MSU Commits Praise Football Staff's Virtual Recruiting Visits amid Coronavirus

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 03:  The Michigan State Spartans logo on a football helmet during the game against the Maryland Terrapins on November 3, 2018 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

As the sports world continues to figure out how to navigate amid the coronavirus pandemic, it sounds like Michigan State football is ahead of other programs with its ability to recruit virtually. 

Per The Athletic's Colton Pouncy, some of the Spartans' top 2021 commits praised the coaching staff's ability to innovate under the current circumstances. 

Safety Gabe Nealy, who committed to the school in April, told Pouncy about his virtual meeting with Michigan State:

"The coaches spoke about how things were going to be at MSU. They talked about schemes, my role there and they really just laid out my entire future for me. Me and my family really loved that they had a plan for me and how they were going to develop me and they laid everything out for us. I told the staff I was committing immediately after the visit."

According to Pouncy, there is a process to setting up virtual visits that starts if a recruit is interested roughly one week in advance.

After the calls are organized, recruits meet various members of the athletic and academic staffs that is capped off by a meeting with new head coach Mel Tucker and positional coaches who will explain the player's role on the team. 

"I talked to all the coaches for about 15 minutes about the school and why I could be beneficial to the program, and we finished off with the head coach," safety Jah'von Grigsby told Pouncy of his experience. "They like my versatility on the field. I can play on the roof, the box or even nickel."

Pouncy noted some things that Michigan State does, including a festival theme for its various virtual visits by setting up "booths" along the way that show different departments in the football program. 

Tight end Kameron Allen showed off one of the graphics put together by the Spartans of him in a green and white uniform sitting atop a throne:

Kameron Allen🎒⚡️ @kamallen02

Michigan State showing 🤍🤍@MSU_Football @Coach_TGilmore #SpartanDawg https://t.co/ZeoMTst0fT

Michigan State's ability to adapt and innovate because of limitations stemming from the pandemic is particularly crucial with a new coaching staff in place. Mark Dantonio stepped down in February, leaving the Spartans scrambling to fill his job. 

Tucker, who began his coaching career with Michigan State as a graduate assistant from 1997-98, returned to the program after resigning as head coach at Colorado. Based on the early returns from his recruiting skills, the Spartans have to be happy with their choice. 247Sports ranks MSU 23rd nationally in the 2021 recruiting cycle.