.
"Cass Tech is a factory," Lewis told the Free Press' Perry A. Farrell. "It is just like a college program. We go out there and compete against the whole country. We travel and we do different things and we compete. We compete in practice. That's something I can see that has transcended to the college game; the competition in practice.
"We had so much skill on the team, it was never a lax day at practice. We always had to compete.
That's what I brought from Cass Tech, that competitive spirit. You can see all of our guys are being successful right now."
Gervin could be next off the line.