“It was the first time I got up there since early August, I think,” said Lombardi. “So I got up there a little during the preseason. It was fun as I got to see a few of my commits like Cody White and Mustafa Khaleefah. So it’s good to continue to build relationships with those guys.
“It was an unofficial visit as I’m not taking my official visit until January.”
Like all Spartan fans, Lombardi has watched the team’s struggles but knows this will soon pass.
“It’s kind of hard but you see an improvement every week and you can only hope for the best,” he said. “Obviously, I don’t have much influence with the team right now and I’m just looking on and seeing how they are doing. It hurts a little bit, but it feels good knowing you’re going to be able to be there next year. Even if you don’t play right away, to be able to be on the scout team and push the seniors to be the best they can.”
One thing different about Lombardi’s visits now is he can see his future in a different light as he’s done in the past being a pledge.
“It’s awesome and you almost can’t believe it,” he said. “Watching those guys play. Big Ten champs last year. Real successful program and even though they are having a down year this year, they are still going to end up being a pretty good team. It’s been my dream to play college football and to be part of a successful program like Michigan State so it is an honor.”
OLIVER MARTIN STATUS
One thing Spartan fans are watching is the recruitment of Lombardi’s good friend and MSU target Oliver Martin. Where does Lombardi see things with his good friend?
“Oliver and I go way back,” he continued. “All the way back since sixth grade. Actually, before that from baseball. I’ve had a relationship with him forever. I’m trying to stay on him but not push him too far. He’s still one of my good friends so I want what is best for him. Hopefully, that is going to be Michigan State. However, if it ends up not being, I’m not going to force it on him. But I’m sure this is the best place for him.”
Spartan fans have watched as past visits by Martin have passed without him getting back on campus. Lombardi explains about the reasons why the talented receiver was not able to get on campus last weekend.
“I know he wanted to visit this past weekend but something happened with his sister,” he said. “His sister is an extremely successful swimmer and took fourth in the Olympic trials this year. She’s only 15, so, she’s extremely successful. She had a meet this past weekend so he was not able to make it this past weekend. I’m betting he gets on campus soon and hopefully has a good experience.”
BUILDING STRONG TIES TO CLASS
One thing Lombardi and the 2017 recruiting class are working on are building a strong bond before they all arrive on campus. As one of the group leaders, Lombardi talked about a few of those he’s gotten really close to.
“We all try to be as close as we can,” he said. “Obviously, some of us live in places like Florida and we can’t stay in contact as much. I like Hunter (Rison) a lot. Cody (White) is a good friend of mine. Darien (Tipps-Clemons) our linebacker, we’re getting pretty close. Both my tight end commits, Jack Camper and Matt Dotson. My running back Weston (Bridges), we talk almost every week in a group text. All those guys are really good friends of mine and hopefully I can continue to build my relationship with them as we’re certainly not as close as we’re going to be.”
FINAL DAYS AS A PREP STANDOUT
Like all members of the 2017 recruiting class, Lombardi is finishing up his final days as a high school football player. Is reality starting to set in on this fact?
“It’s crazy and hard to believe,” he said. “My dad’s been a high school coach and I’ve grown up on the sidelines watching high school football and dreaming of being a senior and going out and dominating the competition. It’s been a dream come true so far, but it’s coming to a close and it’s hard to believe.
“Our team is 7-0 right now and having a really good year. I’ve only played in one full game this year and the rest I’ve been out at halftime cause we’re beating teams pretty good. I think I’ve got 15 touchdowns, two interceptions and around 1,100-1,200 yards with a completion percentage just above 60-percent. My QBR is like 170-ish. I don’t keep track of my stats really, but someone asked me this question last week so those are my best guess and are pretty accurate.”
RETURNING TO CAMPUS
With his official visit not set until January, Lombardi is looking to make several more visits before his official trip to campus.
“I’m hoping to get to as many games as I can,” he said. “I’m hoping to get to all the home games remaining.”
LOMBARDI SENIOR ACTION CLIPS