Blue Chip profile: Summer work pays dividends for Theo Day

David Goricki
The Detroit News

This is the sixth in a series of profiles on the top 15 players on The Detroit News Blue Chip list. Today: No. 10, Dearborn Divine Child quarterback Theo Day.

Theo Day turned some heads last summer during camps to turn his three-star status into four stars heading into his senior year at Dearborn Divine Child.

But, it wasn’t like Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio didn’t already have the quarterback on his radar, a reason the Spartans already had offered him.

Day made the most of his two seasons at Divine Child after transferring from Detroit Catholic Central, throwing for 1,833 yards and 22 touchdowns to lead the Falcons to the Division 3 state semifinals his junior year, then 1,622 yards and 16 touchdowns his senior year, also rushing for 878 yards and 13 touchdowns to help them earn the Catholic League title, and reach the regional championship game.

Day not only impressed people at camps during the summer, he also got in the weight room and put on 15 pounds to play at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds.

Day did accept the offer from Dantonio during the winter of his junior year, and has enrolled early to start his college career so he can learn the playbook and participate in spring practice.

“I think my senior year went well,” Day said. “The team was pretty successful ... Obviously, we wanted to go farther than we did, but still I feel we had a good year, did a lot of good things on the field. We had a lot of good times this year, traveling to Benton Harbor, traveling to East Lansing and getting wins at both of those places. We had a couple of big playoff wins at home and had the chance to host the regional final, so it was a lot of fun.”

So, where has Day improved the most from a year ago?

“I think just the knowledge of my game, since I had a whole season under my belt and knowing what I did well at and what I did bad and what I needed to improve on,” Day said. “Really, it was just my knowledge of the defense and what they’re doing out there, and what they’re trying to do against me.

“I feel my arm strength also improved due to all the time I spent in the weight room, and I think my accuracy got better, too. I played at 190, 195 my junior year and played at 210 (as a senior). I could feel the difference, definitely with arm strength and just running around, being able to be more physical as a runner.”

Divine Child coach John Filiatraut said he felt Day could have been a Division 1 safety if he wasn’t such an outstanding quarterback.

Day was a Michigan fan growing up. Oh, he also enjoyed watching Ohio State play, but things changed when he got familiar with Michigan State’s program and the Spartans’ coaching staff.

“It was just the coaches there, they were great, really welcomed me and made me feel like a part of the family,” said Day, who has a 3.0 grade-point-average and plans to major in supply chain management. “Everything else just worked out, like the facilities, the great academics and just how good of a program it is.”

Day picked the Spartans over Georgia — which reached the national championship game — along with Mississippi, Kentucky and Missouri of the Southeastern Conference, and Minnesota from the Big Ten.

“I really like Michigan State’s offense,” Day said. “Being a quarterback at Michigan State you have to know a lot of information about everything that’s going on.”

That’s definitely a reason Day decided to enroll early.

“I did enroll early so I could get a jump start and be more prepared come fall camp and the season,” he said.

Michigan never offered, but Day could be one day going up against his Divine Child teammate, Dream Team defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

“We talk about that all the time,” Day said.


No. 15: Taj Mustapha ‘at home’ with Badgers

No. 14: Michael Furtney up front in love for Badgers

No. 13: River Rouge’s Reggie Pearson finds his voice

No. 12: DeAndre Square bigger, stronger for Cass Tech, Kentucky

No. 11: Elijah Collins’ return to football pays off