Junior WR DeAnthony Arnett to be in the High Cathedral of Spartan Stadium for MSU vs UM
DeAnthony Arnett, perhaps the top junior wide receiver prospect in the state of Michigan will be in East Lansing tomorrow, along with just about every other in-state 2010, 2011 and probably even a few 2012 recruits. So the battle for bragging rights in the Mitten State rivalry goes much deeper than fans razzing each other for 12 months after the game. Billboards that point scoreboard are nice, but much more is at stake.
"It'll be a big game," Arnett told Spartan Nation, adding that this will be the first backyard brawl between MSU and UM he has attended. "Every in-state recruit will be at the game, so it doesnâ€™t get any bigger than this game right here."
Arnett insists he does not have a rooting interest â€” he grew up watching both teams, he says: "I always liked both of them, and I've liked a variety of other teams, too." Along with both Michigan State and UM recruiting him hard, a number of other schools are after Arnett including Tennessee, Oregon, Notre Dame, Cincinnati and Oklahoma, which "is coming after me pretty hard," Arnett says of the Sooners.
For now, though, Arnett has the majority of his concentration trained on the goal of a state championship. While Saginaw stumbled a bit in the early season, it has reeled off two-straight victories, and Arnett has laser vision for the rest of the campaign.
"I told my teammates I'm not going to let anything get in the way of us getting to the playoffs and accomplishing something this year," he said. "So I pretty much just put that (recruiting) stuff to the side to make it to the playoffs."
Reams of mail show up at the Saginaw product's house, and with all of the intense attention, one might wonder how a high school junior copes. Arnett just goes with the flow, he says comfortable in the spotlight, perhaps a function of his work on the gridiron as a wide receiver that makes regular headlines. And with all of the intense attention coming at him from so many different angles, Arnett can be excused for providing diplomatic answers.
"I think it's going to be a real interesting game," he said of this weekend's matchup in Spartan Stadium. "I donâ€™t know who's going to win, I donâ€™t know what's going to happen, I just know I'm going to be there. I hope it's a real exciting game."
Secondary coach Harlon Barnett is Arnett's primary recruiting coordinator, and Arnett says he appreciates the laid back style his recruitment has taken with the Spartan program. Head coach Mark Dantonio, who stressed academics, has also impressed Arnett.
"That's like the first thing they talked about," Arnett said. "They asked how my grades are."
Although a decision is nowhere near immanent for Arnett, the Spartans just might have an ace in the hole. Fellow Saginaw product Draymond Green, Spartan basketball's freshmen phenom also nicknamed Day Day, is friends with Arnett and the two stay in regular contact, even playing a little ball in an open gym when they get an opportunity.
"I can hang with him, he's just a little bit bigger," Arnett said of Green. "Where he grew up, where we grew up at, we donâ€™t stay too far, just a couple of blocks away from each other. D's my boy, that's my boy."