Spartans Seek Detroit Talent

Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State coaching staff have made recruiting the state of Michigan a priority. That means reestablishing connections in Detroit. Read on to find out more about a talented 2009 Detroit Crockett D-line recruit who intrigues the Green and White.

Aaron McCord learned something new this year: How to chase a quarterback. Before, the junior from Detroit Crockett knew only the protection side as an offensive lineman. But now he says he rather enjoys seeing signal-callers on their rumps — that is, when he's not protecting his own QB.

"It was my first year (on defense), so I was getting used to everything, but I picked it up as the season went along," he said. "It's a lot of fun."

The athletic big man played both ways last season, but if he were forced to choose, he knows where his heart is.

"I enjoy playing both, but I prefer the defensive line," he says. "Every camp or combine I go to, I'll sign up as a defensive lineman."

McCord is a well-spoken young man who keeps his head focused on the most important thing on a football field: his team. Stats and individual accomplishments are fine, but he says it's the guys around him that matter most.

"Once the game's over, you know, we'd be like, 'Oh, I had so many tackles,' or whatever. But during the game, I just try to play my game and be a team player."

Michigan State is one team interested in the 6-foot-2, 255 pound defensive tackle prospect. The coaching staff has made recruiting Detroit a priority and the effort to land prospects like McCord is ongoing.

"I talked to (running backs) coach Dan Enos, he came up to the school," McCord said. Although it's early in the process, and no offers have materialized yet, McCord has drawn attention from powerhouses such as Michigan.

"I got real cool with (former Michigan defensive line) coach (Steve) Stripling," he said. But interest from the new staff in Ann Arbor has been absent. "I haven't talked to anyone from Michigan (with) the new coaches."

McCord says the focus in the offseason will be to hit camps hard this summer in an effort to impress future coaches. Recording a solid 40-yard dash time will be a priority, he says, because recent clockings — in the mid-5.0 range — have not been representative of his true ability.

"When I'm really in shape, it'd be like a 5-flat, 4.9," he says.

Can the Spartans step into a hole left by a changing of the guard in Ann Arbor? Can Mark Dantonio consistently lure big-time talent from the Detroit area? Stayed tuned to GSN to find out.

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