The MSU Football Staff has Upped the Ante for a Talented Ohio Lineman.


The MSU football staff has upped the ante for a talented Ohio lineman.Â


Christian Pace, an offensive guard prospect from Avon Lake, is an impressive student-athlete who now holds a Michigan State scholarship offer, along with a handful of other offers from the likes of Indiana, NC State, Louisville, Colorado and Pitt.


Pace, who visited MSU last fall and got to see Spartan Stadium up close and personal, is teammates with another BSC-level and fellow MSU recruit, Dan Schneider, a tight end.


With OSU landing nearly any young man it wants in within the boundaries of the Buckeye State, the competition for top-shelf lineman in Ohio is always intense. But MSU has been in on Pace early, and even though Notre Dame has shown some early interest as well, the Spartans are the biggest-name Midwest school on his scholarship list so far.


Although he plays tackle and guard on the line in high school, Pace, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 270 pounds, projects to an interior position at the next level.


On film, Pace’s snap off the ball is what first grabs your attention. The young man jumps off the line of scrimmage like it is red-hot and keeps his feet driving until he finds his man. In many of his clips, Pace releases cleanly from his initial block to find a linebacker at the next level; keeping defenders an arm’s length away takes great upper body strength and is vital when shedding one defender for another.


The same skill also makes Pace an outstanding pass blocker. There’s nothing a defender likes more than to engage an offensive lineman who lets his man sneak in close to his pads and gain a leverage advantage. But with Christian, those moments are few and far between.


Like all standout lineman, Pace racks up the pancakes, but his style seems less likely to overpower defenders, as opposed to simply out-willing them with a feisty determination to stay on his block. He’s the kind of player who takes every play to the whistle.


Football is won and lost in the trenches. With Pace and Schneider on the radar, MSU is in on the ground floor of a couple of talented 2010 Midwest recruits, the kind of football players great programs are built around. Pace appears to be a more likely target at this early stage in the recruiting game, and it’s upon the shoulders of hogs that MSU will build a lasting football legacy under head coach Mark Dantonio. Â

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