Spartan Pupdate is not caring if Alabama offers

Gregory Shamus

Latest MSU commitment Chris Frey Jr. has high praise for the Spartans, plus a 2015 recruit visited last week.

The Spartans offered a lot of players last week, including Rochester Adams tight end Matt Sokol, who committed while visiting campus Monday.

Upper Arlington (Ohio) linebacker Chris Frey Jr. also was on campus Monday after receiving an offer last week and he committed to Michigan State on Wednesday -- exactly a week after receiving the offer.

"The night after the visit, I took time to focus on where I wanted to go," Frey told me. "It really came down to two schools and I spent all night Monday thinking about it. By the time I woke up Tuesday, I was pretty sure and by lunch, I was done and I knew."

The final two schools for Frey were Kentucky and Michigan State, but the coaches at Michigan State proved to be a separation for the Spartans.

"First, the coaching staff has really proven themselves," Frey said. "They have a top-5 defense, tops in the Big Ten and that was really one thing that stuck out and pulled me in. They did such a great job with that and I want to be a part of that. The staff also is really cool. They showed me a lot of love and made me feel like I was home when I was there."

The future STAR linebacker visited East Lansing twice previously, for camp last summer and for the Notre Dame game last fall, but Monday was the first time he took in everything MSU has to offer.

"Everything is really nice, Michigan State has some of the best facilities I've seen, and I've been a lot of places. I really loved it. Campus was really nice, I walked through it on the way to camp and the game."

Michigan State's recruitment of Frey actually started as the Spartans were after a teammate of his at Upper Arlington, and had a couple interesting turns.

"Coach (Mike) Tressel had been to my school and seen me plenty of times when he was recruiting my teammate, Frank Epitropoulos," he said. "He saw me play and I ran into him a few times at school and he invited me up to the camp."

Despite a great performance at the camp, Tressel had to break some unfortunate news to Frey.

"After camp, he said he loved everything about me, the way I played and my enthusiasm," Frey said, "but he said you're only 185 pounds and 6-1, and not big enough to be a Big Ten linebacker. So I stopped playing basketball and track and just focused on football and lifting.

"When Coach Tressel came to school a couple months ago he said now you look like a Big Ten linebacker and we need to get you in front of Coach Dantonio. It turned out I didn't need to and they offered."

Michigan State always was high on Frey's list, but the offer was a game changer.

"They were close to the top, in the top two or three," Frey said. "Really, I was looking at Kentucky, but when MSU offered it changed everything."

But on his drive to East Lansing, Frey received an offer from Kentucky, which threw a wrench into his decision.

"(The Kentucky offer) really complicated everything ... going in to the MSU visit, I thought there was a chance I might commit if everything felt right," Frey said, "but the UK offer made me sit on it and think more before I decided. Now that I did, I know I made the right decision."

Now that he is committed to Michigan State, Frey is getting set to enroll early.

"I really stacked my schedule," Frey said. "I took no study halls and only classes. As a freshman, I was really hoping for a scholarship and that everything would come through. So when the first offer came through, it was worth it."

And while other offers might come, Frey said it won't change his commitment to Michigan State.

"I don't care if Alabama offers or LSU or Ohio State offers. The word decommit doesn't exist in my vocabulary."

-- Michigan State loves recruiting the Cincinnati area, and the area continues to be good to MSU. The latest offer in the area went to 2015 St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard, who visited MSU on Monday.

"(The offer) wasn't really a surprise," Hilliard said. "They were hinting at it during the visit as we walked around. It came from Coach (Mark) Dantonio, though, so that was pretty cool."

"The coaches all seem like great guys and they really care about morals and about their players."

Hilliard's visit was his first to Michigan State and he and his father took in much of what the Spartans have to offer.

"It was a pretty good visit," he said. "I got to see everything and got to know the coaches and MSU family better. There were very nice facilities, very well taken care of. We also saw most of the campus, the press box and the stadium and the weight room. It all was very impressive."

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound rising junior also likes what the linebackers at MSU do on the field.

"They are a great linebacking corps," he said. "They blitz a lot and ... Coach (Mike) Tressel and I watched film and went over the defense on my visit, too."

Hilliard knows a couple MSU 2013 signees, in his former teammate Trey Kilgore and Moeller's Shane Jones, as well as another 2015 target, Moeller's Elijah Taylor.

"Trey is putting in some work," Hilliard said. "He told me to commit jokingly, but he has just been telling me all about it.

"I'm pretty cool with Shane Jones and me and Elijah are pretty good friends and we go to the same church."

Hilliard now has a dozen offers, with the latest coming from Georgia Tech and Nebraska. He might visit MSU for camp this summer, but definitely wants to get back to East Lansing.

"We are planning on getting back, hopefully for the Michigan-Michigan State game," Hilliard said. "I definitely am planning on getting up to a game."

New Offers (5/10/13-5/16/13)

2014

Defensive end Rashawn Shaw, Fort Pierce, Fla. (Fort Pierce Central)

Linebacker Kris Harris, Tallahassee, Fla. (Amos P. Godby)

Linebacker Sidney Gopre, Newark, N.J. (Weequahic)

Linebacker Sharieff Rhaheed, Fort Pierce, Fla. (Fort Pierce Central)

Linebacker Noah Furbush, Kenton, Ohio (Kenton)

Linebacker Chase Winovich, Clairton, Pa. (Thomas Jefferson Hs)

Safety Darius West, Lima, Ohio (Lima Catholic Central)

Safety Tony Fields, Tallahassee, Fla. (Amos P. Godby)

Offensive tackle Patrick Lawrence, Waxahachie, Texas (Waxahachie)

Offensive tackle Aaron Ruff, Philadelphia, Penn. (Imhotep Institute)

Wide receiver Jamil Kamara, Virginia Beach, Va. (Bishop Sullivan Catholic)

Tight end Trevor Wood, Paradise Valley, Ariz. (Chaparral)

2015

Defensive end Hjalte Froholdt, Warren, Ohio (Warren G Harding)

Linebacker Justin Hilliard, Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)

Linebacker Jashon Cornell, Saint Paul, Minn. (Cretin Derham Hall)

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