In Michigan, where the vast majority of prep football attention goes to Detroit, making a name can be tough for an outsider.
But on a day like Saturday, when Michigan State hosted a junior day event, recruits from all over converge on East Lansing to check out the facilities, watch a basketball game and get some valuable face time with Spartans coaches.
Rockford (Mich.) juniors Cody Carone and Marcus Remtema hail from the west side of the state, far from the hotbed of Detroit high school football. Both have been searching for their first offers.
Carone and Remtema each visited Michigan State multiple times in the fall, but Saturday’s event allowed for valuable time spent with the coaches. Remtema, a defensive back, said he spoke with offensive line coach Mark Staten one-on-one for 20 minutes, while Carone continued to build his relationship with Staten as well.
— Cody Carone (@Cjcarone) February 12, 2017
“I have talked with coach Staten many times,” the 6-foot-5 offensive lineman said. “I always learn something new talking to him.”
The facilities and his relationship with the staff have set Michigan State apart for Carone. It’s become “my favorite school and program,” he said.
— MarcusRemtema2️⃣2️⃣™ (@marcusremtema22) February 12, 2017
For Remtema, the Spartans stand with Ball State and Miami (Ohio) among the programs with which he has built his strongest relationships. He’ll look to impress the coaches at camps in spring and summer with the goal of receiving an offer. He would love for Michigan State to pull the trigger.
“That would be amazing,” he said of a potential offer.
Running back recaps visit
Michigan State wants running backs. Tariq Reid wants an FBS offer.
So far, Northwood and Saginaw Valley State have extended offers to the Davison (Mich.) standout. But he’s been getting interest from bigger schools for quite some time and wants to turn that interest into offers during camp season.
On Saturday, he took yet another visit to Michigan State, one that affirmed why he likes the program.
“I just want to say Michigan State always feels like home when I visit, and it was no different,” Reid said. “I love the environment and the culture of MSU. It went great.”
Reid has also visited Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Western Michigan. When asked what stands out about Michigan State, he pointed out a particular metaphor.
“It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing,” he said, “but I thought it was unique how no player gets to wear No. 1 because it emphasizes team first.”
King receiver seeing increased interest
If freshman Donnie Corley has been any indication, Michigan State likes its receivers out of Detroit King.
Erik Gibson just transferred to King from Redford Thurston, and he’s seeing his stock rise. He’s visited all over the state as well as at Indiana, and he returned to East Lansing on Saturday.
I had a great time at MSU yesterday ?? pic.twitter.com/w13JEwqMqE
— Easy E (@D1Erik_13) February 12, 2017
“The visit was amazing,” he said. “The facility and the weight room is impressive. I enjoyed my day there, and I’ll be back soon.”
Some teams have also targeted Gibson as an outside linebacker, but he has been talking mainly with wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel, so he thinks the Spartans like him at receiver.
Countless others reacted via social media after the visit. It appears as though Michigan State wants to improve in-state recruiting with grass-roots efforts geared toward building relationships around the state.
Of course, the staff has long been trying to do that, but with multiple 2017 junior days already in the books, those efforts seem to have been ramped up.