When Michigan State signed offensive tackle Mustafa Khaleefah in the 2017 class, it furthered a relationship at Dearborn High School that now continues into the 2020 class where the Spartans have offered Pioneers junior Tommy Guajardo, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound prospect who could play any number of positions, including tight end and linebacker.
Last summer, Dearborn and Guajardo participated in a 7-on-7 event at MSU, and that in-person evaluation along with what the staff saw on his subsequent junior film made him a player the staff wanted to offer without needing the spring evaluation period or additional summer camps.
“I called Coach (Terrence) Samuel,” Dearborn head coach John Powell said. “I said I have a kid 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and can run, tell me if he is a Power 5 player, just come watch. He sat and watched the whole scrimmage against Muskegon. Tommy had two pick-sixes, (Randy) Moss-ed two kids. Midway through the game, he called us over, then the next you know, we are playing Mona Shores and it’s on the far field, and it’s Coach (Mark) Dantonio and the whole staff there watching.”
Guajardo holds 17 scholarship offers, but told Sean Scherer of Spartan Tailgate that “MSU will be definitely up on top,” following the offer.
“I think if there was any offer he wanted to get from a school, that was it,” Powell said. “It was huge for him.”
As a sophomore, Guajardo began receiving heavy recruiting attention. He was 185 pounds and a wide receiver recruit at that time. Today, he is a put-together 235 pounds. That has not happened by accident.
“The first thing is, he put in the work,” Powell said. “He’s been lifting weights. He is bigger, faster, stronger, and the work he has put in in the weight room has allowed him to take — he had a wide receiver skill set — and project to other spots because he is 230, 235 pounds and still moves like a wide receiver. And it’s all muscle. The size and his speed work, agility work, he has put himself in this position.”
In addition, Powell added Guajardo and his father have been just as proactive about reaching out to colleges and taking visits as preparing himself to look, run and jump the part when they watch him.
The reason many schools wanted to see him in person during the winter contact period was to assess his body type and the other positions he could play.
“The first question they want to ask is, what he can play. My response is, it depends on how you coach him,” Powell explained. “He can play defensive end, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, safety, tight end. Right now, he has the most experience at tight end and wide receiver and H-back, to be honest. He can run, he can tackle he can move, he has ball skills, whatever you can coach him up at, he can play.”
Khaleefah reached out to Guajardo following the Michigan State offer to congratulate him, and Powell believes having a player on the roster in East Lansing has helped build the relationship. Players like Khaleefah and Bearooz Yacoobi, who played at Purdue, helped bring more coaches into the school to help further opportunities for the next group, which includes Guajardo.
Powell has strong relationships with many college staffs, but is very appreciative of how Michigan State has recruited his school.
“Those guys take my calls. They take every call, they return calls, they are class acts,” he said. “They are respecting what I have to say, and I’m not a Belleville or (Detroit) Cass Tech where I’m producing 10 guys a year, but Michigan State is in my building every year, even if I don’t have a guy just to build relationships and that means a lot. It’s little old me, and Terrence Samuel is being respectful and spending the time watching our kids.”
Guajardo visited Michigan State last Sunday when the offer was extended.
Several new offers in Ohio
Along with Guajardo, the Spartans offered several visitors at last weekend’s basketball game. Many of them came in from the state of Ohio.
Clayton Northmont defensive end Jaiden Cameron, Westervile Central safety Rickey Hyatt, and Grandview Heights tight end Luke Lachey were among those who were offered.
The Spartans also extended an offer to Cleveland Glenville’s bruising 6-foot-2, 210-pound running back Torrance Davis, who they are now believed to be the leader for.
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.