23 offers already for a current high school junior.
Included in that group are four Big Ten schools, three SEC, two ACC, two AAC, one Big 12 and even two Ivy League schools, just to list a few.
That’s the level of competition Michigan State is up against as the Spartans keep their eye on a powerful, skillful offensive tackle out of Milan, MI, Michael Furtney.
“It’d be great to have one of the Big Ten schools in my home state, Michigan, to be able to offer me. It’d be crazy – growing up in the state of Michigan and then being offered by them – it’d be pretty crazy,” Furtney told Spartan Nation of what a Michigan State offer would mean to him. “Growing up watching them and putting them almost on a pedestal…it’d be great.”
Although Michael admitted to growing up as a Michigan Wolverines fan, simply because of his proximity to Ann Arbor (he says he grew up about five minutes from “The Big House”), he says he’s always had a soft spot for Michigan State because, as he said, “They’re still in Michigan and I’ve gotta like my home teams.”
“I have been to a Michigan State game as a kid, but never on a recruiting trip. But, living in Michigan, I have gone to a few games as a fan there,” Michael explained.
On the field, the 6’5”, 280-pound offensive tackle says, “I like to play athletic, but I also like to play with a type of aggression and just go after everybody.”
That physicality stems from a love of the weight room.
“I spend a minimum of at least five days in the weight room per week,” he admitted. “I’ve been dating my girlfriend for nine months, but she always tells me that’s all I ever do – lift and play football.”
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t elements that Michael doesn’t want to work and improve on.
“One thing I feel like you can never get good enough at is your technique and your form. I feel that I can always make improvements in that.”
On the positive side, Furtney is a completely dominant player between the white lines. But on the downside, it can take a while for him to get to the point where he’s angry and aggressive enough for the domination to take over.
“Yeah that’s a fair point, definitely,” Furtney admitted. “I’ve actually talked with my dad about that a couple of times. That is one thing I’ve been doing my best, as of recently, to get there – that ‘pissed off’ attitude. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it throughout the whole entire game next year consistently.”
From a Spartan standpoint, Furtney has been in contact with Matt Mueller (Director of On-Campus Recruiting) and Mark Staten (Offensive Line Coach), but Michigan State has not made a formal offer yet. As mentioned earlier, included in the 23 scholarship offers he already has on his plate are four other Big Ten Schools – Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska. We’ll focus on the Hoosiers, Badgers and Golden Gophers specifically for a second.
On Indiana, Furtney said, “After their new coaching staff change, one of their coaches – their Quarterbacks Coach, Nick Sheridan – he was at Central Michigan and he also knows my coach fairly well due to the fact that he grew up in Saline [Michigan], so I’ve been able to talk to him a few times this week over the phone and over Twitter. They say they really like me. They actually just got their O-Line coach, so they said they’re going to try to get my film in front of him. Hopefully everything goes good and they can meet me down at campus.”
In regards to Wisconsin, and Head Coach Paul Chryst, fresh off an appearance in the Big Ten Championship game last season, Michael explained, “They’re a great coaching staff and they’re a great program. I’ve had the ability to go to Camp Randall three times over the course of my recruiting trips. They’ve been great.”
Minnesota, like Indiana, is incorporating a new coaching staff this season, but the Golden Gophers new Head Coach is one that Furtney is familiar with – former Western Michigan Head Coach, P.J. Fleck.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him for a while,” Furtney said of Fleck. “They hopped on early in my recruiting process. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the coaches really well. I was at Western Michigan visiting with them multiple times, and I’ve been able to go out there one time to Minnesota so far. But they’re a great staff, and hopefully they’ll make a great program over at Minnesota.”
Bringing things back to MSU, Michael says that he’s going to a select few camps this summer, and hopes that Michigan State is one of them.
With 23 offers already, Michael Furtney is clearly in high demand, even at such a young age. Wherever he ends, up, he’ll be an asset to the program and the school. Even though Michigan State isn’t on the offer sheet just yet, there’s still plenty of time. And maybe, just maybe, that potential offer will be enough to keep one of Michigan’s own right here in his home state.