A few weeks have passed since Springfield (Ill.) Sacred Heart Griffin tight end Albert Okwuegbunam earned an offer from Michigan State. Spartan Digest caught up with the Spartan target to learn more about the day he earned that offer and where the Spartans stand in his recruitment.
“I originally was going over just to visit,” Okwuegbunam started to explain. “Coach (Ron) Burton, who recruiting my area sent me a direct message on Twitter and said they were having a half-day camp going on and wanted to know if I was interested in joining so they could watch me run some routes with the quarterbacks they had there.
“So Id did really good and they got my forty and broad jump and I did really well. Coach (Mark) Dantonio really liked me and then he offered me after the camp was over.”
The trip was Okwuegbunam's first to Michigan State and he used it to see and learn more about the Spartans.
“I knew a little bit about Michigan State and their success as a football team,” he said. “I watched some of their games last year, but I didn't know a whole lot about them. I got to look at the new facilities and they are really nice and learn more about their football program in general. They also told me a little about their tight ends and I'm pretty interested in Michigan State.”
So what is Okwuegbunam looking for in program before making his decision?
“I'm looking for a football program that is family orientated,” he said. “A place where the coaches strive for greatness on and off the field with their players. So it's not only having a dominate football program on the field, but making sure the players are great or equal students.”
With the Spartans sitting at 20 commitments and the number two recruiting class in the country according to Scout, Okwuegbunam heard several times he could be part of something very special going on in East Lansing.
“The coaches said I have a chance to be part of something great,” he said. “Especially with this class as they are really building a very strong team. I know last season they lost two games and if they would have won one of them, they would have been in the final four playoffs.”
With 17 offers including several from Power Five programs, Okwuegbunam is hearing two different things about how teams would use his talents. Will it play a factor when the time comes to make a decision?
“Some schools are recruiting me as a wide receiver and some as a tight end,” he said. “I think I can play wide receiver because of my speed as my fastest forty was a 4.5 flat. So I think I have good enough speed. But because of my frame I feel I could have the ability to be big enough to be a tight end.
“A big part of what I'm looking at is the offense. If they are recruiting me as a tight end, I want to know they can use athletic tight ends like me and utilize me as a wide receiver a lot.”
As for when a decision could come, that is still up in the air.
“Right now I don't have a set list of top schools,” he says. “I would say I'm getting there but I don't have a set list. I'm thinking it's going to happen maybe before my season. But most likely, it will be during or just after.”
With each offer received the 6-foot-5, 233-pound Okwuegbunam knows his journey is just beginning.
“It's not really surprising, but I would say it's very humbling to me,” he said. “I feel very blessed by all this and it makes me feel like I can't let this go to waste and have to work harder.”