The Spartans are hoping for a similar path for Detroit King linebacker Tyriq Thompson. The university announced Thompson signed his Big Ten tender Monday night and plans to enroll in January 2015 at Michigan State.
”(Tyriq is) an outstanding player, comes from an outstanding program at King, very quick, very explosive, very intelligent plays tailback, as well, for his high school,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “With the opportunity for him to come here mid-year will give us an indication that all indications are he would be able to play as a true freshman.
”(It will) be exciting to watch him as we move forward.”
It was a decision made on Thompson’s end when he committed to Michigan State in August over offers from Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and others. He is the lone early enrollee to date in the 2015 class.
”We had talked about it and so it was something that he was comfortable with doing, so he sort of made it happen,” Dantonio said. “As far as the timing, we just decided that last week we would try and get him the papers last week and they were able to get there I think on Monday or something.”
Michigan State has not had many early enrollees in recent years, with just three since the 2012 class. Frey and tight end Matt Sokol arrived early in the 2014 class, while wide receiver Kyle Kerrick came in January 2012.
On Tuesday, Dantonio said enrolling early is an advantage for a player, but just for some.
”If you're mature enough to handle it, if your grades are in order it gives you an upside,” he said. “But you have to be mature enough to handle it as an individual because you're going from a high school senior setting to a college setting.
”So all the social issues, academic issues, the football issues, they are all going to come right at a person very, very quickly.”
In a statement released Monday night, Dantonio said arriving early will help Thompson, as he praised him for being “an excellent student and a great role model.”