Having described Michigan State as a school he’s dreamed about playing football for. Piqua (Ohio) athlete Darien Tipps-Clemons added an offer from Mark Dantonio prior to the Spartans spring game on Saturday.
Ready to commit on the spot, Tipps-Clemons saw the brakes applied by the Spartans with an in-school visit set for Tuesday before Dantonio would allow a pledge to be given.
“Oh my God!!! I won’t say it got stressful, but waiting was a little hard,” said Tipps-Clemons. “They (Michigan State) wanted to verify what they saw on film when Coach (Harlon) Barnett came in today since they are recruiting me as a linebacker instead of a running back.
“So Coach Dantonio wanted Coach Barnett to see me workout, run around and catch some balls. So Coach Barnett showed up right when we started lifting this afternoon.”
Did the future Spartan linebacker put any more pressure on himself during the workout?
“I was not really nervous as I trust in what I can do,” he said. “But I must have done good for them. I knew I would do my best. After Coach Barnett left, we spoke and he said he was trying to get ahold of Coach Dantonio and he was unable to get a hold of him.
“So he said once he got a hold of him he would direct message me. But around seven tonight, he messaged me and said he was not able to get in touch with Coach D and we’d have to wait until the morning.
“But then he sent me another message and he said there was a change of plan as he got a hold of Coach D and for me to message him. So when Coach D messaged me back to call him, I did and I told him I was all in.”
How hard was it to wait until he could make his commitment official?
“I wasn’t too nervous but took a nap to kind of relieve some of the stress,” he explained. “But when he messaged me and I knew I was getting ready to make the call, that was when I got a little nervous. He then asked me what questions I had for him and asked what I was thinking. I told him I was ready right now and he said you know the process is then over and I told him I was all in and he said he was all in.”
So how does it feel to have the process over?
“It feels pretty good to be honest,” he said. “Going into my junior season I didn’t have any early offers. So you’re working even harder to get that first offer. Now, that I know what I’m doing and where I’m going, I just need to continue to work hard and continue to play ball.
“I liked talking with all the different coaches, but my heart is set with one school and I have no plans to go anywhere at all.”
How did family members react to the news he was a Spartan?
“They are happy I made the decision,” he said. “My sisters are happy and my mom and dad are happy.”
How much of a difference was the visit for the spring game as compared to the visit the previous weekend?
“Going up Saturday for the spring game was great,” he said. “The last time I visited, I didn’t have an offer. This time, I got the offer and Coach Dantonio told me to take some time and think about what I was going to do. He told me they would get out to the school and that Coach Barnett would see me. So going there and meeting some of the guys and seeing all the new stuff just solidify everything I was thinking and feeling.”