EXCLUSIVE: Top MSU Football 2025 OL Target Darius Afalava Discusses Recent Official Visit

Michigan State 2025 target Darius Afalava previously told Spartan Nation that visiting East Lansing could have big implications on a decision. Afalava recapped his May 31 visit in this Spartan Nation exclusive.
Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; General view of Michigan State Spartans helmet on field prior to a game against Western Michigan at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; General view of Michigan State Spartans helmet on field prior to a game against Western Michigan at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports / Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Three-star 2025 offensive lineman Darius Afalava previously told Spartan Nation about his close relationships with the staff -- especially with offensive line coach Jim Michalczik.

Afalava said his May 31 official visit would be huge -- he needed to see East Lansing, among other things.

Spartan Nation spoke with Afalava on Sunday after he returned home to Lehi, Utah. Afalava said he and his family flew into East Lansing on Thursday and stayed until Sunday.

"From the start on Friday, it really hit that they really wanted me," Afalava told Spartan Nation. "Because I feel like usually like coaches wouldn't be around the players [the whole time], they'd be moving around a lot. But Coach [Michalczik] was with me the whole day, on whatever we were doing. It was cool. And we were going over some of the academic things, and they were that Coach Smith is the guy to go to, to talk about your grades and everything. Usually, there is like, a middle man, between the two. It really shows how important academics are for Coach Smith and [Michigan State] and that's really a big portion and a big thing for me and my family when looking into a school."

Michalczik was the first coach to offer the Skyridge High School prospect to play at the college level -- back when Michalczik and Smith were at Oregon State. Afalava has made it clear in his discussions with Spartan Nation that the connection never wavered, even when the staff moved from Corvallis to East Lansing.

"They are probably the strongest relationship I have with any college coaches," Afalava said. "So really coming in, the factor was going to be 'Do I like the campus?' and 'Do I like the players around?' And man, [Michigan State] is a lot more than I expected. Because East Lansing really just is Corvallis on steroids, I feel like ... it was really enjoyable."

Afalava, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound interior offensive lineman, is the No. 25 player at his position in the 2025 recruiting class, per 247Sports Composite.

In a previous interview with Spartan Nation, Afalava said that he would use his visit to "get to know the place" and that the only thing "left to know" was the area of East Lansing and what the Spartans could offer.

Michael France is Sports Illustrated's Michigan State recruiting beat writer, covering all things Big Ten recruiting for Spartan Nation. Be sure to follow him on Twitter/X@michaelfrancesi for exclusive Spartans recruiting coverage.

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Michael France

MICHAEL FRANCE