While coaches cannot go on the road recruiting in the spring, the additional time at home has allowed staffs to further evaluate prospects on film and stay in contact with them.
Michigan State’s new staff, led by head coach Mel Tucker, has certainly taken advantage of the time by extending new scholarship offers. That has included some recruits close to home who are now on the Spartans’ offer board.
One such prospect is Detroit Loyola defensive tackle Derrick Harmon, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound junior who recently added Michigan State to an offer list that also includes Ole Miss, Purdue and more.
"Coach Harlon (Barnett) said they love my highlights and that I’m quick on my feet and they want to get me down as soon as this is all over," Harmon said. "It means a lot. I've been waiting for this offer for a long time and it feels good that I got it."
Harmon added that he grew up rooting for Michigan State despite being in opposition to the rest of his household.
"Everyone in my house was going for Michigan and I would be going for Michigan State," he said.
Harmon came to Loyola as a freshman and quickly found his way onto the varsity team. He was first an offensive tackle in those days.
“I heard about him in little league football, but I didn’t know too much about him,” said DeAndre Ulmer, Loyola’s defensive backs coach and strength and conditioning coordinator.
“When I actually laid eyes on him, he was always good with his feet, decent hands, but his body was still young. He didn’t play a lot of defense until the end of the season and when we put him there, that’s when I realized he had something special in him.”
That was when Ulmer and the rest of the staff knew they had a Power 5 recruit on their roster. From there, Harmon continued to develop. Following his sophomore season, Central Michigan offered him a scholarship.
As recruiting took off, so did Harmon’s development.
“As the years went on, he’s gotten better mentally, physically, and grown into an amazing leader,” Ulmer said. “I consider him one of our senior leaders. He’s gotten stronger each and every year. He will call coaches, text coaches, get extra work in, and want to come in an hour early and stay later. He does hand drills, film, he’s in the weight room. He just overall wants to get better and that’s what has separated him.”
Described as a perfectionist, Harmon is known for being lighthearted and competitive. In times where his team needed to pushed, he did that. And when they needed a laugh, he did that.
“The biggest thing outside of football is he loves helping others, and he leads by example,” Ulmer said. “Kids look up to him and he is real friendly and respectable.”
That is how Harmon is handling recruiting as well.
During the shutdown, he has reached out to his coaches to pick their brains on what he should do next since he cannot visit schools like Michigan State, where he has yet to meet the newer members of the staff.
“It’s new to him, but he’s handling it well,” Ulmer said. “He’s real excited about it. He talks to me about it, our new head coach Kevin Rogers, our principal, talks to each and everyone of us about the process and we’re telling him to enjoy it and be true to who you are.”
Harmon was a Division 7-8 All-State selection as a junior.
Ohio RB offered by Spartans
Kyree Young, a junior at Akron Buchtel, was offered by Michigan State on Monday.
Young is ranked as a top-25 prospect in the state by 247Sports.
Iowa State, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nebraska, Purdue and West Virginia are among the schools in pursuit of him.
Sophomore OT earns an offer
Trent Ramsey, a 6-5, 265-pound sophomore offensive tackle from Gilbert (Ariz.) Higley, has been offered by Michigan State.
Ramsey is an early four-star prospect and is ranked No. 9 nationally at his position by 247Sports.
The Spartans are one of five schools who have offered, along with Florida Atlantic, Arizona State, UCF and USF.
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.