Trieu: QB coach says NFL possible for MSU commit Day

Allen Trieu

Quarterback Theo Day’s journey to where he is now, ending his junior year as a Michigan State commit, was one that was filled with hard work and willingness to adapt.

Day started only a couple games at Detroit Catholic Central as a sophomore, but generated recruiting interest with his camp performances. After transferring to Dearborn Divine Child and starting the season there and leading the team deep into the playoffs, he was offered by Michigan State and accepted shortly thereafter.

What many in the recruiting world have not seen is the work he has put in to improve himself during that time. Day has worked extensively with the Divine Child staff and a private quarterback coach, Richard Popp, on his throwing mechanics and other finer points of his game.

“When I first saw him throw, he had a really elongated, round baseball motion,” Popp said, “and the most impressive is that I coached him up on the technique, and the next time I saw him throw, a week or two later, he had already started to make the changes and show the growth in mechanics. I said ‘Wow, that kid learns fast.’ Then I’ve seen him grow more over the next 18 months or so, and he’s just exploding. You see a 6-foot-5 kid with quick twitch and mechanics and it’s pretty exciting.”

Popp has worked with quite a few quarterbacks, many of whom have gone on to play in college, but in Day, he sees the potential to play the game of football for a long time.

“He, in my opinion, and I know this is way out there, but if he stays healthy and grows as he has been, he’s a Sunday performer. He has the most explosive arm of a kid I’ve ever coached, incredible work ethic and drive to excel and unlike some of kids who are elite, takes criticism exactly how it should be taken.”

Spring recruiting can be an important time in recruiting as it allows college coaches to come into high schools and watch prospective recruits work out. For quarterbacks, it is an opportunity to see them throw live. During that time, Day may have received more offers, but he did not need any offers other than Michigan State, a school he says was the right fit.

His quarterback coach agrees.

“It’s a perfect fit,” Popp said. “He reminds me very much of a Drew Stanton and Kirk Cousins combination. He’s a very, very good athlete, he’s a good basketball player as well, and he has escapability. I don’t think he’ll run for 90 yards, but he might get a few instead of a sack and, in my mind, he is a big-time pro-style quarterback.”

He is one who is continuing to work to get better still, even after his commitment to the Spartans. Popp says they are working currently on being more conscientious of his feet and base. Beyond mechanics, with one year as starter now under his belt, the amount of knowledge as far as processing information and making reads Day has is much higher. When that is coupled with his arm talent, intangibles and physical skills, that is why Popp is confident in his future success.

“What I can say about that is, his confidence has grown because he has such a better understanding of the game itself. His reads are coming easier and he understands what things look like to begin with, and that helps him once the defense is moving, so he is seeing everything more quickly.”

Day is one of four commitments in Michigan State’s 2018 class.

MSU grayshirt commit gets an upgrade

Noah Harvey, a linebacker from Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead who committed to Michigan State under a grayshirt offer, has now been moved to a full scholarship commitment.

Grayshirts are recruits who delay enrollment at a school until the second term of the winter term, which can allow a school to put them on scholarship at that time. Harvey, however, will now join the team as a full scholarship player in the fall.

A one-time Bowling Green commitment, Harvey switched his commitment to Michigan State shortly before Signing Day.

A highly productive 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect, Harvey was a first-team all-state selection as a senior.

Georgia freshman receives MSU offer

Cartavious Bigsby, a freshman at LaGrange (Ga.) Callaway, has been offered a scholarship by Michigan State. Bigsby is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound defensive back and running back being recruited by most schools as an athlete.

He has seen his recruitment take off in the last two weeks. Alabama was the first school to offer him in late February and since then, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Florida have offered, in addition to Michigan State.

More information

Theo Day profile

Noah Harvey profile

Cartavious Bigsby 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 and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at