One of the hottest names on the recruiting trail since the beginning of the 2017 calendar year has been 2018 offensive lineman Blake Zubovic out of Belle Vernon Area High School in Pennsylvania.
A 6-foot-6, 300 pound force along the offensive line, Zubovic has landed offers from several high level schools in recent months and the Spartans are the latest to extend a scholarship offer and he recently spoke to Spartan Nation about his recruiting process.
“I was extremely excited,” Zubovic said of Michigan State. “Big Ten schools, Michigan, Michigan State, all big schools, I was more than pleased to get that offer and I can’t wait to get up for a visit.”
Along with his offer from the Spartans, Zubovic also holds offers from West Virginia, Virginia, Minnesota, Northwestern, Maryland and North Carolina State and also holds offers from a pair of in-state schools, Penn State and Pittsburgh.
Zubovic, who said he has been in contact with offensive line coach Mark Staten, said that he first met with Staten and a few short days later, heard the news that the Spartans would be offering him.
“I did get to meet with him in person, but he offered me over the phone a few days later after the staff watched my Hudl, just to make sure they wanted to offer me,” he said. “I got it over the phone from coach Staten a day or two after they came.”
While nothing is official, Zubovic said he plans on making his college decision at some point this summer, in either June or July, before the start of his senior season at the high school level.
There is plenty of competition to land a commitment from Zubovic and the biggest competition may come right from his backyard as the 3-star offensive line prospect considers himself to be a Pittsburgh fan and likes what former Michigan State defensive coordinator and current head coach at Pittsburgh Pat Narduzzi is building.
“Obviously, Pitt is my hometown school,” he said. “That’s where I grew up and I’m a Pitt fan, they were my first offer as well and they’re obviously very high on my list because that’s my home school and I’ve always dreamed of playing with them. I really liked it, I’ve gotten to visit there quite a few times now and I like the coaching staff, coach Peterson and coach Narduzzi as well.”
Along with the Panthers, the Nittany Lions also made a positive impression on Zubovic at this year’s Spring Game in Happy Valley.
“I’ve been up to Penn State twice so far, once for the junior day and once for the spring game,” he said. “That was pretty special to see all of those people, that’s ridiculous they got that many people to come to a spring game. Honestly, when it comes to coaching staffs, I think Penn State’s coaching staff is really similar (to Pittsburgh). Coach Franklin and coach Narduzzi, in my opinion, are real similar – it’s kind of funny – they’re both the same type of personality, both energetic, both down to earth guys and really care about their football programs.”
When it comes to his decision, Zubovic acknowledged the importance of his education and noted that the education side of things will play a big role in deciding where he will spend his college career.
With an emphasis being put on his schooling at the college level, Zubovic said he has some serious interest in his offer from Northwestern and said that while he has yet to visit Evanston, he expects to do so in the near future.
“I haven’t gotten a chance to visit up there yet,” he said. “That was a little while ago, but I would like to visit and get up there as well. They’re a great academic school and I would also be interested there too.”
“That’s a huge part of my recruitment, looking into schools not just for athletics, but for academics as well.”
Zubovic, who is being recruited to play either tackle or guard at the next level also expressed some interest in a pair of other Big Ten schools, Maryland and Minnesota.
While he prepares for his senior season, Zubovic said that he is still working to get better at his game and that includes improving his strength and balance.
“Number one, just staying more balanced,” he said. “Sometimes, I get over the top and I almost get over the top of my feet every once in a while, and the second is just to add on strength and that’s about it.”
Remember to check back to Spartan Nation for all of the latest recruiting news on this talented offensive lineman out of Pennsylvania and the Spartans!