“All that hard work I put in when no one was watching is starting to show when everyone is watching,” Michigan State 2023 target, Tj Shanahan Jr. said.
Like other Michigan State recruits, the offensive lineman’s journey started on the court.
“I started playing basketball when I was four so, that’s where most of my agility came from. It’s been a fun journey,” Shanahan said.
He knew it was only a matter of time until he made his appearance on the field. It’s in his blood.
“My dad played for University of Arizona, my brother played football, my oldest brother played four or five years at Utah, my uncle, he played at Utah too. My cousin played at Florida and was the starting center for the Giants for two years and now he’s trying to find a new home. It was something I was always looking forward to. I wanted to play when I was a little younger, but at this point in time it couldn’t have worked out any better,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan’s family helps manage his recruitment. After all, having 40 offers is a lot to sort through.
“I definitely want to get out to majority of schools. I’m going to take a chance on every school because every school took a chance on offering me,” Shanahan said.
His family is a large part of his recruitment, which means that colleges can’t just recruit Shanahan.
“I told coaches that if you win them over, you win me over,” Shanahan said. “Family is everything to me; ‘family above everything’ is my motto.”
He wants to make it to the next level, and the next, to give back the support his family has given him.
“They’re going to be the first people I spend money on, even before myself,” Shanahan said.
He means it. And I can see why. To say Shanahan’s family is his largest support group would be an understatement. Through the good days and the bad days, they lift him up.
Shanahan passes the compassion on to those he sees having a rough day too.
“I know what it’s like to have a bad day. If someone’s having a bad day, I’m the type of person if someone’s in the lunchroom and they look kinda down, I’ll go sit next to them and see what’s going on and if I can make their day a little better,” Shanahan said.
He’s a big guy, being 6-4 and 300-pounds. But he has an even bigger heart.
“A lot of people are going through a lot of things that people don’t know about. If you can touch someone’s heart a little bit, that means the world to someone,” Shanahan said.
Time left before he commits, Shanahan is looking for a school that looks at a player beyond the field.
“A lot of these schools just recruit you as a football player, and a lot of other schools want to recruit you as a person, not just a football player, and that means a lot to me,” Shanahan said.
Want the latest breaking MSU news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Spartan Nation newsletter when you CLICK THE MAGAZINE ICON at the top left of the page or the FOLLOW button back on the main page. Don't miss any of the latest up to the second updates on Michigan State Sports when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter @McLainGrant1 @GattoniTaylor
Get Exclusive Access to Spartan Nation Content
Already a FanNation Member? Log In