Recently the Spartans coaching staff turned their attention toward talented safety E.J. McLaughlin who had previously committed a year ago to Coach Brian Kelly's Central Michigan program, but who did not qualify and spent a year at Cincinnati's Harmony School to prepare himself for collegiate life.
"There are a lot of players that have 'look like Tarzan, play like Jane' syndrome, if you know what I mean," joked Pool. "E.J. is not like that, he's the real thing. He's on the same level with players like Anthony Smith and Mark Jackson."
Known as a big time, hitter, McLaughlin never shies away from sticking his nose into a pile and playing physically. When we caught up with E.J. he said that basically, he's narrowed his search down to two teams, Illinois and Michigan State.
"The coaches have called me and they want me to come visit. I do plan on visiting there, probably around January 19th. I'm going to Illinois on January 12th."
McLaughlin, who attended East Grand Rapids and played football and basketball there, says he's been on the Michigan State campus, so he knows a little about it.
"Yeah, I've been up there, it's nice," said McLaughlin who added, "I've never been to Illinois, so I'm going to visit both places and then make a commitment."
He added that Kelly's staff has approached him about perhaps attending Cincinnati but he says he perfers the atmosphere of the Big Ten.