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Why Jordan Huff committed
When Jordan Huff committed to Michigan State on Christmas Day, he had his parents in mind.
The announcement, meant as a gift, left his mother in tears and his father excited. But they weren’t the only ones who took it as a priceless present. When the Morgan County (Ga.) junior athlete called Spartans coach Mark Dantonio with the news, he got a similar reaction.
Committed 🔱 pic.twitter.com/f5FT4nAbOU
— jordanhuff (@jordanhuff03) December 26, 2017
“I told him it was a Christmas gift to my parents, but he was like, ‘It’s a great Christmas gift to me, too,’ ” said Huff, a 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite.
Dantonio received recruiting gifts aplenty this holiday season. He signed 20 high school seniors to letters of intent last Wednesday, the first day of the new early signing period. He reeled in a commitment from 4-star Belleville (Mich.) cornerback Julian Barnett on Friday. On Monday, he (most likely) capped things off with a pledge from Huff, his first out-of-state commit in the 2019 class.
Michigan State can largely thank Leland Ready for the latter. The former Morgan County wide receivers coach suggested a trip that otherwise might not have happened, considering the distance.
— Coach Leland Ready (@CoachLReady) June 16, 2017
“If it wasn’t for my coach, I probably would’ve never, ever, ever went to Michigan State for a visit,” Huff said, referring to Ready. “He’s like the biggest Michigan State fan on earth, and it so happens that he called me over and was like, ‘Jordan, let’s make it happen. Let’s go up to Michigan State.’ And then ever since that day, I just fell in love with it.”
That day was June 16, when Huff, his father, Cedric, and Ready visited campus. At the end of the visit they stepped into Dantonio’s office, where the coach extended an offer. Huff was impressed with his directness.
Beyond the connection with the staff, Huff liked the Michigan State facilities more than any others — and he visited Georgia Tech, Michigan, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and more. It took one more visit, which came on Nov. 4, to have him fully convinced.
“The second trip was like the icing on the cake,” Huff said. “It was like, ‘These people are showing me way too much love.’ I had to show some back and ended up committing.”
— Morgan Co. Football (@TouchdownMOCO) December 26, 2017
It didn’t happen immediately. Huff waited more than a month and a half, during which time Michigan State co-offensive coordinator Jim Bollman showed up at one of his basketball games. It affirmed the notion that the Spartans had shown the most interest throughout the process.
An early commitment felt ideal for Huff as he plans to enroll early. Thanks to diligence in the classroom and the foresight to take a summer course, for which he credits his grandmother, he will likely have just three classes as a senior. Then it’s off to Michigan State, where he wants to study agribusiness or foreign affairs.
“I feel like I planned it a year ahead,” Huff said of his commitment, “and I’m just ready to finish up my high school and get to business.”
What Jordan Huff’s commitment means
247Sports lists Huff at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, but the height depends on perspective. He said he’s only 6-1, but accounting for his hair he might be 6-3.
Either way, he gives Michigan State another potential two-way player with size and athleticism, much like Barnett. In high school, Huff played cornerback, safety, nickel back, linebacker, running back, slot receiver and wide receiver. As it stands, he looks like the Spartans’ second defensive back commit in four days.
“I just got off the phone with him,” Huff said Monday of his talk with Dantonio, “and he was like, ‘We’re recruiting you as a [defensive back], but I feel like you can play on the other side, too.’ It’s all about just getting on the field as fast as I can and just doing what’s best for the team. I just want to play.”
Huff becomes Michigan State’s lowest-rated recruit for 2019, but that’s not saying much considering the other three are 4-star recruits. He ranks in the top 400 nationally in his class, something only four of the Spartans’ 2018 signees can say.
Dantonio and his staff will hope Huff’s commitment leads to more success in Georgia, which the Spartans have been targeting hard. They have already offered more than 20 juniors from the state.
There’s also one heck of an in-state class for Michigan State to pursue, and the Spartans will continue to do so. But at some point, they needed to get things going beyond the state lines. Huff is a great place to start.
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