East Lansing, MI— When the new Michigan State coaching staff hit the recruiting trail after arriving in East Lansing, Fort Worth (TX) All Saints Episcopal 2021 quarterback Hampton Fay almost immediately became a top priority for the Spartans. It paid off as earlier this evening; Fay announced his commitment to Michigan State.
Spartan Nation spoke with the 6-foot-5 signal-caller about his commitment to the Spartans, and Fay said that after having plenty of time to think things over and do his research, he found himself regularly believing that Michigan State was the right place for him.
"Going into the whole recruiting process, I had my mind thinking I was going to make my decision later as the year goes on," he said. "But ultimately that changed around a little bit due to the coronavirus and sitting at home, and it gave me a lot of time to do a lot of the recruiting stuff at home and a lot of studying. We spent a lot of time as a family with a lot of really good family members that have gone through the college recruiting process and I actually talked to a couple of collegiate players that gave me advice about going through the process and everything like that. I was able to continue talking with my family and my friends and getting as much information as I can. Over the period of time, I asked myself the question every day, "If I had to commit to the school today, what would it be?" and my answer never changed throughout the month. So I said why not make the decision now, so I made the decision, and I'm extremely fired up and extremely confident (in the decision)."
Before committing to Michigan State, Fay received offers from Boston College, Boise State, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers along with a handful of others.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated All-American editor John Garcia, All Saints Episcopal head coach Aaron Beck said that Fay's list of offers came from his performance in the first three games of his junior season as he missed the rest of the season due to injury.
"All of the offers that have come his way to date came off of three games. He tore his labrum in our third game of the year. We beat Parish Episcopal, were their only loss of the year, and Hampton got hurt on the last drive of the game. It was the right decision to go ahead and fix it 'right now' to be ready for the spring. If we would have rehabbed it during the season, it could have got into a timeline that might have jeopardized his senior year."
"But based on three-game films alone, because once this guy walks in a room, you just go, 'oh my God this guy looks like he could be playing on Sundays right now, physically.'"
After being limited to just those three games during the 2019 season, Fay said that seeing the Michigan State coaching staff make him a priority was something that he seriously considered and added that the family environment was something that also played a role in his decision.
"I only had three games last season, and for them to come into the recruiting process after the spring and to reach out to me and see the potential that I had and the ability that I have, it struck me in a way that they have some belief in me," he said. "For them as coaches, they had me high on their list, and to know that, I took a lot of consideration of the ability that they see in me and the belief they have in me. It just gives me motivation to go into the process wanting to be the best and do all of the work. I respect all of the coaches there - everybody always says it's like a family. Still, it is (at Michigan State), I got that vibe from them, and it's going to be exciting moving forward and joining that family."
While COVID-19 has changed the landscape of college football recruiting for the time being as in-person recruiting is currently prohibited, Fay was able to get on campus just before the shutdown and had the opportunity to meet with the coaching staff and see the school and facilities.
As for what Michigan State is getting in Fay when he arrives on campus next fall, Fay told Spartan Nation that his love for the game of football and his desire to win (Fay has never lost a football game that he's played in) are what fans can expect.
"I think for me, there's a lot for me to improve on, and there always will be," he said. "I think deep down inside of me; there's something unique about how passionately I feel about the game and my competitiveness that's unlike any other. All I care about is winning and to be honest with you, I haven't lost a football career in my whole career, including middle school and peewee football - and that includes the games that I've started. I think that goes a long way to show that all I care about is winning, and that's what I want to bring to Michigan State."
In his conversation with Sports Illustrated All-American, Beck praised his junior quarterback's worth ethic. Back added that if not for the injury that limited Fay to just three games last fall, he feels he would be regarded as a much bigger national recruit.
"His worth ethic, again with his dad having played in college, makes him a great student of the game—excellent commander on the field. When your QB is looking eye-to-eye with your O-line, it's a pretty good extension of a coach on the field. Stylistically it's the way Hampton handles kids."
"I really think, if Hampton hadn't got hurt, he'd be sitting in the same camp as (national recruits) Tommy and James (Brockermeyer). The measurables, the demeanor, the athleticism, and all of those things."
Michigan State's 2021 recruiting class now has seven members following Fay's commitment, and it's one that's stirred up plenty of excitement from the Michigan State fan base recently as the Spartans have brought in several top in-state and out-of-state targets in recent weeks.
Now that he's officially committed to the Spartans, Fay said that he's excited to be apart of Michigan State's 2021 class and is looking forward to getting to know his future teammates and playing alongside them on Saturdays in the future.
"It's extremely exciting to see the future teammates that I'm going to have and be with and ultimately and possibly be my lifelong friends," he said. "We're going to go in on Saturday nights and go light it up together and also go work and sacrifice together. I look forward to meeting those guys and being apart of the family with them."
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