“We’re on spring break at IMG and I’m in East Lansing right now,” said Camper. “We drove from Florida. It was not just the drive, it is that you pass nothing, you see nothing. It’s like staring at a drying wall. It was awful.”
Despite the dreadful drive, Camper and his parents came with a plan to see if his future would be as a Spartan.
“This is my second trip to Michigan State,” he said. “The first one went very well and I felt good and felt I was around genuine people that didn’t have to go out of their way to sell their university. So I had to bring my mother up here this time. It can be all good and well, but if your mother doesn’t like it, there is an issue.”
From the sound of things, it didn’t take mom long to see her son in the Green and White.
“We got here and she told me she liked it,” he said. “She then met Coach (Jim) Bollman and he’s just a great guy and genuine people. He’s got that father feel to him and when you talk with him, you feel like you’ve known him for years. You just feel comfortable around him and my mom got into a conversation with him and she felt like she had known him for years and felt comfortable with him.”
Prior to the trip Camper and his father had discussed the possibilities of a commitment.
“I had talked with my father and he told me his opinions about Michigan State,” explained Camper. “I told him mind and our opinions pretty much aligned perfectly. So I told him that if we went up there and my mother liked it and she didn’t see anything my father and I might have missed, that I was going to commit.”
It was soon after Camper gave Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio the news.
“We got up here and the coaches had just got out of a coaching meeting,” he said. “So we went to breakfast and came back. It was then I got a chance to meet with Coach Dantonio with my parents.
“We were talking and he asked me when I thought I might make a decision on where I wanted to go to school.
“It was then I told him I wanted to win a Big Ten Championship, a National Championship and play football at Michigan State. I think it caught him off guard and I feel he was excited by the news.”
Reflecting on his decision to become a Spartan, Camper saw several things about the MSU offense on his first visit that stuck with him.
“Michigan State was one of the highest on my list,” he said. “You don’t want to walk into a situation where you’re in a spread offense and the starting tight end is only on the field for three or four plays a game.
“You don’t want to break into a starting roster and not have a chance to make a big impact on the offense. So getting into an offense that has heavy use of the tight end was important. I know tight ends are a big part of their offense and kind of a dying breed for many schools.
Getting a chance to watch the tight ends during Tuesday’s practice also reinforced his thoughts about how the Spartans use their tight ends.
“I saw the emphasis, almost to perfection, as they worked on the small things like hand placement, foot placement,” he said. “I think that backed up my thoughts on that it’s the little things that makes this team so great. They put such emphasis on the small things like getting your hands perfectly in the chest and having your feet right on the block.”
In the end the 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end will leave with a heavy weight off his shoulders as he finishes up his prep career at one of the top programs in the country.
“It feels great right now,” he said. “Being a tight end there are not a lot of schools you can go to and have an affect on the offense. I already had the decision made, so to have the entire recruiting process out of the way, I feel I can just focus on training, playing and getting my education.”
Camper joins Cody White in the Spartans 2017 recruiting class with more expected commitments possible as the Spartans continue moving through spring practice.