EAST LANSING — The future of Michigan State will be on display this week, and not just on the field in Saturday’s Green-White game.
“This week will probably be the biggest week of the spring for us, having recruits on campus all throughout the week,” said Curtis Blackwell, the Spartans director of college advancement and performance.
“After the spring game, we’ll have a big event that we’re hosting with President (Lou Anna) Simon,” Blackwell said. “At the President’s house on campus there will be a cookout.”
The Spartans are calling it the “Presidential Primary” football recruiting weekend.
Top prospects will have an opportunity to interact with staff members from around the campus at the Cowles House, those outside of football as well as those involved in the Spartans’ Big Ten championship program.
Michigan State received a handful of verbal commitments last year the weekend of the spring football game, and that’s what the Spartans’ coaching staff hopes will happen again this year.
Blackwell said it’s a boon to have a school president as contemporary as Simon, an academian who has shown a unique ability to relate with student athletes as well as her athletic department and staff.
“You think about it, most universities are unable to get their president involved in things of this sort,” Blackwell said, “so to have a president that’s down with dancing with Rich Homie (Quan) or to host an event on campus, that’s something to take advantage of.”
Simon, along with athletic director Mark Hollis, coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartans’ football team, danced in the locker room following a 24-20 win over Stanford in the 100th Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2014.
Michigan State adopted Quan’s “Type of Way” song as their unofficial celebratory song, and the rapper was so flattered he became a fan of the program and flew out to the Rose Bowl to support the Spartans.
Blackwell, hired by Dantonio prior to that season, continues to work with the head coach and the Spartans assistants to revolutionize the recruiting approach, looking to stay competitive against bigger schools with more resources.
“For me, Michigan State is a family oriented campus and atmosphere,” Blackwell said. “So I’m trying my best to continue to find more and more ways to engage the prospects with the Michigan State family.”
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) April 19, 2016