Many penciled Jacub Panasiuk to the Michigan State Spartans the day he was offered by Mark Dantonio. However, the defensive lineman was set to carve out his own path and go somewhere else. What changed to make the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Panasiuk give Dantonio his pledge on Thursday?
“At first, when they (Michigan State) offered, I told myself I didn’t want to go there and follow my brother,” said Panasiuk. “However, in the end, after a couple of months I realized Michigan State was the right place for me. Not just because my brother is going there, but, for myself as it’s the right place to call home as it’s a great school and program overall.”
What finally sold Panasiuk on being a future Spartan?
“The number one thing that stood out to me was the family bond at Michigan State that they bring to their program,” he said. “There is a brother bond the coaches have with the players and the players have with each other and that is outstanding.”
Looking back Panasiuk knows it helped having a brother go through the recruiting process right before he did.
“It really helped me as I got a pre-recruiting process by getting to go around with my brother early and building bonds with coaches and other recruits,” he explained. “It helped me learn the things I wanted to do and the things I did not.”
Panasiuk credits two members of the Spartans staff for showing him why he needed to become a Spartan.
“My main two recruiters were Coach (Brad) Salem and Coach (Ron) Burton,” he said. “My relationship with Coach Salem is really close as he’s a really funny guy and really energetic. I love that about him as he’s always happy and it just brought me closer to him as I have the same personality.
“With Coach Burton, he’s also really energetic and a happy guy, but football is not always first with him as he’s a family guy. I really liked that about him.”
While some felt Panasiuk was going to give his pledge prior to the Spartans spring game, he had a different date in mind.
“At first I had my decision set for June 14-th,” he said. “But then I realized school ended on June 2-nd and moved it up a couple of weeks. I didn’t want to bring recruiting up during the summer as I want to start football camp off fresh and concentrate on my team and the coaches. So that is why I pushed it up and did it on the last day of school.
“It was a very special day as I got to spend it with my family. With my brother going to Michigan State, it just made it ten times better for me and my parents as they get to go for one visit and not have to go to two separate places on the same weekend.”
As for when he’ll return to campus Panasiuk knows it will be at some point this summer. But now he’s just enjoying knowing recruiting is behind him and his future plans have been set in place.
“Michigan State is a great school,” he said. “I’m not sure what I want to major in. But I’ve looked at a couple of different things and it’s just great. I’m excited that I’ll be able to go to school there and play football there.”
Panasiuk became the ninth member of the Spartans 2017 recruiting class with many more expected during the month of June.