As one of several members of the Michigan State Spartans 2016 recruiting class to make their way to campus for their official visits, Mike Panasiuk and his future teammates got another chance to bond and get to know more about each other.
For Panasiuk, it was a time he’ll remember well after signing day.
“It was definitely great,” said Panasiuk. “Especially having all the other commits up there and picking up another commit, Luke Campbell. So it was pretty fun to bond with them and being on campus and getting to know everybody. So it was crazy with all those guys up there and getting to know each other and just talking about football. So it was just a great time.”
While official visits are set up to be fun for recruits, it is also a time to learn more about their future home. Did the 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle learn anything new?
“Everytime I go up there and talk with the coaches I learn something new,” he said. “So it was good as I got to know a lot of new places and got to visit more places on campus and see a couple of apartments we’re allowed to get following our freshman year and just talking with the coaches. My host was Brian Allen, so he knows a lot about the campus and how it is freshman year, so I got a feel for it.”
While several of his future teammates have already stepped on campus, Panasiuk must wait until the summer to join them. How hard is it to sit back and watch others get started?
“It’s definitely going to be a struggle because the guys already in early, we’re already close with them,” he said. “I’m always asking them what it’s like up there and they're always telling me how they are having a blast getting after it and going through workouts right now.
“So I definitely want to be up there right now, but I’m just going to have to be here at home hitting the weight room. It’s going to be a struggle, but I know once I sign, Coach (Ron) Burton is going to keep updating me. So hopefully, I can go in early and contribute to the team and play early. So we’ll see what happens.”
Does it seem real that in just over a week he’ll officially become a Spartan?
“I mean it flew by,” he said. “I remember talking with my head coach at Lake Park just the other day and he reminded me that signing day was only three weeks away. I didn’t even know about it. Time flies as I’ve been busy trying to get other guys to join our 2016 class. So I didn’t even know or realize it. But I can’t wait to finally get it over with as it’s going to be an exciting day.”
Looking back, what does Panasiuk remember most about his journey to college football?
“Just taking everything in at once,” he said with a sigh. “I started playing football in eighth grade. I never knew I would have this opportunity. So just taking everything in as it was amazing as I had no idea I would be able to play and go to college for free and continue my love for football. So just taking everything in and talking with all these great coaches as they have great connections. So it’s just really great and I can’t believe I’ll be attending such a great university like Michigan State.”