Mark Dantonio has found a gem in Indiana. His name is Josiah â€œJoeyâ€ Price. Described as a â€œphysical freakâ€ by many, Price stands out from the pack with his combination of athleticism, size, speed, and hands. Commitment number nine of the 2012 recruiting class, he is â€œready to be a Spartanâ€.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Hailing from Greentown, Indiana, Price is entering his senior year at little known Eastern High School. That didnâ€™t stop many schools from recognizing his great talent. Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Notre Dame all recruited the physical tight end / middle linebacker/ defensive end before Michigan State snagged him. As soon as he made a campus visit, he knew that he fit in at East Lansing: â€œI just fell in love with the place when I went up there,â€ said Price. The other key for him was the coaches. He discovered that the Michigan State coaching staff is not just a group of great football coaches: â€œIt was very rewarding to see that he [Mark Dantonio] was not only a great coach, but heâ€™s a great man, too. Thatâ€™s a selling point for me. The head coach and the other coaches are good people; theyâ€™re not just great coaches.â€ Since Priceâ€™s faith is very important to him, he was especially pleased when he found out that â€œthe football program is run by great men of faithâ€.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Spartan Nation can now rejoice that Price has officially committed. The most telling characteristic of the new Spartan is that he loves contact. Tight ends coach Mark Staten is going to love this guy. In an interview with Mr. Hondo Carpenter, Price said: â€œI love to be physical. I love to play defense and hit people. I also like to be physical on offense and pound some people.â€ He is the type of player who will lower his shoulder and drive a defender back:Â â€œI like contact. I try to make the best choice out of it, but I like hitting people. If I have an option to maybe get an extra yard, Iâ€™m obviously going to try to get the extra yard. But I try to run through people. If thereâ€™s nowhere to go, Iâ€™m just going to lower my shoulder and get as many yards as I can.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Price does not play tight end simply because he likes to hit people. Rather, Price has great hands and amazing athletic ability as well. Coaches of opposing teams in his high schoolâ€™s conference have called him a â€œbig athlete that can moveâ€ and have praised him as having â€œvery good speedâ€. Joey himself has claimed that he is: â€œpretty athletic: I can get up and catch balls up high.â€ The young manâ€™s highlight reel definitely demonstrates this, as he seems to have a nose for the ball. Price also has the ability to pull the ball down in traffic and get open. His career statistics at tight end are also encouraging: 91 catches for 1,396 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Though it appears as though Price will be playing tight end at Michigan State, do not discount his defensive ability. Watching Priceâ€™s highlights, there is much to be excited about on the defensive side of the ball. Splitting time between middle linebacker and defensive end, Price finds a way into the backfield. His stats on defense tell the tale: 227 tackles, 28.5 sacks, 46 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, 7 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns. No matter where he plays, Price is simply a playmaker. Right now, as he stands at 6â€™5 and 240 pounds, Price would need to gain some weight to play defensive end. Nevertheless, donâ€™t count Price out on the defensive side of the ball.Â Surely defensive line coach Ted Gill could find a place for Price if he continues to make plays at the next level.
Admittedly, Price is not the perfect recruit. He plays in a spread offense, so he does not have a lot of experience coming off the line of scrimmage and blocking. And even though Price is a good blocker, he will need to practice blocking the bigger bodies that he will face in Big Ten competition, as he has admitted. Nevertheless, Price comes pretty darn close to being the perfect recruit. The incoming high school senior has not only the physical tools to be successful on the field, but the credentials to be successful off of it. A young man of faith, Price prides himself in not just his athletic prowess, but his academic prowess. Realizing his dream to be a division one football player after freshman year, he put his nose to the grindstone and became a stellar student too. As his high school coach affirmed: â€œHeâ€™s a kid who works extremely hard both in-season and out-of-seasonâ€¦ This is a kid whoâ€™s going to prepare year-round.â€ That is precisely the kind of statement coaches love to hear.
Called a â€œcanâ€™t miss prospectâ€ and a â€œfoolproof recruitâ€, Price has the talent necessary to succeed at the college level. With a great mix of size, strength, and athletic ability, Price has great potential. Plus he has the intangibles that coaches love, such as knowledge and a great work ethic. â€œItâ€™s a huge honor to be accepted, to be a Spartan,â€ Price said. â€œIt is such a great feeling to join the Spartan family. I am super excited.â€