Jalen Nailor‘s official visit to Michigan State didn’t end in a commitment, but it seemimgly tipped the scale about as far as it could go.
That’s what happens when there’s nothing on the other side. Nailor, a 3-star Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) wide receiver, has not scheduled any other visits in the few weeks remaining before National Signing Day on Feb. 7. He said he might not even take another.
“[I’m] all in on MSU,” he said Sunday. “It fits me in every way.”
Now it’s just a matter of making it official — as official as verbal commitments can be, that is. Nailor had been offered by Michigan State in May, but the Spartans did not get him on campus before he committed to Arizona State. But once the Sun Devils fired coach Todd Graham on Nov. 26 and Nailor reopened his recruitment, the race was back on.
Nailor, a California native, traveled with Michigan State offensive lineman signee Jacob Isaia, his teammate, to see the Spartans’ Holiday Bowl win over Washington State on Dec. 28. Not long after that trip to San Diego, Nailor made plans to take his official visit over the first weekend of the contact period. It didn’t disappoint.
“I literally loved everything about it,” Nailor said. “I was blown away.
“It was a true family feeling being around the players, coaches and all of the academic people we met with. Everyone was just so down to earth.”
Prior to the visit, Nailor had spent significant time with Isaia, wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel and defensive end signee Parks Gissinger, who also attended the Holiday Bowl. The trip, however, allowed him to get to know countless other people within the program.
Wide receiver Cody White hosted Nailor. Not a bad idea, considering White is arguably the foremost example of the youth movement at Michigan State after recording a true freshman program record 490 receiving yards in 2017.
“[He told me] that it’s a very proud and hard-working program,” Nailor said of White. “Everything is earned.”
White proved that as well. Though he didn’t get extensive playing time early in the season, a 99-yard performance against Indiana on Oct. 21 earned him a starting spot that he wouldn’t relinquish.
All three Michigan State starters who finished the 2017 season at wide receiver are expected to return, but transfer announcements from Hunter Rison and Trishton Jackson have opened up opportunities in the slot and out wide. Nailor said coach Mark Dantonio and the staff told him that he could play both roles.
“It was my first time meeting him,” Nailor said of Dantonio. “I think he’s a genuine, cool, funny person. He’s the kind of coach I can see myself playing for.”
And Nailor has been a player the Spartans could see wearing their jersey since they offered him. At 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, he is ranked 135th nationally among wide receivers and eighth among seniors in Nevada, one spot behind Isaia, on the 247Sports composite.
While on campus, Nailor toured the football facilities, saw the dorms and attended multiple academic meetings. Business and sports management majors have stuck out; he has hopes of becoming an agent and/or owning his own business.
Nailor and a large group of recruits on campus took in the men’s basketball game against Michigan on Saturday, where they sat in the lower bowl near the Izzone student section. Though the Spartans fell against their in-state rivals, the capacity crowd left a strong impression.
“Man, the atmosphere was lit,” Nailor said. “The fans really are incredible. I spoke to fans after the game at the hotel that were saying how they would love to see me there next year and also were talking to me about the basketball game. It was really cool.”
Nailor recounted all the standout moments of the trip, then paused for a moment.
“Oh yeah,” he said, “and [we had] great food!”