DETROIT, Mich. — The Cass Tech football players kept a narrow focus going into Saturday’s game against neighborhood rival Martin Luther King Jr. High School.
King had narrowly defeated them twice in 2015 by a combined five points. That and a pair of undefeated records between the two schools made this a hugely anticipated matchup.
It turned into a comfortable 31-18 triumph for the Technicians on their muddy home field.
“This game meant a lot,” 3-star Michigan State offensive line commit Jordan Reid told Land of 10. “Coming from last year, losing back-to-back, we knew we had something to prove this year. Obviously the conditions didn’t stop us. We had home-field advantage. We just came out here and got the job done.”
Now, Reid can shift his attention slightly back toward one of his top priorities, recruiting teammates to join him at Michigan State. Fellow 2017 prospects Donovan Peoples-Jones (a 5-star receiver) and Jaylen Kelly-Powell (a 4-star safety) seem to be closing in on decisions, so Reid is focusing on a younger Cass Tech star.
“Right now, I’m focused on DeAndre Square, 2018 linebacker,” he said. “I’m really focused on him right now, trying to get him to State.”
What does the 4-star Square, who plays outside linebacker for the Technicians, think of this? When asked whether teammates have tried to coax him one way or another, he plainly responded, “Yeah.”
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Square would probably still be very interested in Michigan State even if he didn’t have Reid in his ear. The Spartans remain one of two programs pursuing him hardest so far in the recruiting process, along with Wisconsin. They extended him his first Big Ten offer in June, and the Badgers followed.
As a child, Square never developed an exclusive support for any one school, but in the past couple years, he said he has become a Michigan State fan. And the Spartans, whom he hears from often, have shown to be fans of him as well.
“They tell me that they can see me here,” Square said. “They see me in green and white. They want me to stay in green and white.”
It’s not just the Cass Tech green that Square wears to school. Added Reid, “He likes State a lot. He usually comes to school every day with some Michigan State apparel on.”
Looking ahead, Square already has plans to attend what will likely be Michigan State’s two biggest home games this year: against Michigan on Oct. 29 and against Ohio State on Nov. 19.
Reid plans to join him for the game against Michigan, as does another star teammate, 4-star athlete Kalon Gervin. The junior said he hears from essentially the entire Michigan State staff.
“They treat me like family, so it’s real nice,” he said of the Spartans. “They’ve been recruiting me since like eighth grade. I’ve known them for a long time.”
Gervin holds a laundry list of offers and recently named the 14 schools that have been pursuing him the hardest, which includes Michigan State, Mississippi State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and one obvious school that regularly becomes the Spartans’ recruiting opponent.
“I just like Michigan,” Gervin said. “They just treat me like family when I go up there, too. I’m always welcome to come back. They always want me to come to games. They constantly ask me: ‘Come to a game. Come to a game. We want to see you again.’ Stuff like that.”