Trieu: 'Blue-collar' tight end prospect draws Michigan State's attention
Bowling Green commit Levi Gazarek will visit Michigan State on Saturday after the Spartans offered the 6-foot-5, 250-pound senior tight end prospect from North Baltimore (Ohio) a scholarship during the week.
This will be an unofficial visit for Gazarek, who is committed to the Falcons for both football and baseball.
“Michigan State has been in contact for a month or two now,” North Baltimore head coach Zach Walls said. “They have been up here a few times to see him during the recruiting period. Coach (Mark) Staten has been up here quite frequently. He is a great guy and they like blue-collar kids that will continue to work once they get to college.”
North Baltimore has not typically pumped out a large volume of Big Ten recruits. Gazarek’s own recruitment started with a handful of Mid-American Conference offers before he committed to Bowling Green, but this week, Maryland and Michigan State both offered.
“His size alone is a huge part,” Walls said. “Being 6-foot-5, 250 pounds now and his work ethic and commitment to everything along with his leadership as well. He is very competitive and a very, very good athlete for his size. He is a big kid who moves very well. He is around a high 4.6, low 4.7 in the 40 and can dunk a basketball, 360, all those other things.”
Gazarek plays quarterback for his team and has posted big numbers to this point, but most schools see him moving to tight end, a position his skill set translates too.
“He had been a receiver until junior year when I took over the program,” Walls explained. “We lost our quarterback, he transferred out, and I asked Levi if he was willing to move to quarterback since we run a lot of zone-read/option stuff that would allow him to have the ball in his hands. We throw the ball, too, and he’s a pitcher and has a great arm, but he was fine with the transition and took it over and worked his tail off to where he needed to be to be successful playing out of position.”
Gazarek will visit Michigan State, then look to schedule an official visit to Maryland. He remains verbally committed to Bowling Green, but now has more to think about.
“We talked after practice because I wanted to get his thoughts and see where his head was at — we have a huge game coming up Friday — and he said ‘Coach, this has put a wrench into my plans,’” Walls said. “He said ‘I have no idea at this point, I just want to go where I’m best suited and where I can play and start right away and show an impact right away.”
The Spartans hope it is them, and Walls is confident in what the school Gazarek signs with will inherit.
“They’re getting a great leader, hard worker with a blue-collar work ethic and someone who is passionate about the game,” Walls said. “His father played minor league baseball, and I think Levi wants to create his own image and be the person he knows he can be.”
247Sports ranks Gazarek as the No. 58 tight end in the country.
More visitors for Penn State
Michigan State offered Chantilly (Va.) Hopewell quarterback Noah Kim on Wednesday. Kim de-committed from Virginia Tech the same evening.
He will now take an official visit to MSU this weekend. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Kim attended the Spartan Elite Camp in June.
Another official visitor is Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside linebacker Tyson Meiguez, a senior who is committed to Georgia Tech. Michigan State offered the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Meiguez last winter.
Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More wide receiver Alante Brown, a former Spartan commit, also will be on his official visit.
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.