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Michigan State offers pair in ACC Country
The call came on a Friday as the Harding University High (Charlotte, N.C.) football team headed east for a visit to N.C. State.
Michigan State co-offensive coordinator Jim Bollman was on the other end, checking in with Rams coach Sam Greiner. Bollman had visited the school twice before to check in on a pair of players who had stood out. On this day, the interest turned into offers.
247Sports Composite 3-star OG Jovaughn Gwyn (Class of 2018) and 4-star RB Quavaris Crouch (2019) were the recipients. When Greiner got off the phone and shared the news, it was a joyous moment for the team.
“The guys were excited about it,” Greiner said. “Big Ten football, you’ve got to get excited about that.”
Can the Spartans land Jovaughn Gwyn?
Gwyn wasn’t the first person Bollman brought up when speaking with Greiner — ranked the No. 2 running back in 2019 by 247Sports, Crouch has been one of the most highly touted sophomores in the nation. But Gwyn is a more immediate need.
Gwyn hasn’t seen his ratings rocket like Crouch, partially for reasons outside of his control: he played three games for nearby Berry Academy as a sophomore before breaking his foot. Once he transferred to Harding after the season, Greiner had him move from tackle to guard, and it has proven to be a successful switch.
“[Bollman] said, ‘I really want your approval on Jovaughn Gwyn,'” Greiner recounted from Friday’s call. “He’s come to see him twice. I said Jovaughn Gwyn’s the best interior lineman in the country. It’s not close. That’s why he’s invited to [the finals of Nike’s The Opening in] Oregon [in the summer]. I said just watch. He keeps knocking people down. People don’t understand how good he is.”
Gwyn weighs 300 pounds and recently bench pressed 370 in a recent video posted to Twitter. He was spotted by his friend and fellow Michigan State target, Crouch.
370 ⚓️ pic.twitter.com/7dQusHgPNw
— jovaughngwyn (@Red__58) April 6, 2017
Does Michigan State have a shot at reeling in Gwyn? It’ll be tough. His first offer, N.C. State, continues to show heavy interest, and now reigning national champion Clemson has come calling as well. The Tigers have not offered but would be heavily considered if they did.
Gwyn is in the process of planning out a visit. He wants to make a decision before the start of his senior season, which means he needs to get on campus to see all the places he’ll be considering.
“If he’s going to visit somewhere up north or out west, the time is now,” Greiner said. “If you wait until the season, you’re not going to have a chance.”
In regards to Bollman, Greiner added, “If you really want a guy, you better go get him. And [Bollman] said, ‘Well I can’t waste any more time. Tell him I want him.’ And then [Gwyn is] hopefully going to get a visit to Michigan State and that area.”
What about Quavaris Crouch?
With Crouch, it’s not a question of landing a commitment. First off, he’s just a sophomore with plenty of time to make a decision. And with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State already extended, the Spartans just need to put themselves in contention. Bollman asked for Greiner’s opinion Friday.
“He called me and said, ‘We’re going to offer Quavaris Crouch; do you think there’s a possibility that he would want to come this far?’” Greiner recalled. “I said, ‘Without a doubt.’ Michigan is one of his top schools, so I don’t see why he wouldn’t come as far as Michigan State. It’s just all about the right fit and the relationship. He’s got time to make that up.”
The issue will be funding. With the NCAA banning coaches from being paid to work camps, Greiner will have to look for other ways to get Crouch and his other players out for visits.
Should they make a trip up north, Greiner will try to hit as many schools as possible. Michigan State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State could all get a visit as Crouch looks to narrow things down.
“It’s all about the right fit,” Greiner said. “You’re going to be in that room for three or four years. It’s about building relationships, and you never know what the best relationship is, the best culture the head coach provides. All that stuff matters. You’re not ruling anybody out. That’s for sure.”
What makes Crouch such a highly sought-after prospect? He stands 6 feet, 2 inches and weighs 225 pounds while also running a 4.6-second 40-yard dash. Few players, especially at his age, have a comparable combination of size and speed.
“Quavaris is a physical machine,” Greiner said. “He’s not thinking about finesse. One of the coaches asked him one day, ‘I want to work on your lateral movement.’ He said, ‘I work on stuff every day, but the fastest way to the end zone is straight.’ He’s like a train.”