Michigan State has not had much success recruiting Texas in recent years, but in the 2015 cycle, the Spartans have changed that.
And with the upcoming Cotton Bowl in Dallas, that figures to continue as Michigan State will get a chance to play on a big stage in Texas.
“That’s a huge thing,” wide receiver coach Terry Samuel said. “You’ve just gotta be seen.”
Samuel, who recruits Texas and is a native of Houston, said the bowl game on Jan. 1 against Baylor gives the Spartans a chance to put the program on display.
”Hopefully, Coach Dantonio can meet as many people as he can and give that impression that he does so well,” Samuel said. “I think it’s going to be great for us. Hopefully, you get some high school coaches seeing how we play and seeing how we do things and hopefully that will make an impression.”
Unfortunately for Michigan State, given the current recruiting dead period, they cannot do much in terms of contact with recruits or high school coaches. But the hope will be that many will see the game and take in what Michigan State is about.
”You just want them to come to the game, see how we play and the excitement that our players play with,” he said. “If they can see how we play, generally those coaches see what’s real and what’s not real.
”They will see that we are sincere coaches, sincere players and we play hard.”
The Spartans have three players from the state of Texas committed in the class of 2015 to date, as West Mesquite cornerback Josh Butler, Houston Kinkaid offensive tackle Tyler Higby and Houston Nimitz wide receiver Darrell Stewart have given verbal commitments.
Samuel said adding those players has just been part of trying to find the right guys to fit the Michigan State program.
”The biggest thing we want to is find the right guys, he might not be a five star, he might not be a four star, he could be a three star,” he said. “It’s not so much about the numbers, but it’s about the quality.”
But with the three commits in the current recruiting class and an always deep level of talent in Texas, the Cotton Bowl figures to help what Samuel described as the state “starting to open up.”
“It’s great to go in there with the Spartan head on there,” he said. “That’s great. They recognize and they see the past two years of us being really effective with our program. That helps. You don’t go in there and they look like oh you just a team from the Big Ten. It’s you’re one of the best teams from the Big Ten. That goes a long way.”