The 2019 recruiting class for the Michigan State Spartans continues to grow stronger, as it currently sits at nine players. One of the more recent commits is Adam Berghorst, a three-star strong-side defensive end out of Zeeland East High School.
As the above tweet announces, Berghorst will play both football and baseball for the Spartans. He will be playing pitcher for the baseball program. Here is why he is choosing to take his athletic talents to East Lansing:
“I committed to (Michigan State) because they have great coaches, that are great guys,” Berghorst said. “I’ve developed relationships with both sports really well for a while. I also like the fact it was close to home. Both programs have done well.”
Berghorst went on to say that MSU was always one of his favorites during the recruiting process, and that he made the decision about a week or two before announcing his commitment.
Being a dual-sport collegiate athlete is something that Berghorst has always dreamt of, and now that dream is becoming a reality. He understands how challenging it may be at times, though, and is not taking the opportunity for granted.
“I am very excited for the opportunity (to play both sports), and glad I can have it,” Berghorst said. “It’s going to be very tough, but will be a good experience.”
Berghorst is not the only football commit who has also pledged to another sport, however. Jase Bowen, who committed just three weeks before Berghorst, will also be playing on both the gridiron and the baseball diamond for the Spartans.
Bowen, like Berghorst, is a versatile athlete. He will play wide receiver and perhaps special teams on the football field, and shortstop/outfield during baseball season. Having somebody going down a similar path will be helpful for Berghorst’s transition to the collegiate athletics and student life, and the two have already started bonding.
“I think it will definitely help to have another person to do it with,” Berghorst said. “I have talked with Jase a lot and texted some of the other commits.”
While Berghorst would like to get on both the baseball and football fields as soon as possible, he knows he may not start right away, though that is eventual goal for both sports.
When he first arrives on campus, he plans to hit the weight room hard to add weight and develop his body. With that said, one thing Berghorst has in his favor to earn early playing time is incredible length that others simply do not possess.
“My strength would be length for pass rushing,” Berhgorst said. “My arms work well for moves and getting around. For the run I think my ability to bend and move well for my size helps with that. I would like to get quicker off the ball and get stronger for the run.”
His length is also an asset on the pitching mound, as he continues to analyze how it can help him in both sports below.
“(My length) helps getting around players and making moves for football. I can reach ball carriers easier as well. For pitching, I can throw farther out with my length and have range off of the mound. Hopefully I can add more with my frame.”
Michigan State was the first school to recruit Berghorst for baseball. His relationship with head coach Jake Boss Jr. and the rest of the staff is very strong. While he played some second base in high school, he will focus solely on pitching for the Spartans.
Of course, the MSU football staff has taken note of Berghorst’s 6-foot-7 frame and long arms as well. Head coach Mark Dantonio checks in with him often, and Berghorst calls their relationship “great.”
Others on the defensive coaching staff are excited about the Zeeland East defensive end as a prospect as well. Namely, newly-hired defensive ends coach Chuck Bullough.
“Coach Bullough and I text almost every day and and make some calls,” Berghorst said. “Coach Bullough has said stuff about (potential early playing time) because they don’t have much length like mine on the d-line.”
In addition to all of his impressive physical traits, Berghorst was also a highly-touted recruit. He ranks as the No. 35 strong-side defensive end in the 247Sports composite and as the No. 2 defense end and 14th player overall in Michigan. He had offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, Kentucky, Iowa State, Boston College and several others.
While Berghorst cannot wait to arrive in East Lansing, his first priority is his senior year of high school football. Zeeland East went undefeated in the regular season last year, and beat rival Zeeland West in the final game to win the conference title — a feat that Berghorst says is his favorite moment in his high school career thus far. However, Zeeland West bounced Zeeland East out of the playoffs the following week, so Berghorst and his Chix teammates will be looking for an even stronger season in 2018.
As far as his future team, Berghorst thinks Michigan State has a very good shot at having a successful year with all of the returning talent the team possesses, and thinks they have a chance to make the College Football Playoff.
Things are coming full circle for Berghorst, who has always been a fan of the green and white. He will get a chance to live out his lifelong dream and accomplish his goals.
“I grew up a Spartan fan, so it is huge to become one,” Berghorst said. “I went to games growing up and it was my dream to play both sports for them. I couldn’t be more excited!”
Don’t forget to check out Berghorst’s impressive highlight tape below:
As always, don’t forget to check out the stories of other 2018 and 2019 recruits in our Commitment Spotlight Series, found exclusively on The Only Colors.