Justin Rogers initially planned to visit Michigan State on Sept. 24 for its game against Wisconsin. Things got delayed and the visit had to be rescheduled, which was nothing major. Rogers just shrugged it off and headed to Michigan.
The Oak Park (Mich.) offensive guard had already visited East Lansing five times or so, and he’s just a freshman.
The Wolverines’ 49-10 trouncing of Penn State in front of over 110,000 fans that day sure sounds exciting, and the 6-foot-3 enjoyed himself, but there’s someplace else he would’ve rather been.
“It was OK,” he said of the Michigan visit. “It don’t really got nothing on [Michigan] State. State’s like my home.”
Rogers returned to his “home” Saturday for the Spartans’ 31-14 loss to BYU. The less-than-optimal result didn’t take away too much from the overall enjoyment, because Rogers said he had a good time on the visit.
Another freshman, 6-foot-2 athlete Enzo Jennings, came along with Rogers. Although he holds offers from Central Michigan and Kentucky, he said Michigan and Michigan State are his main two schools. Of the Spartans, he noted, “I love Michigan State.”
Jennings typically plays on the defensive side of the ball and projects as a free safety or a cornerback at the next level. Asked what Michigan State likes about him, Jennings gave a wry smile, his braces showing his youth.
“They like that I’m a hitter,” he said.
The Michigan State staff hasn’t limited its attention on Oak Park to those two. Teammates Marquan McCall, a 4-star junior offensive lineman, picked up an offer just before the season, and 3-star cornerback Robert Daniel Jr. took a visit for the Wisconsin game.
Rogers and Jennings, though, are an important pair with whom Michigan State has worked to develop a relationship early on. Those efforts have resonated.
“It feels like home,” Rogers said. “The coaches are just like family when you come up there. … It’s just like how they interact with you. They treat you like you’re their sons and stuff.”
Recruiting top Oak Park stars typically turns into a battle with Michigan. After all, the Detroit-area school is closer to Ann Arbor than East Lansing. The Wolverines have a commitment from lineman JaRaymond Hall and are looking to grab another from McCall.
As for Rogers, he has pretty close to a one-track mind right now. When he steps out onto the field, the thought of Michigan State rewarding him for his hard work spurs him on.
“I’m just trying to get an offer from them now,” he said. “I’ve been busting my butt on the field trying to get an offer.”
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