September 6, 2013 at 1:00 am

Allen Trieu

Academic programs key for Michigan State target Kyonta Stallworth, family

Tameka Stallworth on son Kyonta: 'I'm looking at where he can get the best education.' (Photo courtesy of Allen Trieu)

One of the common beliefs in the recruiting process is that the school that wins the mom wins the recruit. If that holds true, Michigan State is in good position with St. Clair Shores South Lake offensive lineman Kyonta Stallworth. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound junior visited East Lansing for the Spartans’ home opener last Friday. He had been to campus several times before, but this time, his mother, Tameka Stallworth, was able to accompany him.

“This was my second time,” Mrs. Stallworth said. “The first time, I went with (former South Lake head coach Chanterius) Brock and it wasn't anything like it was this time. It was totally different. This time, there was more explained. It was a different atmosphere. They got more in-depth and talked more about the school and about academics.”

Earlier in the summer, it was prematurely reported that her son had committed to the Spartans. A surprised mother began receiving congratulatory text messages and phone calls.

“I really don't know what happened,” she said. “I guess he had said that his heart would most likely be at Michigan State, and I guess someone misconstrued that he was going to commit. I know he did tell me that, ‘Mom, the way it's looking, this is the school I want to go to.’”

For Tameka, the main focus is not on football, but how her son will be prepared for life off the gridiron.

“I basically just want what's best for him, but I also want him to have a degree,” she said. “I want him to go to a school that's going to offer him more academic opportunities. I'm looking at where he can get the best education.”

A big part of the comfort with and trust in Michigan State the family has is Director of Player Advancement Curtis Blackwell, who has known the family since before he was an employee and before Kyonta was one of the top recruits in the state.

“That means a lot (having him there),” she said. “I want him to be somewhere where, at any moment, if he's having a bad day, he could have someone to talk to. With me having medical conditions, sometimes he will have a hard day and I feel like he's up there with his uncle. I knew Blackwell before he even worked for Michigan State. That makes me real comfortable and that makes my husband very comfortable also.”

Kyonta will visit MSU again this weekend.

Spartan commits have big opening weeks

High school football kicked off in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois last week and several prospects with Spartan offers and a few committed prospects had big weeks.

Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline senior quarterback Chris Durkin lead his team to a last-minute, comeback victory over Walsh Jesuit. The Spartan commit threw a 30-yard touchdown on fourth-and-15 to put his team up for good. Durkin finished with 199 passing yards, that touchdown pass, and chipped in a rushing touchdown, as well.

The quarterback committed in the class after Durkin, Jayru Campbell, lead Detroit Cass Tech to an 18-12 victory over Southfield in a highly-anticipated clash at Wayne State. Campbell passed for 203 yards and two touchdowns.

Two Spartan commits faced each other as Rochester Adams, with tight end commit Matt Sokol at quarterback, took on Clarkston, which features defensive tackle David Beedle. Sokol’s squad came out with a 12-7 victory, and Sokol scored a rushing touchdown.

While he is committed as a cornerback, Dayton Marshall’s Vayante Copeland also showed his talents as a running back, rushing for 111 yards. However, he was great at his future college position, grabbing two interceptions in a win over Clayton Northmont.

Saturday visitors has the Spartans at 30 recruiting visitors for this weekend’s home contest against South Florida. Among the big names will be Gateway (Pa.) High safety Montae Nicholson, who will be taking an official visit to East Lansing. Hubbard (Ohio) junior running back Larry Scott, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s junior cornerback Tyson Smith and Traverse City West sophomore offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa are visiting and hold Spartan offers.

More information

Kyonta Stallworth profile

Chris Durkin profile

Larry Scott profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan State recruiting column appears every Friday at For more on MSU recruiting, visit