There was no mistaking Matthew Coghlin wanted a Michigan State offer from the time he appeared on the recruiting scene last summer. Having camped with the Spartans in 2014 and again this summer, Coghlin wasted little time proving he could hold his own with any kicker the Spartans rolled out against him.
“I had a great time at camp,” said Coghlin. “There were about 50 guys but they only took three of us over to the stadium to kick in front of the coaches. I did the best there hitting a 57 yard kick before going over to the stadium where I hit one from 53 yards out. We also did four kickoffs in the stadium and I did real well there as well. Afterwards I spoke with Coach (Mark) Dantonio and Coach (Mike) Tressel and got a really good feeling about Michigan State.”
With a possible scholarship offer on the line, Coghlin showed the same focus he's used the past two seasons helping Cincinnati Moeller to some big wins.
“We went over to the stadium in a golf cart but walking into the stadium was sweet and fantastic,” he said. “I was a little nervous but also very excited as I love kicking off the grass in the stadium. Playing at Moeller definitely helped me as I have a lot of experience in pressure situations so I know how to clear my mind and do what my body tells me to do. I just go nice and easy and kick it through.”
Getting to this point in his football career also involved Coghlin giving up the sport he loves.
“Quitting soccer this past spring was hard,” he said. “I love soccer and hate to admit it, but soccer is my favorite sport. But I know my future is football and I wanted to give football everything I had for this opportunity. It paid off in the end so it's great.”
With Moeller slowly becoming a pipeline school for the Spartans. Coghlin saw a familiar face and received a little boost in his confidence by a current Spartan.
“When I went up to camp Shane Jones came out,” he said. “We talked a little bit and he asked how I was doing. So that was great and made me feel comfortable. I've always heard a lot of great things about Michigan State in talking with Coach (John) Rodenburg as he's got a lot of great connections there and felt it would be a great place for me.
“I love it there too and all the Moeller guys up there love it too and that played a big part in my decision.
After taking a breath from the whirlwind of the recruiting process, Coghlin is now feeling the rewards from all his hard work.
“The feeling today is great,” he said. “It was kind of hectic on Tuesday with making the decision and then all the congratulations I received. But now it just feels great to know my future is set and I'm going to play football at a great program.”