Arizona is not a common recruiting ground for Michigan State, but the state produced the Spartans' quarterback in the 2015 class.
Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle's Brian Lewerke committed to Michigan State on Saturday, becoming the first high school player in more than a decade to head to East Lansing.
"I'm fine to be the lonely outcast from Arizona on the team," he said with a laugh. "It will be fun to be the first one."
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound rising senior picked the Spartans over offers from Florida, Louisville and UCLA among others. He said the timing felt right to make his decision now instead of waiting it out longer.
"I've been praying about it and talking about it with my parents and I just felt like it's the right time to make that decision to play for Michigan State," he said.
"Coach Dantonio said he excited," he said. "He said when they sat down to do their recruiting meeting, that they had three guys that they really liked and I was the top guy out of those three guys.
"He was just excited to be able to get the top guy that they wanted."
Lewerke made the trip to Michigan to visit both in-state schools, Michigan State and Michigan, in early April. He found a good connection with the coaches as he felt welcomed.
"It felt like I could connect with them really well and I can see myself playing there," he said. "It just seemed like the right place for me."
He left that visit impressed with how he could fit into the offense and that became a deciding factor that secured his commitment.
"I really liked how their offense could translate well to the NFL," he said. "They run a pro-style offense, which is mainly what they run in the NFL. I just like how they like to attack vertically, at least when I was up there, they were running posts, digs and deep routes like that."
Lewerke described himself as mainly a pocket passer, but with the ability to get out of the pocket and make plays with his feet when necessary.
"I think I will be able to use my smarts and read the defense and be able to choose the right play and read audible and also to run the ball if necessary," he said.
He also found an attractive fit for potential playing time, as the Spartans did not take a scholarship quarterback in the 2014.
"That was something that was appealing," he said. "You're going to have to compete for a job no matter what, even if they had a 2014, but that definitely helps that they didn't have one."
But as comfortable as he felt with the way he could translate on the field, he also likes how he fits with the program culture in East Lansing as faith was part of his decision.
"I'm going to be spending the next four or five years of my life there," he said. "It's definitely helpful to have coaches with a religious background to help me in my faith and to keep me not straying away from the Lord."
Now, with his recruitment over, he can focus on his upcoming senior season and have the peace of mind that his decision is made.
"That's definitely nice that I will be able to focus on things with my high school team," he said. "All the recruiting is over now with other schools, which is going to be nice."
But once he gets to East Lansing, he will be focused on getting MSU to Pasadena to play close to home.
"It's only a five-hour drive or an hour flight, so we will have to make it back there," he said.