While Doran Grant didnâ€™t specify exactly which schools he was going to mark off his list, he did make it known that Michigan State is on his mind.
â€œBasically, they stand right where Ohio State stands, theyâ€™re even -- both two are at the top,â€ Grant said in a recent, exclusive Spartan Nation Radio interview. â€œThose are clearly my top two schools.â€
Spartans defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, has heavily recruited Grant, and has the Spartans in position to land Ohioâ€™s No. 1 ranked prospectÂ for the 2011 season.
Ohio routinely produces some of the nationâ€™s top college football players. Â Akron St. Vincent â€“St. Mary (yes, that Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary where LeBron James went) starÂ Doran Grant is considered the state'sÂ best prep senior.
Choosing where heâ€™ll play for the next (up to) four years is undoubtedly a daunting task for Grant.
Itâ€™s not just the Buckeyes who are requesting his defensive skills; Illinois, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan are in the Big Ten-mix of the 2011 Grant sweepstakes, too.
And thereâ€™s UCLA, Notre Dame, Pitt, California and Stanford (among others), with more to surely offer the young, 5-foot-10, 171-pound corner in the coming weeks.
With all the letters cascading into his mailbox, is the process still fun? Is Grant still soaking in what is likely one of the most important moments of his life and athletic career?
â€œIâ€™m still enjoying it,â€ he said. â€œAround this time, Iâ€™m going to cut schools down, and eliminate schools and keep evaluating so I can make my decision.â€
Which will be when? Perhaps after an upcoming, prominent high school showcase?
â€œI want to make it after the Under Armor All-American Game. Â Iâ€™m waiting for a few in-home visits from a few coaches to see where I want to be.â€
Michigan State is the only school heâ€™s visited thus far â€“ a Dec. 3 trip that by his own admission, was fun and productive.
Grant didnâ€™t touch down in Lansing until early that morning, and despite his near-dawn arrival, he was impressed by the way he was treated by Coach Mark Dantonio and his staff.
â€œWhen I first got there, I didnâ€™t get there until 4 a.m.,â€ said Grant. â€œI had a basketball game the night before. As soon as I got there; the coaches had food and stuff for me. I got checked in, and everything started off so good. They had breakfast for me.â€
After his morning meal, Grant toured schools on campus, and met up with freshman star running back Leâ€™Veon Bell, who was his host in East Lansing.
The Spartans are re-establishing their reputation on the football field, and after a 20-year conference-title drought, the Big Ten co-champions (Wisconsin, Ohio State) are headed to the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1 to battle former MSU coach Nick Sabanâ€™s Alabama Crimson Tide, along with the one that got away: Mark Ingram.
So of course, a bowl appearance and strengthening football program would impress a recruit, right?
Well, for Grant, who is also an accomplished basketball player, a trip to the Breslin Center had an impact, too.
Grant was shown why the Izzone has gained such a reputation for having one of college basketballâ€���s fiercest student sections, and the Ohio native witnessed not only the crazed, face-painted Breslinites, but also the normal fans.
Apparently word gets around, because they even knew who Grant was as he made his ascent to his seat during the Spartans 74-39 win over Bowling Green last Saturday.
â€œThat was a good atmosphere,â€ he said. â€œI (saw) the love. Spartan fans were calling my name, and I was just sitting there, and they were waving at meâ€¦ Â It was a fun experience for me, and I enjoyed it.â€
Already shaping up to be a stout incoming group of talent, Grant would complement such athletes as Detroit Renaissanceâ€™s Lawrence Thomas, who is among the countryâ€™s most heralded linebackers.
Playing time and the chance to make an immediate contribution will likely factor in Grantâ€™s decision come National Signing Day in early February. He said heâ€™s going to make an informed choice, and heâ€™s even looked at schoolâ€™s depth charts to see whatâ€™s open.
If you remember, Chris L. Rucker started as a freshman and had a great four years at Michigan State.
From the sound of it, Grant is beyond just considering Michigan State, where heâ€™ll likely get a chance to suit up as a freshman with the departure of a handful of seniors from the secondary.
And who knows, maybe heâ€™ll see the offensive side of the ball. Heâ€™s willing to and the Spartan coaches have talked with him about it.
â€œIf a coach asks me to do it, Iâ€™ll do it,â€ said Grant, who currently carries a 3.0 gpa.
One of the questions Grant was asked pertained to character,Â and the abundance he possesses.
Heâ€™s known to reach out to students who might not have the advantage of being a well-known athlete. In far too many cases, students fall in with the wrong crowds and engage in lackluster behavior.
That's not Grant, who said you'd be surprised at some of the kids he calls friends. From the bookworm types, maybe less popular, it doesn't matter. Grant looks for one very important attribute, which is found in "good people," whom he likes to surround himself with.
And thatâ€™s exactly what he said was at Michigan State: â€œGood people.â€
From the tone of his interview, it sounded like heâ€™s serious about playing college ball for Dantonio. With an announcement expected in the coming weeks, Spartans fans will likely wait with baited breath to see if the Ohio youngster signs with their team.
â€œState is a great place, a great atmosphere, a great campus,â€ said Grant. Â â€œIâ€™m comfortable up thereâ€¦ I enjoyed everything. I enjoyed the coachâ€™s company. I enjoyed hanging with the recruits; that was probably one of the biggest things for me.â€
To view Michigan Stateâ€™s 2011 commitment list PLEASE CLICK RIGHT HERE!