The recruiting process still is in its early stages for Ethan Tucky, but the Delaware (Ohio) Rutherford Hayes linebacker has some early favorites.
The junior put out his initial top 10 on Monday night and among the schools was Michigan State, a school Tucky camped at in early June.
“It was a really fun camp actually,” he said. “It was one of the first camps if not the first camp the players were involved because I know the NCAA just changed the rules.
”I got a lot more out of the camp because of that. … They knew what they were talking about and it stood out to me how well the players knew what they were doing and how easily they did it. That showed on the field last year in how they shut down every offense they played.”
When it comes to the Spartans, the play of the defense is a big selling point for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker. He saw the play firsthand last season, as the Spartans put on a dominating performance against Michigan when he took a visit.
”That was another game where the defense just completely dominated Michigan for like negative 63 yards rushing,” he said. “It was a crazy statistic. That is just another standout thing about Michigan State.”
The environment surrounding the big in-state rivalry for the Spartans and Wolverines also stuck with Tucky.
“I just remember the fans and how crazy they were about the school and I loved seeing that drive and passion from everyone there,” he said. “It stood out to me. You go on campus on gameday and you feel everything and it was flowing through the whole campus and I just loved it.”
Tucky has been in touch with linebackers coach Mike Tressel, whom he said helps give the Michigan State program a good family feel – another thing that stands out. The two have also been in touch since Tucky came to camp.
“They want to see me in the fall more,” he said. “I was talking to him a few days ago and he just wanted to reassure me that he was really happy that I was able to transition from a defensive end to linebacker. Last year’s film is all defensive end, so a big part of the camps I went to was to show these coaches I can actually play outside linebacker. I really believe I showed Coach Tressel I can be a good standup outside linebacker.
”From talking to him, he said they were going to offer after the camp, but depending on my game film in the fall, it is going to happen. I’m really hoping in the fall, I will have a good season and they will offer.”
Before the season gets underway, though, he hopes to be back in East Lansing to take another visit.
“I am hoping to come up in July for a campus visit,” he said. “I still have to work out some details, but I hope to get back up there and see more of the campus beyond just the football facilities and stuff.
”In the fall, I am definitely coming up for about three games because the drive is not too bad. I will be up for two or three games up there in the fall.”
As for what he is looking for in a program, he pointed to three things.
”The fit for me, the academics then the family feel of the coaching staff,” he said. “If a school has those three things to me, it definitely stands out.”