McCullough in Rare Company

For a long snapper to earn a scholarship offer is a special feat. When the offer comes following your sophomore year of high school, college coaches must think you're special. For Liam McCullough, his Michigan State offer was a surprise and his visit last weekend the first step in learning more about the Spartans.

Don't blame Columbus (Ohio) Worthington Kilbourne long snapper Liam McCullough if he's pinching himself each day he wakes up.

The journey of a football specialist is never one that receives the publicity of a star quarterback of linebacker.

However, McCullough, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound long snapper already holds two scholarship offers from Big Ten programs Wisconsin and Michigan State and a preferred walk-on spot with hometown Ohio State.

Last weekend, McCullough visited the Spartans for their game against South Florida.

"It was a great trip," said McCullough. "It was a lot of fun as I got to talk with the coaches and hang out with them. I also talked with coach (Mark) Dantonio a little big and met some of the other recruits and commits."

While McCullough was able to learn plenty about the Spartans football program, it's off the field he'll be looking to see more of the next time he visits campus.

"There are three things I'm looking for in a school," he said. "I'm looking at a school's academic reputation, if they have a pre-med program and how good it is. I'm also looking at the reputation of their football team as that is also important for someone who is going to play football in college.

"The way I look at it, football is great and something I love to do. However, I'm still going to have to be at the university for three-quarters of the school year when I'm not in season for football. So it's got to be a school that I can see myself at and get my education there as well."

The way things sound, McCullough learned from the head Spartan where he stood if he were to make a pledge to MSU.

"I did get to sit in on their team meeting and coach Dantonio did introduce himself to me and my parents," said McCullough. "During warm-ups, right before the game, me and two other recruits Michigan State has offered got to go out onto the field and coach Dantonio talked with us individually.

"We talked for about five minutes and he asked how my visit was going and talked about the logistics if I would commit to Michigan State as their current snapper would be a senior when I came in."

While excited by the early attention, McCullough did not expect to be even thinking about recruiting at this stage of his football career.

"I'm surprised by all of this because most long snappers don't get offered if at all until after signing day their senior season," explained McCullough. "In fact, most don't get offered at all as some commit as preferred walk-ons.

"It's becoming more common that long snappers and specialist in general are getting offered, but it's very rare for someone to get offered coming out of their sophomore year of high school."

While some would advise McCullough to hurry and take the first offer, he's already working on the details on how he wants the recruiting process to work its way out.

"I'm not going to rush this," he said. "I'm going to try and do some visits this season for some football games and do some campus tours as well.

"Then I'm going to look into the schools academically as well as their football program. I'm going to take my time with this because I really want to make the right decision on where I'm going to school and where I'm going to play football because I'm going to be there at least four years."

While the Spartans have jumped on board early, there is plenty of time for McCullough to field more offers as his stock rises in the coming months. Spartan Digest will be keeping an eye on the developments in what is sure to be a major recruiting battle.

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