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What’s it going to take to flip Tyree Johnson?
“Great strength and conditioning coach,” the Texas A&M commit said Friday, “like awesome. Just something. They’ve got to wow me.”
Johnson, rated a 3-star defensive end by 247Sports, said Tuesday that he’s “99.9 percent” committed to the Aggies. The Washington (DC) St. John’s College High star later spoke about his official visit plans at the buildup to the Under Armour All-America Game in Florida.
He plans to visit Michigan State from Jan. 13-15, then Texas A&M the following weekend and Auburn the weekend after. Snatching him away from A&M will be a tall task for the other two.
— Coach Ty. (@BeaconHouseHoop) December 30, 2016
“It’d be kind of hard,” Johnson said. “Just hanging with the A&M commits here, just building a strong relationship with them guys makes me want to go even more.”
It would be especially difficult for Michigan State. Johnson loves the SEC, former teammate Aaron Hansford just finished his freshman season at Texas A&M, and a current teammate Calvin Ashley is committed to Auburn.
At Michigan State, on the other hand, Johnson doesn’t have a relationship with the players yet. He hopes to build a connection with not just the players, but also the program and school as a whole on his first visit.
“I want to see how good their strength and conditioning coach is and how well the players and coaches get along with each other,” he said. “The environment, I want to see how the people are down there.”
So far, his strongest Michigan State relationship has been with defensive line coach Ron Burton. They text regularly, with Burton getting in touch Thursday to say he liked the videos he saw of Johnson down in Orlando.
— Brian Perroni (@Perroni247) December 28, 2016
“He’s a very cool guy,” Johnson said of Burton. “We’ve seemed to connect on a few visits (when Burton has visited Johnson at St. John’s). My mom likes him, too. And Michigan State seems like a very good place with good people, so I want to check it out.”
Johnson likes the network that Texas A&M provides and the relationships he has built with the players. Michigan State will have to depend on a pitch that the others likely can’t offer — at least not to the same extent.
“(Burton) has a lot of D-ends leaving, so he needs new pass rushers to come in,” Johnson said. “He wanted me to come in and contribute right away.”
Arizona commit schedules MSU visit
Austin Faoliu will “definitely” be considering Michigan State in the lead-up to National Signing Day.
Though the 3-star defensive tackle from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei committed to Arizona in late September, he has casually followed the Spartans for some time. He just started hearing from the staff two weeks ago, and on Wednesday, an offer came.
— Austin Faoliu (@Faoliu_10) December 29, 2016
Faoliu has not yet scheduled an official visit, but he told Land of 10, “I am for sure going to.”
The recruitment of both Faoliu and Johnson highlights Michigan State’s intentions of bolstering its defensive line — both on the interior and out on the edge. The Spartans will have a great chance with Faoliu.
“I like coach Burton,” he said, “and the fact that they are in need of a 3-technique.”