Noah Listermann had to be convinced to join his high school football team. Now he is verbally committed to play at Michigan State. (Allen Trieu / Scout.com)
“Frustrating” is likely a good word to describe how the Cincinnati Winton Woods coaching staff and football team must have felt to have a 6-foot-7 behemoth roaming the halls with no intention of playing football, but Noah Listermann admits that for years, he just wanted to hang out with friends and do the things kids do.
Finally, head coach Andre Parker and Listermann’s friends who were on the team convinced him to come out. Two years later, the offensive tackle has gone from never playing to committed to the Rose Bowl champions for the Class of 2015, as he gave his verbal pledge to Michigan State earlier this month.
While it was not his deciding factor, the fact the Spartans recruited him from the beginning of his football career was something that stuck with him.
“Coach (Harlon) Barnett came to school my sophomore year,” Listermann told Scout.com’s Dave Berk. “It was only my first year of playing football, but he gave me his card and I was surprised ... he was the first coach to give me his card. I didn’t really know anything about Michigan State or colleges giving scholarships before I started playing football. But he came by a few times and I got to know more each time because he’s from my hometown and we could talk about things we each knew about, and from there our relationship grew.”
Berk, who lives in Southwest Ohio and has seen Listermann play on several occasions, calls this get “huge” for Michigan State. As schools had a chance to see his upside and frame this spring, the offer list grew. Ohio State offered just a few days before his commitment, and he turned Wisconsin, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, Virginia and more.
“There is tremendous upside to the football future of Listermann as he’s only played two seasons of football to date,” Berk says. “With great length and the frame to carry over 300 pounds without losing athletic ability, Listermann is a possible future NFL draft pick. He has long arms and is a natural bender with great feet, (which) makes the Ohio native one of the Spartans’ top offensive tackle recruits in recent memory.”
With his commitment, not only has Listermann validated his decision to give the sport a try, but he has given himself, his friends, and his family in Ohio a new school to root for.
“I had paid attention to [Michigan State] throughout the season and it was funny because my family is all Ohio State fans. My mom would ask me, ‘Aren’t you an Ohio State fan?’ But now, she is like full steam ahead for Michigan State. So it was a thing where you know when you know and I know I want to be a Spartan.”
Camp offers extended
Michigan State’s June 1 camp produced several new offers, all from the state of Ohio.
Dublin Scioto linebacker Nick Conner was offered as a defensive end, and Kettering Alter cornerback Nick Coleman and Nordonia defensive lineman Justice Alexander were all offered.
Lineman camp standouts
Listermann led the way at the Spartans’ annual lineman camp. In addition to Listermann, other standouts on the offensive line included rising juniors Sean Foster (Mundelein, Ill.), Brandon Ford (Upper St. Clair, Pa.), and rising seniors Bruce Hinton (Trotwood, Ohio) and Jack Shutack (Lagrange, Ill.) along with many others.
On the defensive line, Shutack’s teammate at Nazareth Academy, Devonte Dunn, emerged as a prospect to watch. Only coming out of his freshman year, Dunn (6-2, 240 pounds) was quick, aggressive and caught the eye of the Spartans.
Cass Tech junior-to-be Michael Onwenu and rising senior Elliot Laisure (Brunswick, Ohio) were among the other defensive standouts.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com 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 weekly at detroitnews.com. For more on MSU recruiting, visit michiganstate.scout.com.