One month ago, DeAri Todd hadn’t even heard from Michigan State.
The 2-star Lorain (Ohio) Clearview senior defensive lineman had racked up a handful of MAC offers: Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Kent State, Ohio and Toledo. Air Force, Eastern Kentucky, Texas State and Youngstown State jumped in as well.
But Power Five? Nothing. Not until the last week, as Todd picked up an offer from and scheduled an official visit with Boston College. Then on Friday, he hit the road to officially visit Michigan State.
“They’ve been interested, and they’ve talked to DeAri,” said Todd’s coach, Mike Collier. “He’s done a good job. He’s kind of picked up around here. He’s definitely getting more attention. … He’s a great young man and continues to impress the people who’ve spent time with him.”
The Spartans like Todd at defensive tackle. At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, he would still need to add size, but Collier said his work in the weight room is a big reason he’s at this point.
Since Todd hadn’t spoken much with the coaches going into the weekend, the visit became about building relationships. The straightforward nature of the staff stuck out.
“I liked the honesty from the coaches and the people at MSU,” he said. “They’re real genuine people who care about not only football but your education and creating lifelong relationships with their players and coaches.”
Todd got to know defensive line coach Ron Burton and co-offensive coordinator Jim Bollman. On Saturday, he attended Michigan State’s basketball game, where he and his family sat among a large group of recruits and MSU coaches.
Sitting in the Breslin Center’s lower bowl, which is mostly inhabited by the Izzone, one thing stuck out during the Spartans’ 80-76 win over Oral Roberts.
“The student section was ridiculous,” he said.
Todd also had a chance to tour the football facilities and see Spartan Stadium. It was an eye-opening experience considering he hadn’t picked up any Big Ten interest until just recently.
Now he’s been visited by Iowa and has visited Michigan State. He said coaches from MSU and Missouri might come see him at school before he heads out to Boston College on Friday. And a Spartans offer? This week could provide some clarity.
“I do think they may be close to offering,” Todd said, “but I’m not sure.”
The people stood out to Todd on his Michigan State visit. In the midst of this rush of new interest, the Spartans coaches told him to take his time, enjoy the process and not let teams pressure him. That makes sense coming from a team that wants more time to evaluate whether it will offer him.
It’s been a breakout year for Todd, and it came just in time for him to earn some more offers before he makes his decision. Collier said whoever gets Todd will be getting a consummate team player with great potential.
“He’s definitely grown into his body,” Collier said. “He’s a hard worker in the weight room, a really good athlete and a hard worker in the classroom as well. He’s well-liked, a humble young man who does whatever it takes to help out his team.”