Mel Tucker, Jay Johnson and other members of Michigan State’s football staff recruited quarterback Hampton Fay when they were at Colorado. They offered him a scholarship and built a relationship with him.
That led to the Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal junior being in the first wave of scholarship offers when Tucker and Johnson came to Michigan State.
Fay visited East Lansing in March, just before in-person recruiting visits were shut down. He was greeted with a chorus of cheers and experienced meetings, which he described as intense, and other aspects of Michigan State’s program.
The strength of the relationships and that visit brought Fay to commit to Michigan State over the weekend, joining a class that has good momentum with eight commits all coming in April.
“Once (the coaches) were settled and stuff, they reached back out to me,” Fay said. “To know that they were still after me was really good, just to hear, because it’s big-time football, Michigan State, and they obviously believe in me.”
The belief comes from a short window of film Fay had as a junior.
He missed much of the season with an injured labrum, but in the three games he played he was excellent, completing 70% of his passes for 845 yards and 10 touchdowns with just one interception. He also rushed for 135 yards and two scores.
During his sophomore year at Aledo High, he played wide receiver. He also runs track at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds.
“This young man, his upside and his potential just with his length and his athleticism puts him in a different category,” Episcopal head coach Aaron Beck told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. “If we were in school right now and in track season he'd run on our 4x100 relay team. He's a little over 6-5, extremely athletic, and his pedigree, his father was a quarterback at Naval Academy and a team captain. He's grown up with that mentality and quarterback mindset. He was a receiver his freshman and sophomore year at another school and was actually all-district.”
Beck also speaks highly of Fay’s football IQ and acumen.
He is an excellent student and academics also factored into his college decision.
The Spartans also have their quarterback commit after they had to recruit into the fall to secure Noah Kim and Payton Thorne in the last two classes.
Fay is the first commit from Texas in this class. They signed Darius Snow from the Lone Star State in the 2020 class.
Spartans continue to work ahead
The Michigan State staff is experiencing success in recruiting the class of 2021, but they are also moving forward and beginning to recruit members of the 2022 class.
On Monday evening, the Spartans became the first school to offer Leo (Indiana) offensive tackle Landen Livingston. A 6-foot-5, 260-pound All-Conference performer, Livingston camped at MSU’s Rising Stars camp last summer.
The Spartans also extended two offers at St. Louis (Missouri) Lutheran North to defensive backs Caldra Williford and Toriano Pride. Both players have several Power Five scholarship offers. The Spartans are also recruiting their teammate in the 2021 class, defensive end Travion Ford.
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.