In the middle of working out for Michigan State rival Ohio State at the Buckeyes one-day camp, Cincinnati St. Xavier 2017 offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst learned his efforts on Saturday at the Spartans one-day camp paid off with a scholarship offer.
The offer was one the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Bockhorst wanted to earn since he started the process.
“Saturday was a great camp,” said Bockhorst. “It was a great visit and great to be able to see the coaches again. I continue to get more comfortable with Coach (Mark) Staten and Coach (Mark) Dantonio along with the rest of the staff and how they do things.”
Since the NCAA passed legislation allowing current players the chance to work camps in the summer, Dantonio has been one of the biggest proponents of placing current Spartans with possible future ones. This was not lost on Bockhorst.
“Having interactions with current offensive linemen who were running the drills was a cool thing they did,” he said. “So it was a great camp and then to come away with a belated offer was also a plus. So I'm very happy with how the camp worked out and how I continue to learn.”
WE ARE A REAL FAMILY
One of the most overused words in recruiting is “Family” as each and every school talks about being family. However, Bockhorst feels the Spartans do more than just throw the word out during their pitch to get prospects interested in wearing the Green and White.
“Coach Dantonio and Coach Staten are great guys and they really stress family,” he said. “However, a lot of programs talk about family this and family that. But it's the small things like Coach Staten's son playing with my little brother while I was at camp and current players working the camp that standout.
“Coach Staten talked about how he had dinner with all of his players and you can see it's a true family culture that they've developed and not just a word used to recruit people. I really found with Michigan State that what you see is what you get and all you can really ask for during the recruiting process is for a program to be as transparent as possible. I think they've achieved that and that they pride themselves on that.”
ONE OF A SELECTED FEW
While not his first scholarship offer, Bockhorst fully understands the importance of receiving an offer from the Spartans at this stage of the process.
“Coach Staten said they don't really offer many kids this early in the process,” explained Bockhorst. “He said it is something I should be grateful for and I definitely am. I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff and their program in general.”
SOMETHING MUST BE RIGHT
One of the other lineman working with the coaching staff Saturday was pledge Matt Allen. Not only did Bockhorst get to see Allen up close, he also got a chance to work with Allen's older brothers Jack and Brian during camp giving him a sense the Spartans must be doing something right with all three brothers picking the same school.
“You see a lot of times where there are multiple kids in a family not going to the same school,” he said. Weather it's about how close they are as brothers or other extenuating factors, it was cool to see all three of the Allen brothers pick Michigan State and have success.
“It's unreal how well the older brothers have done thus far and how well they'll continue to do. I know the younger one will definitely carry on that tradition. So it was really cool seeing the younger one mess up in a drill and his brothers would be on him just to make sure he'd get it right. I guess they call that brother love but it was fun to see and a great experience to watch.”
TIES TO PROGRAM CAN ONLY HELP
Already, Bockhorst knows if his future is as a Spartan that he'll have a familiar face to greet him in Spartan tight end pledge and St. Xavier teammate Noah Davis.
Could Davis being a Spartan help Bockhorst find his way to East Lansing?
“I've been comfortable approaching the coaches when I've gone up there without Noah being there,” he said. “But, with him being there it made approaching some of the 2016 commits and other members of the coaching staff and recruiting staff more approachable.
“I can look at Noah and know he's gone down the same road I'm going down and know he's been there and done that and knowing he's going to be there does bring a sense of security. So if I would chose Michigan State, it's going to be a good choice and it all helps.”
WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP FOR SPARTANS
Coming off a strong camp performance at Ohio State and with plans to attend camp at Notre Dame at the end of the week. What steps will Bockhorst be looking to take next with the Spartans?
“I've been to Michigan State for a spring practice, been to a camp and now I'd really like to see their game day atmosphere,” he continued. “From a win-loss perspective, Michigan State has been very successful, especially the past two seasons. So I know how well a team does the previous seasons affects the crowds the next season. So I'm sure their Saturday's and Saturday nights are going to be packed in Spartan Stadium. So I want to get back for a visit and feel the atmosphere.”