Trieu: Jacub Panasiuk wasn’t slam dunk commit for MSU

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Jacub Panasiuk

Mike Panasiuk and Jacub Panasiuk are like most brothers who are one year apart. They have their ups and downs. Chris Roll, head coach at Lake Park High School in Roselle, Ill., says there were times they fought in practice and got on each other’s nerves. But when it came time to business on Friday nights, opponents had nearly 600 pounds of Panasiuk to deal with.

Mike signed with Michigan State in the 2016 class and Jacub committed to Michigan State on Thursday. After receiving offers from other schools like Minnesota, Penn State, Indiana, Illinois and others, the 6-foot-3, 266-pound Panasiuk was honored when the Spartans offered in the winter, but he was not always a sure thing to join his brother in East Lansing.

“Everyone assumed he would follow his brother and he wished to go through the process,” Roll said. “He took some time away from Mike and we made it a process about him and his family. There was a solid number of months where he was serious about other schools. But Michigan State’s coaches – Coach Dantonio, Coach Salem and Coach Burton – did a great job of being patient with him, supporting him and not pressuring him, and he realized that Michigan State was right for him.”

Mike played inside and Jacub played end last season. Spartan fans could see that combination in the future or, depending on how he continues to grow, Jacub could end up next to his brother on the interior as well.

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“Jacub is different than Mike,” Roll said. “In some ways, I think he's a more versatile player than Mike is. He’s definitely a defensive end right now but I think with him, he could be a three-tech because he keeps getting bigger and stronger. But he’s fast, he bends well, he’s athletic and has the body of a basketball player. He’s violent and he closes to the ball.”

The good news for Michigan State is, there is a third brother coming up as well, Patrick, who will be a sophomore at Lake Park this season.

“All three are different,” Roll said. “Mike is power, the most physical player I’ve ever coached. Jacub is more about speed and athleticism and Patrick is somewhere in-between. He’s big right now, massive for a freshman, and he might be more on the offensive side of the ball.”

Of course, like Jacub, Patrick likely will choose to look at any and all options that might present themselves to him over the next two years. It is too early to tell if Michigan State will be one of those opportunities.

Jacub said the “family vibe” he felt at Michigan State was a big part of his decision. Mike contributes to that, and despite it not being a foregone conclusion, the brothers will be reunited again in East Lansing in 2017.

“I think after a year away from Mike, Jacub will be very excited to get back on the same football field with him,” Roll says.

Spartan opponents will not be as excited about the brotherly combination.

Four-star Floridian has Spartans in top group

Miami Carol City linebacker Deandre Wilder named a top 11 of Michigan State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Louisville, Florida, Miami, Colorado, California, West Virginia, LSU and Auburn this week.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Wilder does not have a decision date set and is likely to take his official ists before making a decision.

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Pickerington Central class of 2018 tight end Trenton Gillison visited Michigan State on Tuesday and left with a Spartan offer.

Gillison (6-5, 220 pounds) has additional offers from Michigan, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Indiana.

He has visited Michigan State several times before, including for games last fall. He plans to return to East Lansing later this month for one of MSU’s camps.

More information

Jacub Panasiuk profile

Deandre Wilder profile

Trenton Gillison profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. 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