Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio decided he needed to recruit the state of Michigan hard when he took over before last season. Battle Creek Central's junior running back Larry Caper, a premier in-state prospect for 2009, is a witness to Dantonio's intense local focus.
"They've been recruiting me the hardest," Caper says of Michigan State. He has met tight ends coach Mark Staten, running backs coach Dan Enos and Dantonio, whom he will likely visit again tomorrow on an unofficial trip to the Breslin Center to see the Spartans take on Iowa.
Speaking about Dantonio, Caper says, "He's a nice person, easy to talk to."
The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder currently holds offers from Michigan State, Michigan and four other schools. It's early in the recruiting process and Caper says he's patient and likely won't form any kind of favorites-list soon.
"I really don't have a top-five right now," he says, adding that he wants to take his time and examine what each program brings to the table. But so far, when it comes to Michigan State, Caper likes what he sees — a lot.
"I think they have a very strong chance," he says of the opportunity MSU has at landing him. "I like the school a lot. Michigan State is at the top of the list."
He's been to Spartan Stadium on gameday and says he's impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of the Green and White faithful. "The crowd really gets into it."
On one of his trips to East Lansing last season, he got a chance to briefly speak with Spartan running back Javon Ringer. "I met with Javon, talked to him a little bit. He told me to just take my time with the recruiting process," Caper said.
When he does make up his mind, Caper says the school that lands him will be getting a complete player.
"I'm an all-purpose back," he says. "I run hard between the tackles, see the hole before it's there and I see the cut-back lanes.
"The other thing would be, people don't believe I'm really that fast. But they don't realize how big I am and how fast I really am, cause I'm 220 and I can run a 4.4," he says. "I think I have a good combination of size and speed."
Recruiting began as a whirlwind, but Caper says he's managed to calm things down.
"At first, when everything was kicking off, it was kind of overwhelming," he said. "But after I've gotten used to it, it's pretty cool."
When he's not thinking football, running track (indoor and outdoor) or lifting weights in an offseason regimen, Caper says he relaxes by hanging out with friends around an X-Box. He primarily plays "Call of Duty", "Halo", and "Madden Football".
"I play 'Call of Duty 4' all the time. Those three video games you could play all day long."
Stay tuned to GSN for updates on this important in-state Spartan prospect.
Battle Creek Central Star High on Spartans
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