Kedrick Reescano, a four-star running back in the 2023 class, made the more than 1,200-mile-long trip from his home in New Caney, Texas to East Lansing, Michigan for an unofficial visit to Michigan State’s campus in the middle of January.
When he left Texas, he did not necessarily know he was going to be a Spartan pledge by the time he returned home, but that is exactly what happened.
This was Reescano’s second trip to East Lansing — he had also been on campus for an unofficial visit during the 2021 football season, and was at Spartan Stadium to see Michigan State’s comeback victory over the rival Michigan Wolverines on Halloween. On the January trip, Reescano watched the MSU men’s basketball team play against Northwestern at the Breslin Center in a 64-62 heartbreaking loss for the Spartans.
Shortly after that winter visit, Reescano publicly announced his commitment to Michigan State on Jan. 17 — because he knew MSU was different than all of the other programs recruiting him.
EAST LANSING HERE I COME pic.twitter.com/On5PnBpTzI— King Ked (@KedrickReescano) January 17, 2022
Reescano, who says he stands at 6-feet-tall and weighs 205 pounds, was the second player to verbally commit to Michigan State in the 2023 class after (now) four-star tight end Brennan Parachek pledged to the Spartans in September of 2021.
“So the first time I went (to Michigan State’s campus), I was already amazed,” Reescano told The Only Colors, via phone call. “Like, (MSU) was a big offer, you know what I mean? And then the second time I went, it was in January, we went to go watch a basketball game and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, this is the spot for me.’ And so, when I took that visit in January, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m committing here, this is my spot.’”
In addition to his unofficial visits, Reescano took an official visit to Michigan State during the weekend of June 10. Reescano was hosted on the trip by current Michigan State running back Elijah Collins.
It was that final trip that sealed the deal for Reescano and his family. It was not that Reescano had any doubts regarding Michigan State previously, but he knew after that official visit that it was time to truly shut his recruitment down from other programs. He canceled all of his remaining official visits at other schools, including a visit to Arkansas he had previously scheduled for June 17.
The talented running back is all in on Michigan State.
“This last time that I went (to MSU in June), that’s what locked me in for sure,” Reescano said. “I knew I was gonna be there. I knew that’s where I was going.”
Reescano’s strong bond with the Michigan State coaching staff
Unsurprisingly, a big reason why Reescano ultimately decided to choose Michigan State was because of the coaching staff. Reescano has built great relationships with head coach Mel Tucker and running backs coach Effrem Reed in particular.
“Oh man, they’re my guys!” Reescano said excitedly about Tucker and Reed.
Reescano resonates with the MSU head football coach so much because of Tucker’s unique personality. Tucker, of course, has the ability to keep conversations casual and fun when speaking with recruits. But he is always real and honest with what he expects, and his intensity, passion and vision for the future is what shined through from Reescano’s perspective.
“Coach Tuck is what really roped me in to be honest with you,” Reescano said. “This man knows how to talk. I’m talking about, like you’ll be having a cool, normal conversation with him, and then bam! It gets serious. You don’t know what to do, it catches you so off guard (but in a good way).”
As for Reed, Reescano has a strong bond with his future position coach, and sees more than just a player-coach relationship between the two.
“I look at Coach Reed as more like a mix between a brother, a father figure and a coach,” Reescano said. “He’s a real stand-up dude, and I know he’s going to be there for me when I need him.”
Cedric Reescano, Kedrick’s dad, agrees with his son’s assessment of Michigan State. He is 100 percent bought into the program, too. You may even notice Cedric proudly promoting Michigan State on his Twitter account.
Thanks!! I just love the kids and want to see them grow and become SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE… and it would be nice to see them win a FEW B1G CHAMPIONSHIPS and like I been saying also…. IT’S A NATTY COMING TO EAST LANSING— Cedric Reescano (GO HARD OR GO HOME) (@CedricReescano3) June 30, 2022
Tucker is building a culture of accountability in East Lansing. Another common theme for the Michigan State football program that many commits and recruits who are interested in the program often mention about the Spartans is the “family atmosphere” that seems to exist.
“I can (sense) the BS from a mile away, you know what I mean?” Cedric Reescano said. “I’m real big on vibes and energy. And that’s what I go off of. And everything felt right (at Michigan State). When we went up there (to East Lansing in January)...It just felt right...We weren’t even planning on committing that day (but we did).”
Interestingly, the elder Reescano was not strongly considering Michigan State as a true option for his son early on in the process. That was until he actually met the people within the football program, and he quickly changed his mind.
“Michigan State, they never let off the pedal, like never,” Cedric Reescano said. “And that was the school when he first got an offer, I can remember it like it was yesterday. I said, ‘We’re not going up there to no damn Michigan State.’ I remember saying that, you know, and I’ll be damned, was I wrong. I love it (at MSU).”
With Cedric having already visited Michigan State a couple of times and feeling very secure with the program, he wanted the coaches to focus on making Kedrick’s mom feel comfortable on the official visit in June and that is exactly what they did.
“I just feel comfortable with the staff and everything,” Cedric Reescano said. “I mean, it’s a great staff. And like I said, they feed you the real, and that’s what I look for. You know, don’t tell me what I want to hear, tell me what I need to hear.”
Building the 2023 class and NIL Opportunities
Michigan State’s 2023 recruiting class currently includes 10 players who have given the Spartans a verbal commitment, including seven four-star players and three others who were priority three-star targets for the MSU coaching staff. Kedrick Reescano thinks the class is going to be special, and the commits have already started building a bond through campus visits, group chats, playing games together and other things.
In fact, the 2023 class seems to have built a strong pipeline with the state of Texas. Reescano is one of three commits from the Lone Star State, along with four-star cornerback Chance Rucker and three-star quarterback Bo Edmundson. Additionally, the Spartans had another Texas prospect committed in four-star cornerback Jaylon Braxton, but he recently announced his decommitment from the program.
Why has Michigan State had so much success in Texas during the 2023 cycle thus far?
“To be honest, I think it’s that they make us feel comfortable,” Reescano said about MSU’s recruiting pitch to Texas prospects. “You know what I’m saying? Because to be able to get us all the way up there to Michigan, all these Texas kids to Michigan, you’ve got to be able to make them feel comfortable going there. It’s it’s an organic feeling. It’s like, ain’t nothing fake over there.”
Reescano and the fellow class of 2023 athletes will be entering college at an interesting time for athletes. Between name, image and likeness (NIL) opportunities, the transfer portal, conference expansion and other newer development, things have changed significantly within the college athletics landscape over the past couple of years.
However, things like NIL — while enticing and a great potential opportunity in the future — did not drive Reescano’s decision to commit to Michigan State. In fact, he said that MSU did not even really use NIL much as part of the recruiting pitch to him.
Reescano knows that if he has success on the field, NIL opportunities will come to him. For now, he is more focused on building the relationships with his future coaches and teammates. This is similar to what Clay Wedin, a four-star offensive line commit for the Spartans, told The Only Colors recently as well.
“I’m not really too worried about (NIL),” Reescano said. “I know if I ball on the field, I’m going to get my NIL deals. That’s not really an issue.”
Recruiting isn’t always smooth sailing for college prospects
Michigan State and Arkansas were far from the only programs after Reescano. He had additional scholarship offers from Nebraska, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Houston, Syracuse, TCU, SMU, Vanderbilt and many others.
Overall, while the recruiting process is a blessing for Reescano, it also had a lot of stressful moments. As expected, different coaches and staff members from various programs were pulling the New Caney star running back into a lot of different directions, and telling him what he wanted to hear.
“(The recruiting process) was (stressful at times),” Reescano said. “I don’t really like — I’m not gonna say I don’t like the fame — but I just don’t like all the fake stuff that comes with it. It didn’t really affect me bad, but it was just like, I knew what to watch out for. (The recruiting process) taught me a lot.”
This was another big reason why Michigan State earned Reescano’s commitment. The MSU staff was honest with him from the beginning, kept in constant communication, and didn’t seem to oversell anything.
“I mean, (Michigan State) didn’t promise anything they couldn’t deliver,” he added.
Reescano currently ranks as the No. 23 running back, the No. 62 player overall in the state of Texas and the No. 351 player nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. However, he does not personally care about the number of stars he has and doesn’t look at his rankings.
“It doesn’t make sense why people care so much about stars and rankings,” he said.
What kind of running back is Michigan State getting in Reescano?
Reescano is currently the only running back in Michigan State’s 2023 recruiting class. That could change before National Signing Day, but it would not be a surprise to see Reescano be the only tailback added to MSU’s roster next season, given the current depth at the position.
So what kind of running back are the Spartans getting in Reescano? One who has all of the traits that programs look for at the position — strong runner, can catch out of the backfield, can block in pass protection, etc.
“I would classify myself as an all purpose running back, every-down, back,” Reescano said.
Reescano also feels he has good vision, and will hit the proper holes, but also has the cutback ability and moves to make defenders miss.
“That’s natural, though,” Reescano says about his vision and ability as a runner. “That’s one of those things that can be taught, but it can’t be taught well, you know what I mean?”
If there is one aspect of Reescano’s game where he would like to improve upon before reaching the college level, it is increasing his speed.
“Speed,” Reescano said when asked what he wants to get better at. “I wanna get faster. Because you can never be too fast, but I wanna get faster, personally.”
Reescano is also tough as nails. He played nearly all of his junior season with three broken fingers.
Goals, mentors and off-the-field interests
Reescano has a lofty personal goal for his senior season at New Caney High School in 2022. He wants to rush for at least 2,000 yards. He rushed for 1,945 yards and scored 25 touchdowns in 2021.
Once he arrives to Michigan State’s campus in 2023, he wants to work hard and earn an immediate role with the team. Again, MSU has a crowded backfield in 2022, and likely will again in 2023 depending on roster attrition, but that is not deterring Reescano’s aspirations.
His goal during his first year is to get on the field any way he can and do what it takes to help contribute to wins for the Spartans.
“I’m trying to go play (at MSU),” Reescano said. “As a freshman, I want to get on that field (and help the team). That’s my goal.”
As for mentors, Reescano cites Cale (C.J.) Sanders Jr. as who he looks up to the most on the football field. Sanders also attended New Caney, where he also played running back.
Sanders, who is two years older than Reescano. was a three-star prospect in the 2021 class and now plays defensive back at Fresno State. Reescano said Sanders really took him “under his wing.”
Off of the field, Reescano enjoys watching anime, particularly the series “Naruto.” He’s watched the entire show, which includes over 700 episodes.
He also enjoys going on trail rides — which Reescano says involves a group of people bringing horses, cars, ATVs and other vehicles, or simply walking, on a trail and then afterward involves foods, drinks, music and dancing. It is big in Texas.
“It’s kicking up dirt, literally,” Cedric and Kedrick Reescano said about trail rides.