The 2018 recruiting class is shaping up quite nicely for the Michigan State Spartans. And perhaps there is no player more highly-touted in the class or the state of Michigan than four-star cornerback, Kalon Gervin.
Gervin is actually the highest-ranked cornerback the Spartans have ever landed in the history of the 247Sports Composite. He is currently ranked as the No. 2 player overall in Michigan and the No. 19 cornerback in the country, per the Composite rankings.
Even more impressively, the Cass Tech product is the best player in the state according to Rivals. Gervin is also the No. 16 cornerback in the nation in Rivals’ ranking system.
Gervin was close to other schools, such as Oregon, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech, and he pretty much could have gone to any school he wanted to, garnering some 40 or so offers. But he chose to become a Spartan.
“Michigan State was the most comfortable place for me,” Gervin said. “I’m very happy with the coaching staff. I love Coach (Mark Dantino’s) coaching style. Coach (Harlon Barnett) is going to develop me great.”
The recruiting process was a long road, full of ups and downs for Gervin. He de-committed from Notre Dame back in May and wanted to take his time the second time around.
The decision to de-commit from Notre Dame and re-open his recruitment was not an easy one for Gervin. He put a lot of thought into it and decided that was his best path.
“It was very tough,” Gervin said. “I felt like it was too early in the (recruiting) process. I needed to re-think my process. Take my time with everything.”
While it may be hard to focus on the field with all of the distractions and excitement along the recruiting road, Gervin still had an excellent season on the field, recording 38 tackles, 10 pass breakups and a pick-six.
Gervin helped lead the Technicians to a strong playoff run, which ended in the state semifinals in a close loss to West Bloomfield. He also received several accolades for his senior-season performance, including Under Armour All-American Honors and making the Detroit Free Press All-State Dream Team.
While Gervin is surely honored to be recognized for his achievement, he understands that football is a team game and that work ethic is vital to success.
“Hard work pays off,” he said. “Hard work and dedication is what I live by. None of that stuff really matters now that I’m going to college, so now I’ve got a clean plate and I’m ready to make my mark in college.”
Interestingly, Gervin is not the only member of the Spartans’ 2018 recruiting class that will be participating in the 2018 Under Armour All-America game in Orlando. Jacob Isaia, a three-star offensive lineman out of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), will also be suiting up for the showcase game.
The 2018 class seems like it will be a tight-knit group. As I have pointed out in these Commitment Spotlight Series articles before, a lot of the players have already met or talked, and have begun building relationships with each other. Gervin is very excited about the group and is strengthening his rapport with his peers on a daily basis.
“We are all brothers,” Gervin said of his 2018 recruiting classmates. “(I am) building a relationship every day with them guys.”
He may not be the biggest prospect, standing at 5-feet-11-inches tall and weighing in at 180 pounds, but Gervin has tremendous athleticism, ball skills and speed. He is just an incredible football player. In fact, the Detroit standout runs a blazing 4.45-second 40 yard dash time.
Of course, Gervin is still just a high school senior. Just like every athlete at this stage, he has great strengths, as well as areas in which he can improve upon. When asked what set him apart and where he needed to strengthen his game, Gervin had this to say:
“I’m a technician of the game,” he said. “I feel that my speed is a great asset of my game, also. I think I need to improve on my zone coverage concepts.”
The truth is Gervin has the raw skills and athletic ability to suit up right away for Michigan State. There is a reason he is such a sought-after recruit. But with the emergence of young players at the cornerback position, such as Josiah Scott and Justin Layne, among others, the defensive backfield is looking rather crowded.
Still, if the 2017 season taught us anything, it’s that Dantonio is not afraid to play true freshmen. If Gervin impresses throughout the spring and summer camp, it is definitely possible he earns playing time early.
“I’m ready to come in and compete regardless (of the competition),” Gervin said. “My goal is to get on the field as fast as I can. I think me coming in early and just working hard and perfecting my craft (will help).”
Gervin is indeed getting an early jump, as he plans to enroll in January classes at MSU. This will give him a head start with adjusting to his college course load as well as the hectic football program and workout regimen.
Arriving in East Lansing early will also give him an opportunity to further his relationship with Dantonio and the rest of the Michigan State coaching staff.
“Coach Dantonio is a great coach,” Gervin said excitedly. “I love his coaching style. All of the staff is family. I’ve known them for a very long.”
While Gervin is looking forward to starting his new journey as a Spartan, he will never forget his time at Cass Tech. He has nothing but praise for his high school coaching staff and teammates.
“The (Cass Tech) coaches taught me how to compete,” he said. “That’s something we did every day. The players, well we just pushed each other to the limit.”
The Spartan fanbase is ecstatic about Gervin’s commitment. He is a well-versed, extremely talented football player on the field and a class-act off of the field.
Kalon Gervin is the 10th commit interviewed in this series. Be sure to check out the other feature stories in the Commitment Spotlight Storystream.
Don’t miss Gervin’s senior highlights below. #Lockdown.