In June, Hilton Head (S.C.) Island’s Cole DeMarzo flew up to Michigan for Michigan State’s Spartan Elite Camp, hoping to earn an offer from the Spartans.
The rising senior safety/outside linebacker did everything he needed to do in that setting to earn an offer. It took another month of evaluation, but this week, the offer came. It was a major moment for DeMarzo.
“His mom is from Michigan, and he has three aunts and uncles who graduated from Michigan State,” Hilton Head head coach B.J. Payne said. “The first thing I showed (MSU defensive coordinator Mike Tressel) when he called me was, Cole has a Jeep and the tire cover on the back of the Jeep is a Spartan tire cover. He’s had that for two years. He grew up a Michigan State (fan), so it’s pretty awesome. In 16 years of coaching, I’ve never had a kid get their dream offer.”
Payne said that does not mean this recruitment is over, as several other Power 5 programs like Northwestern and Stanford are continuing to evaluate DeMarzo.
He is planning to take an official visit to Michigan State in September and likely will make a college decision some time that month.
Tressel came down to Hilton Head twice during the evaluation periods. DeMarzo has now been to Michigan State’s campus twice, once just on his own during a college tour with teammates and then for the camp.
Capable of playing several positions, the Spartans see the 6-foot-3, 200-pound DeMarzo as a STAR linebacker.
“He’s freaky long and athletic,” Payne said. “The scary thing is, he just turned 17 last week. His dad is like 6-foot-4, almost 6-foot-5. He has all the checkmarks. His intangibles are ridiculous. He could have graduated and met NCAA Clearinghouse requirements after the first semester of his junior season. He’s a hard worker, ball skills are through the roof. He has freaky measurements and intangibles and he will pack on the weight.”
This season, though, DeMarzo will continue to play safety for Hilton Head.
“We play him at free safety because we can,” Payne explained. “He is an uber-athletic, violent kid who can take anything away hash to hash, but can run downhill and hit. We (play) him in the middle of the field, so other teams can’t scheme against him. He is an extremely violent player.”
Payne reports timing DeMarzo at 4.59 in the 40-yard dash.
He finished his junior season with 70 tackles, two interceptions and 11 pass break-ups.
In-state WR offered
Grand Rapids Catholic Central wide receiver Jace Williams was offered by Michigan State on Tuesday when the 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior-to-be visited campus.
The Spartan join Boston College, Nebraska, Kentucky and more on his offer list.
He caught 43 passes for 741 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore.
Top-ranked center draws Spartan offer
Damascus (Md.) center Ryan Linthicum, ranked the nation’s No. 1 center in the 2021 class by 247Sports, was offered by Michigan State.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Linthicum holds 17 scholarship offers with Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan and others on his list.
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.