Westerville (Ohio) Central’s Rickey Hyatt became a two-way varsity starter in the fall after playing on the varsity as a sophomore the previous year, largely on defense, and ended the season as one of the state of Ohio’s top recruits in his class.
At 6-foot-2, 187 pounds with the gifts to play both running back, where he rushed for 470 yards and five touchdowns, and safety, where he recorded 94 tackles and three interceptions, Hyatt saw many of his 13 scholarship offers come in February. That included Michigan State.
Hyatt visited the Spartans for a basketball game, where he received the offer.
"They're toward the top," he told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong afterward. “What impresses me is that (they) talk mostly about work ethic and talk about the academics more than football in such ways where other universities only or mostly show off what they have from a football point of view.”
At the Best of the Midwest Combine in Indianapolis earlier in the month, Hyatt ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash and had a good showing in one-on-ones. That brought him national attention among media and scouts, but the staff at Central had long had known about his abilities.
“He was always a huge contributor on defense,” Westerville Central head coach Brent Morrison said. “He started at free safety for us most of his sophomore year and then all of last year. We had a couple senior running backs go down last year and he was playing wide receiver for us and approached me and said, ‘Hey I played running back, give me a shot’ and I said alright and we put him in and never looked back. He got that role locked down.”
The size and speed are evident, but what might not be as obvious to those who have not coached Hyatt or played with or against him is the effort with which he plays.
“I think one of the things that makes him stand out is how hard he goes every play,” Morrison said. “He does not want to leave the field. He plays offense, defense, special teams, does anything we ask out there with football or blocking. He goes 100 miles an hour in everything he does.”
West Virginia, Iowa State, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Kentucky and others have offered.
Hyatt said he will be going slow with his recruitment, and does not have a commitment date in mind at this time.
“He has 17 offers or something like that,” Morrison said. “He is just kind of absorbing stuff, taking it in and is focused on the season and wants to see where the process takes him. He and his family are very open right now for recruiting and they just want to process it and figure out what options are best for him.”
247Sports ranks Hyatt as the No. 10 junior in the state of Ohio.
MSU offers 2 offensive lineman
Marcus Harper, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound junior offensive lineman from Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) was offered by Michigan State on Wednesday evening.
Harper visited the Spartans in October and said he would like to return in the spring.
Illinois, Nebraska, Oregon, Duke, Iowa State and Boston College are among his other offers.
Moorpark (Calif.) junior lineman Jonah Monheim also was offered by Michigan State this week.
Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State and California are some of the other programs who have offered the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Monheim. He was recently one of the top performers at Nike’s Opening Regional in Los Angeles.
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.