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Michael Furtney made the most drastic of changes in fandom as a young boy.
He started off as a Michigan State fan, but things changed when his ex-Marine father decided to go back to school at Michigan. From them on, he rooted for the Wolverines.
It looks like the Spartans have regained his favor, coach Mark Dantonio and his staff bringing the 2018 Milan (Mich.) offensive lineman in for three different visits this winter.
The latest came on Feb. 26, when the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Furtney checked in on East Lansing for a Michigan State spring practice. As it went on, Dantonio called him out to the middle of the field and extended an offer.
— Michael Furtney (@FurtneyMichael) February 26, 2017
“(Offensive line coach Mark) Staten had kind of prepared me for it, saying how much they liked me and how Coach D. likes my film a lot and how he likes my film a lot,” Furtney said. “So he kind of prepared me for it a little bit. But it still was an awesome feeling for sure.”
Michigan State joined Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Purdue, Syracuse, UConn, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wisconsin among the long list of schools that have offered the 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite. Michigan, he said, has not shown interest.
Furtney plays offensive tackle for his high school team, and just about every school sees him there in college. But Staten, who used Kodi Kieler both at tackle and center, has a unique view of Furtney’s future.
“Believe it or not, I’m an offensive tackle, but he said that I fit the build for his dream center,” Furtney said. “That’s part of why he likes me, and he likes my aggressiveness and play style.”
Furtney complimented the Michigan State campus, the Spartans facilities and his relationship with Staten when asked for his impression of the school. The recruitment is young but building quickly.
He plans to have a decision made before the start of his senior season so he can “commit to my team fully and be the leader that they need and deserve.” He’s starting to get a sense of what he wants in a school
“I really want my family and friends being able to come watch me,” he said. “I’m liking the Big Ten a lot. If I find the right school and it’s in a different (conference), then so be it. That’s where I’ll end up going.”
Furtney doesn’t have any upcoming visits planned, but when he does, they will be key to his decision. He wants to ensure that he has a strong bond with the coaches for whom he’ll play for at least four years.
“I’m a person that wants to have a great relationship with my coach,” he said. “I honestly have gotten that from my head coach right now of my high school football team. I have a great relationship with all my coaches on my team.
“And that’s kind of shown me that that’s the type of coaching I want in college also: just a coaching staff that has great relationships with their players and really cares about them and doesn’t really treat it like a business or factory.”
Michigan State in cut list for fellow OT
The Spartans also appear to be in good shape with a Philadelphia offensive tackle. Imhotep Institute junior Justin Johnson released his top 8 schools on Wednesday, and it included Michigan State.
— Justin Johnson (@BigFresh_Tep) March 9, 2017
Johnson received an offer from Michigan State in February, calling it “shocking and surprising.” The 3-star tackle has amassed more than 15 offers.
He did not play football until entering high school, opting to focus on academics. Because of how he prioritizes schoolwork, the inclusion of Boston College, Vanderbilt and Virginia in his top 8 has to be concerning for other schools that hope to land him.
Maryland, Pittsburgh, Temple and Wisconsin rounded out his list.
MSU basketball commits move on in playoffs
Two of Michigan’s best boys’ basketball teams — Clarkston and Grand Rapids Christian — are headed to their respective district finals. And a pair of Michigan State commits have led them there.
Clarkston junior point guard Foster Loyer, who committed to the Spartans in November, led the Wolves to a 73-33 thrashing of Lake Orion on Wednesday. Per the school, he posted 22 points, 8 assists and 5 steals in the contest.
Grand Rapids Christian and senior big man Xavier Tillman, who signed with the Spartans in November, beat Thornapple-Kellogg 68-32 on Wednesday. The school did not post any stats for Tillman.
Loyer, Tillman and a third in-state commit, Macomb Dakota’s Thomas Kithier, will all play on Friday for district championships.