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The first time Clayton (Ohio) Northmont head coach Anthony Broering saw his now junior defensive end Gabe Newburg play, Newburg was in the eighth grade. It was apparent to Broering that day that Newburg was going to be a very good football player, as the youngster did something he had never seen in all his years of watching and coaching football.

“I was the defensive coordinator at the time, I hadn’t taken over the program yet, and literally, without exaggerating, he made every tackle in the game,” Broering said. “It was something I hadn’t ever seen before, and I’ve coached 27 years. I’ve coached 27 years, coached players who have played major college football, played in the Big Ten and had the Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year before, and it was something I hadn’t witnessed. I knew he was special.”

Newburg’s drive and motor stood out at that time, but as is the case with middle-school kids, it is hard to know how they will grow and physically develop. When Newburg blossomed to 6-foot-5, it became obvious he would play major college football.

Ten schools now have given him the opportunity to do so, with Michigan State as the most recent.

“I’ve known Mark (Dantonio) for forever,” Broering said. “Mark used to recruit my school when I was at another school, and he was at Cincinnati, so we go way way back. Coach (Paul) Haynes and I go way back, even Coach (Don) Treadwell and I go back. I have great respect for those guys. I know the kind of program they run. I think it’s a special thing to get an offer from a place like that and Gabe does, too. Gabe’s really smart and has paid attention, and his family was extremely excited Sunday when Coach Dantonio was on the phone and extended that offer.”

Newburg finished his junior season with 58 tackles (10.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks.

Rutgers and Cincinnati are among his other offers, and Vanderbilt, Texas Tech and many others have been recruiting him.

In addition to his football prowess, Newburg is a straight-A student who already has his college core credits taken care of, so early enrollment will be a strong possibility for him.

“He is a special recruit. I think that is what kind of kid he is and what kind of student he is,” Broering said. “His dad is a teacher here and the district head wrestling coach, so he’s wrestled for 13 years here at school and through that, has developed great balance, leverage and grip strength. All of that correlates to football very well, really nothing matches up better, especially at his position. I’m blessed to have him. He is a great, great young man, a fantastic citizen in the school — he’s a leader. Add on to it that he’s 6-foot-5, 235 pounds and a great student and he is really the total package.”

Broering will sit down with Newburg and his parents to map out spring practice visits and the plan for recruiting from there. What is clear, however, is that Michigan State is heavily in the conversation.

“I think he will be very successful in whatever path he chooses,” Broering said. “Right now, he is working to keep his grades up, get workouts in, and deal with all the recruiting. It’s hectic. Right now, every day there seems to be a new school. Yesterday, as I said, it was Vanderbilt, and Texas Tech, so he has a lot on his plate right now. But I have a lot of respect for Michigan State and those guys run a great program, and he’s excited about Michigan State.”

MSU offers Ohio LB

Cleveland St. Ignatius linebacker Tommy Eichenberg was offered by Michigan State last week. Eichenberg is a hard-hitting 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior.

Minnesota, Boston College, Iowa, Duke, and Purdue are among his other offers. Eichenberg’s older brother Liam plays at Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish have not offered to date.

He finished his junior season with 114 tackles (19 for loss), 7.5 sacks and two interceptions. The 247Sports Composite ranks him as the No. 13 inside linebacker prospect in the country.

More information

Gabe Newburg profile

Tommy Eichenberg profile

Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. 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 detroitnews.com.

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