Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio is an Ohio guy, through and through.
The defensively-minded coach grew up in Zanesville, not too far from Columbus, and worked his way up to defensive coordinator with the Buckeyes of Ohio State for three seasons under their head coach, Jim Tressel.
Since then, it’s been no secret that Dantonio has an oft-praised respect for the football talent that emerges from his home state. All-Big Ten players for the Spartans, such as Chris L. Rucker and Johnny Adams, both hand-selected by Dantonio and both defensive backs, call Ohio home. Newcomers to the program last February, Mark Meyers and Jermaine Edmondson, also defensive backs, hail from the Buckeye state as well.
While Dantonio has certainly been able to find some of the best talent in the state of Michigan on top of his pursuits down south since the semi-downfall by the Michigan Wolverines a few years back, he always manages to assemble a nice group of of out-of-state players as well.
Only trouble is, Ohio is now under the command of new Buckeyes head coach, Urban Meyer.
When it was announced that Ohio State had selected Meyer to lead their team after the firing of former head coach Jim Tressel, many around the Big Ten just assumed that recruiting in Ohio would fall back onto the shoulders of the Buckeyes once again.
They may have been wrong.
Solon’s (Ohio) Darian Hicks, a 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back who is on many radars with his immense talent and agility, visited East Lansing this week to meet with the coaches and players and see what type of future Michigan State might be able to offer him.
“I was able to watch them practice and I was able to tour the facilities and the academic center,” Hicks told reporters. “I really liked everything I saw; the campus was really nice and I also liked the coaches. I was also able to talk with Johnny Adams some as well. He just told me to make sure I consider Michigan State and to make sure it is what I want. I like Michigan State a lot; they are really high on my list.”
If there’s one thing Hicks isn’t short of, it’s scholarship offers. The talented young athlete has offers in place from Purdue, Penn State, West Virginia, Iowa, Boston College, Cincinnati, Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Illinois, and Indiana.
Also entertaining the idea of joining Mark Dantonio’s squad out of the Buckeye state is defensive back, Solomon Warfield. Also 6-foot, and at 170-pounds, Warfield made the trip to MSU last week and told the media he was very impressed by what he saw.
“It was sweet,” Warfield said. “I did not think they were going to offer me until I came to camp this summer, but they did it early and that shows me that they really want me. I really like Michigan State. It has a beautiful campus and it is just a nice place to be.”
In addition to the Spartans, Warfield has scholarship offers from Minnesota, West Virginia, Arizona, Iowa and Indiana.
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