For as long as he can remember, Dashaun Mallory, a 2018 defensive tackle out of Bollingbrook High School in Illinois has considered Michigan State to be his dream school, so when he attended Michigan State’s Elite Camp on Saturday, the 3-star recruit wanted to make the most out of his opportunity.
While he was admittedly in awe of Spartan Stadium – where the camp was held – because it’s a place he’s envisioned himself playing over the years, Mallory said that only motivated him more to perform well on Saturday.
“Honestly, it was,” he said. “Walking up to it, I felt like a new kid walking up to the stadium for the first time. I was walking up and was like, ‘Man, I’m actually in here.’ When we got on the field, the first thing I thought was that it’s go time, the day’s not over, I had so much to prove and I had to perform on the field I’ve always dreamt about playing on. It was amazing, it was very incredible.”
And after a strong showing on Saturday, Mallory met with Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio who extended an offer to the 6-foot-2, 290 pound prospect.
“It meant so much to me, Michigan State’s been my dream school since forever,” Mallory told Spartan Nation. “It was just such a relief that they actually offered, because it’s my dream school and when it happened, I was just so amazed. It means so much to me.”
Mallory also added that he felt his performance at Saturday’s camp may have played a big role in him landing his offer from the Spartans.
“I caught a groove real early and just stuck with it the whole day,” he said. “It paid off.”
And at Saturday’s camp, it appeared as if the Spartans could have a secret weapon when it comes to recruiting Mallory as it was evident that Mallory and defensive line coach Ron Burton had developed a strong relationship with one another.
“I love the guy,” he said. “He’s so funny, but he gets down to business. He knows what he’s talking about, he knows what he’s doing and he gets guys going. For me, we built a relationship on goofiness, we know how to have fun, but at the same time, we know when it’s go time and time to get down to business. I think that’s one strong attribute we have with each other, chemistry wise.”
One moment with Burton that caught the attention of Mallory on Saturday was when Burton yelled at Mallory while he was coaching a drill, but later told the defensive lineman that he did it because he knows what he is capable of.
That interaction was one that Mallory won’t soon forget and added that he thinks he could also be a good fit in Burton and Michigan State’s system at defensive tackle.
“That meant a lot, it really did, I felt so humbled,” he said. “He knows what I can do, he knows what I’m capable of and he just trusts in my ability to go out there and perform. Regardless of the fact it was a camp, he knows what I can do, I know what I can do for him and I can fit his scheme, it’s just an incredible feeling. When he said that, I felt relief and it was just incredible knowing that he said that to me, knowing that he’s that type of guy and he trusts in me. It felt good.”
Along with his offer from Michigan State, Mallory also holds offers from Iowa State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and a few others.
But it’s safe to say that the Spartans would have the inside edge over other teams that could be in the mix to land a commitment from the standout defensive tackle considering he’s considered them to be a dream school of his.
“I think it was just the style of play,” Mallory said of what has stood out to him about the Spartans over the years. “I pride myself on what I can do and I’m glad they saw it, they paid attention. They’ve stuck with me throughout the entire recruiting process.”
Mallory, who expects to announce his college decision shortly after the Fourth of July, said that in his time on the campus in East Lansing, he was more than impressed with the facilities and looks forward to making a return visit in the future.
“It was mind blowing, to see all of the new equipment, just the weight room,” he said. “The tour was nice, I loved everything especially obviously the Green and White – I can’t wait to go back, honestly. I fell in love with the school, the colors, just the culture everything about it. It’s home.”
Remember to check back to Spartan Nation for all of the latest on this top defensive lineman out of Illinois and the Spartans!