Helmet Smasher Likes MSU

Alex Andrus, a physical linebacker prospect from Coopersville, has the Spartans on his short list of teams he'd like to end up at. On the program and campus as a whole, Andrus is very impressed. "MSU is by far one of the nicest schools I've been to," he says. "I can see why they've got all these commitments so far."

Alex Andrus is a hitter. The linebacker out of Coopersville High School says he loves the physicality of the position he embodies on the gridiron.

"You read where that running back goes and you go meet him," he says. "I just love the competition and I love to hit, too. If you see anything in my films — there are a couple of plays in there where I just demolished my helmet. I went through three helmets this year."

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound prospect visited MSU on a recent junior day and got a chance to meet with Spartan defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi and quarterback coach Dave Warner. "Me and my mom (spent time) with coach Narduzzi and coach Warner, who was my previous recruiting coach," he said.

On the fiery Narduzzi, Andrus says: "He seems like a hard-nosed defensive coordinator. I like what I've seen out of him with his linebackers and the schemes he runs from watching him in the season.

"They play a lot of games with their linebackers and send them everywhere on a lot of stunts. That coaching staff seems like they can develop all of their players, and they're really nice men.

"That's what I've liked about coach Narduzzi and coach Warner and coach Dantonio — every time I've talked to them it has been about important things, not a bunch of BS. On other visits, it's been about glamour, but State doesn't give you that."

On his recent trip to East Lansing, Andrus also got a chance to talk to Dantonio about possible scholarships.

"My view of it is, they need linebackers, but I think they're going to wait until camp season starts to really pick and choose which ones they need.

"Me and coach Dantonio talked about that and he said I was one of the better linebackers in our class. I think he's just waiting to see what comes out of the camp and see what he thinks and pick out and hopefully make an offer."

On the Spartan program and campus as a whole, Andrus is very impressed. "MSU is by far one of the nicest schools I've been to," he says. "I can see why they've got all these commitments so far."

Many other teams have also shown an interest in Andrus, and he has narrowed his focus to a few. "I've got it down to five that I've visited and liked," he says. "It's not in order or anything, but Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, and I have family out in San Diego …and a lot of them are alumni of the Aztecs, San Diego State. They want me to visit."

He adds that the in-state schools and Purdue probably have the edge presently, and if he gets the chance, he'd like to commit before his senior season begins. "This recruiting process is a stressful thing to go through," he says. "I just want to get it done with and over with."

Andrus will return to MSU in short order. "I'll be back down there for the spring game and April 19, and they're coming up to my school in late April, I think. I'm real excited about that."

He should also be back for a summer camp where he will have an opportunity to showcase his abilities. He says he is working on his quickness to "show the coaches that I can move as well with my size and strength, because I think I'm a complete package as a linebacker."

Some programs actually see Andrus as a potential D-lineman. "I just went down at Purdue and they said, 'If you come down here, you're probably going to move to defensive end' from what they've seen on film and what they've seen of me at different events."

And that doesn't bother him one bit. "I'm willing to play wherever. Free college is free college, that's the way me and my parents look at it.

"I'm going to play defense," he says, "and that's what I love to do."

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