"The new building (Skandalaris Center) … that was really nice," he told GSN. He watched a Spartan team few imagined would reach nine wins beat Notre Dame for its third victory of the season.
As a recruit, Pace says the facilities matter, but the quality of a program's coaches takes priority. Pace spoke with MSU's offensive coordinator.
"I talked to Coach Treadwell, because he watches our recruiting area," Pace said. "He was a real nice guy."
Although he's positioned as an offensive tackle at Avon Lake, Pace is hearing he'll likely project to the interior. Coaches usually opt for the taller guys (6-5 and up) to bookend the tackle positions.
"Most school's I've talked to said I'd move inside due to my height," he said. Pace stands 6–foot-4 and weighs 265-pounds.
A starter on varsity since his sophomore season, Pace says he might get a chance to play a little defense next season. But his true focus will always be on the O-line, where he dishes out plenty of punishment.
"Our offense, it's a real smash-mouth offense, so we have to be aggressive up front and I think I play pretty aggressive, to the whistle," he said. "Basically, just out-quick the other guy, then once — if it's a man-on-man block, just overpower him."
Like any competitor, Pace is disappointed his team bowed out of the Ohio state playoffs in the first round, but the season hinted at promise.
"We always want to go all the way, but some juniors got to play, so we're good for next year," he said, adding, "We played well as a team."
Pace deferred to senior leadership, but as a junior returning starter, he naturally embodied the attitude and demeanor of a leader on the O-line.
Aside from Michigan State, Pace has a long list of schools scoping out his game early. Those interested, among others, include Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Cincinnati, Syracuse, and Stanford.
Pace says he might participate in some throwing events come track and field season, but his off seasons consist mostly of speed and strength training. He regularly works out with friend and fellow MSU recruit Dan Schneider. He reports a max bench of 330-pounds and a squat of 420-pounds
"Lifting is important," he said.
Pace is in for a ride over the next year-and-a-half, but he's the kind of young man with an attitude that is built to endure the potential vicissitudes of recruiting.
"It's an honor to be talked to by big schools like that," he said. "It just shows how your hard work pays off."