Flint Southwestern's Dionte Savage finds himself in that exact situation and Michigan State is one of the programs working to make early inroads. Savage came to East Lansing last weekend and spent some time in Spartan Stadium on an unofficial visit.
The play on the field, where MSU established a dominating rushing attack, impressed Savage.
"It was a lot of intensity," he says.
After the game, recruits like Savage got a chance to step into the locker room after a spirited victory. He met both offensive line coach Dan Roushar and secondary coach Harlon Barnett.
"I like Michigan State because they've got cool coaches and they let you be yourself around them," Savage says.
Grades are always a topic of conversation when Savage visits programs. Early in his high school career, he admits to not paying attention and putting himself in an academic hole. But he's hit the books hard after realizing how much is at stake.
"I'm starting to pick up my grades a lot," he says. "I should be alright. I'm doing a lot better now."
Another topic of conversation with recruiters revolves around position on the field. MSU and others talk about slotting him at offensive guard, where he plays at Southwestern (along with defensive tackle), but some see him at tackle on the O-line.
"Really, I like pass blocking," he says, "but I like to pull a lot at the same time, like a lead blocker.
"Defense is more intense," he continues. "You know, when you can just hit a person and get up and be geeked about it. That's the only thing I like about defense is I get to throw somebody around and then hit another player."
After he hits UM this weekend for the Wisconsin game, Savage has plans to return to MSU for the Iowa game in a few weeks with teammate DeMarkus Bracy.