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Michigan? Notre Dame? Rocco Spindler isn't tipping his hand as announcement approaches

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Four-star two-way lineman Rocco Spindler will make his college choice Saturday at 6 p.m. at Clarkston High School and Michigan fans are holding their breaths, hoping he picks the Wolverines.

Notre Dame is also eager to hear Spindler’s decision, along with fans for defending national champion LSU, Ohio State and Penn State.

Rocco Spindler

Spindler, the son of former Lions defensive lineman Marc Spindler, had originally planned to take his official visits before making his decision. However, earlier this summer Spindler said that he felt he wouldn’t be able to take the visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spindler’s father, who helped the Lions win their lone playoff game in the past 62 years in 1991, attended Pittsburgh. Rocco said he has family members living in Scranton, Pa., who want him to play at Penn State.

On WTKA-AM on Friday morning, Marc Spindler said his son didn’t plan to let any of the five head coaches know his decision until approximately a half hour before he makes his announcement.

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“He does have a decision locked up, he knows where he’s going,” said Marc Spindler to WTKA, as reported by “He’s just about the only (person) who know where’s he’s going. It’s going to be an exciting day. We’re looking forward to the decision and then really get the focus on his high school season, if there’s going to be one, and then his whatever college he chooses to go to.”

The majority of the recruiting analysts have Spindler going to Notre Dame with Michigan still in the mix for the 6-foot-4, 315-pound Spindler, who is ranked the No. 3 guard nationally by the 247Sports Composite.

“Michigan is very high on my list, Notre Dame too; everybody talks about the Notre Dame-Michigan matchup and for sure it’s there, but it’s tough to beat these other schools too,” Rocco said earlier this summer to The Detroit News. “Michigan’s close to home with Clarkston just 45 minutes away. Almost everybody is a Michigan fan here in Clarkston and it’s a tough school to get into, a lot of people’s dream school and one of the best business schools in the country so who wouldn’t want to be a part of that.”

Spindler’s high school teammate, four-star offensive tackle Garrett Dellinger, is still trying to recruit Spindler to LSU. Dellinger committed to LSU earlier this summer.

Spindler and Dellinger have been starters since their freshmen years, helping Clarkston win the Division 1 state championship in 2017, then advancing to the state title game again their sophomore year where Clarkston was on the short end of a 31-30 thriller to Chippewa Valley at Ford Field.

Spindler earned a spot on The Detroit News Dream Team as a junior when he did an outstanding job on the offensive line while defensively getting in on 52 tackles, including six for lost yardage.

What makes Spindler so tough to play against?

“Rocco has blue-chiseled muscles, a high-motor and opposes his will on you where he just changes what we like to do,” said West Bloomfield coach Ron Bellamy, whose team lost to Clarkston 3-2 in the Division 1 state championship game in 2017 after defeating Clarkston during the regular season. “Really, you try and run away from him or just don’t block him and block the linebackers and let him try to run down your running back. He’s just a force on both sides of the ball.”

Dellinger is thrilled to have Spindler as his friend and teammate and would love to have him play at the next level with him, knowing it more than likely won’t happen.

“We’ve played with each other for the longest time, since flag football, just have been good buddies throughout all these years and have made a bond between us,” said Dellinger. “I give him subtle hints here and there about LSU, but we’re always around football so we don’t want to bother each other about that.

“Rocco really puts in the work, kind of like everyone on that level does, does extra speed and agility stuff in his free time because he’s always wanted it, it’s always been in his mindset for him. That makes him where he is at today.”