3-star offensive tackle Michael Furtney hails from Milan, MI. He grew up a Michigan Wolverines fan due to his proximity to Ann Arbor, but he said he always had a soft spot for the Spartans. He followed them, he watched them, and he pulled for them because they were an in-state team. And now, Michael Furtney has a different reason to be a fan of the Spartans…he has an offer from them.
“It was an honor,” Furtney told Spartan Nation of what it meant to receive a Michigan State offer. “It was a pretty crazy experience.”
“It happened during their practice, and I was out on the field and I was talking to Coach [Mark] Dantonio, and that’s when he offered me.
In addition to MSU, Furtney, a 6’5”, 280-pound offensive tackle from Milan High School, now has 25 other offers. Included in that group are five other Big Ten Schools (Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Purdue), three SEC schools (Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt), three AAC programs (Cincinnati, UConn and UCF), 2 ACC schools (Virginia and Syracuse), 1 Big 12 program (Iowa State), and even two Ivy League schools (Princeton and Dartmouth).
Despite having such a large number of successful programs to choose from, having an offer from a school so close to home is a game-changer.
“It definitely gave me something to think about, for sure,” Furtney admitted. “Being an in-state school and being a team that I’ve watched play growing up…it’s a pretty great feeling.”
All along, though, it’s the Big Ten that interested Michael most.
“It’s going to take a special school outside of the Big Ten, because I’d obviously like it to be in the Big Ten more…that way a lot of my friends and family would be able to come and watch my games, and then I’m also not too far from home, which would be nice.”
He gave Spartan Nation his thoughts on four of the other Big Ten schools to make him an offer – Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
On the Hoosiers - I’ve known a lot of their coaches from previous places, prior to them being at Indiana. Recently they got Mike Hart [Running Backs coach], who I knew when he was at Syracuse. I know their Offensive Line and Quarterbacks coaches [Darren Hiller and Nick Sheridan] – the Offensive Line coach from when he was at USF, and I knew the QB’s coach when he was at Central Michigan.”
On the Cornhuskers - “They’re a great school. I haven’t had the opportunity to go down and visit them yet, but they’re trying to get me down soon, and I’m trying to make that work. So obviously I can’t make any judgments besides what I know – that they’re a great school.”
On the Golden Gophers - “They definitely are a top competitor in my recruiting process. They’ve recruited me hard and they’ve been a great school, for sure. I like them a lot.”
On the Badgers - “They’re a great school. They’re definitely right up there towards the top of my list. They’ve been with me through a lot of this process – I want to say mid-way through this past summer. I’ve had pretty good relationships with Coach [Joe] Rudolph (Offensive Coordinator) and Coach [Mickey] Turner (Tight Ends). I’ve been on, I think, four visits there, so I’ve gotten to know the facilities, the coaches, [Head Coach, Paul] Chryst, some of the players…it’s definitely an intriguing school for sure.”
Based on his responses, you could assume that he’s leaning towards Minnesota or Wisconsin, at least in terms of his favorites in the Big Ten. But Furtney admitted that’s not necessarily the case.
“I haven’t really made a list, but those are just two schools that have been with me throughout this recruiting process – a long time – so I just know a little bit more about them, which obviously makes me like them a little bit more,” he explained. “But Indiana, Michigan State – they’re definitely starting to step into the picture, for sure.”
In regards to the Spartans, he said that, despite having been to two Junior Days in East Lansing already, he would come back to camp at MSU if he were invited to do so.
Even though Furtney has an idea of the direction he wants his recruiting to go, 26 offers is still daunting – humbling, but daunting. It can be easy to lose sight of how special this process is (and how remarkable that number of scholarship offers is).
“It’s definitely still fun, but it can be pretty overwhelming and it takes up a lot of your time, “Michael admitted. “But it’s still a blessing and an honor to even have this much ‘want’ for me and people liking me at all of these big-time universities, which has been pretty cool.”
“I can’t say I don’t like it anymore because it’s a dream come true.”