A few weeks ago, we had a chance to meet 2019 recruit, CJ Kiss, the Ganhanna, OH native and tight end at Ganhanna Lincoln High School. He knew he was making a visit to Michigan State sometime in March, but wasn’t sure of the exact date. Well, that date was Saturday (March 18th), and the experience in East Lansing made an impact.
“I thought it was awesome,” Kiss told Spartan Nation. “The facilities that they have, especially the weight room – they emphasized that everything happens through the weight room – it’s just huge! I saw the practice – they were actually scrimmaging – it’s just nice to see how fast-paced everything was. It was just really cool to see.”
If you want to learn a little bit more about CJ’s background, take a look at Spartan Nation’s original profile on him from February. Here is the link…
“I would say it definitely exceeded what I thought it would be,” Kiss said of the visit to MSU. “Everything was just laid out for you…you didn’t have to travel across campus for an academic center or for where you would practice. Everything was easy access, and you just feel like you can succeed there.”
CJ said he loved everything he saw, but he did admit he would have loved to see the inside of Spartan Stadium and the locker rooms though. However, there will likely be more chances for that to happen, as Kiss says he plans to camp at Michigan State this summer.
Aside from Michigan State, Kiss has had interest from Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, as well, but says there haven’t been any offers or any new schools to show interest just yet.
CJ plays tight end in high school, and likely profiles as one in college, but he says he’s not locked into that spot.
“I do like playing tight end a lot, but I started off last year playing quarterback and halfway through the year I switched and ended up starting Varsity at tight end,” he explained. “I’m open to changing to wherever someone needs me, but I do like playing tight end.”
That fits well into a Spartans scheme that utilizes the tight end quite often.
“Coach [Jim] Bollman (Co-Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach) just emphasized that Michigan State uses the tight end a lot, which is important to me.”
Kiss also spoke to Co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach, Mike Tressel. “He recruits a lot in the Columbus area, which I like,” CJ said of Tressel.
CJ grew up about nine miles away from Columbus, OH, which of course is Ohio State Buckeyes territory. However, he is NOT an OSU fan. He explained that, while his mom is from Columbus and is a Buckeyes fan, his dad is from the Pittsburgh area and actually grew up a Notre Dame fan, so CJ never felt obligated to root for Ohio State. But growing up in “Big Ten country” did make an impact on him.
“I definitely looked at the Big Ten because that’s where Ohio State was,” CJ said of whether or not he wanted to attend a Big Ten school. “A lot of my friends are Ohio State fans, so I always knew a lot about the Big Ten and all the different schools there. I’m open to different things around the country, but the Big Ten is definitely nice.”
He admitted the Spartans are not new on his radar just from the recruiting process – “I’ve always watched Michigan State. I’ve always liked the way Coach [Mark] Dantonio’s coached [however he didn’t get to talk to Dantonio on this visit].”
Ideally, Kiss wants to make his decision sometime after his junior year ends and prior to the start of his senior season, but he’s still waiting on offers. There’s plenty of time though, but an offer from the Spartans would be well worth the wait.
“It would mean a lot,” CJ admitted. “Growing up near Ohio State and with the Big Ten and just seeing what makes a Spartan football player, and knowing someone believes that you could play there, just means the world!”