As the Michigan State Spartans come off their first visit to the Final Four of football and the best signing day recruiting class of the Mark Dantonio era there is no rest. To stay at the top of the college football landscape it takes year round work.
The Spartans are one of only two teams to finish in the top ten the last three seasons and that isn’t by accident. Mark Dantonio and his staff have a great eye for recognizing talent and developing it. That gives them a critical edge in recruiting. They get players to the NFL and that matters to young men with the talent to play at this level.
The Spartans are constantly searching the state of Ohio and one young man has wrestled their attention. He is a 6’5” 325 pound OT/DT prospect from Brush High School named Tyrone Chambers. While versatile enough and athletic enough to play both sides, the Spartans initial interest came about on the defensive side of the ball.
ICONIC MSU assistant Jim “The Senator” Bollman is his primary recruiter. I caught up with Chambers on Spartan Nation Radio. Don’t be fueled by his enormous size and brash attacking style on the field, Chambers is a humble young man who covets a college education. He wants to major in construction and management.
I asked him about his visit to MSU last week. “It was great. I had a chance to go around the school, I sat in on my position meetings with the defensive line and I met all of the staff. I pretty much hung out with Coach Dantonio the whole time I was there.”
So while MSU is looking at him now as a DT does that bother the young man with the ability to play both sides? “I actually want to play wherever my team needs me to be successful, but if it is up to me I would pick defense. I can be more aggressive coming off the ball.”
So how has the process gone for Chambers as a recruit? He has elite programs from all across the nation zeroing in on him. Don’t mistake that for him holding out for attention. He would like to get that one right offer and end the process. “I think colleges take things kind of slow and I would like to get it done and get right to work.
So when did the elite schools start paying attention? “I have been receiving a lot of attention from big time schools. Ohio State was the first school and Michigan State was second to give me attention. I visited Michigan State in October and was back about a week ago.”
So what does he think of the Spartan program? “What I like the most about the whole coaching staff and really everything about Michigan State is that when you walk in you can tell that they care. Not just football but about you. They care. How they talk to you. That is my main thing. How are they going to treat you? I want to treat people the way they treat me. I just love the environment and everything about Michigan State. I have been there before for a game too. It was Michigan State vs Purdue. The atmosphere was great. That coaching staff is the right people to be around.”
Spend any time talking to Chambers and you instantly realize how special of a young man he is. His tape tells you of his talent, but his character reveals the young man inside. At nine years old, a young Chambers had to endure the tragedy of his father passing away. Something sure to impact anyone let alone a little nine year old boy.
Thanks to the, “Grace of God,” and his loving mother Tenisha Chambers, Tyrone has made it. A testimony he believes that speaks to the, “Grace of God,” and an amazing women that he calls mom. But mom isn’t the only woman in his life that holds his heart in their hands.
“I have four sisters and I am the only boy. I am the only boy around my house. They all look up to me. I am the big man. I have to prove them right in order for us to be successful. I have to help my family.” Certainly to hear words like that from a young man would make any father proud. It certainly shows you the impact of an amazing family has had in shaping the youngster.
He talked about what drives him saying, “If I am going to be successful in life I don’t’ want to be half way. I have to graduate from college and do well on and off the field. My goal is to do four years. I just really enjoy school. With me looking at and visiting Michigan State, it is the school I want to be at. I believe Michigan State can lead me to that goal.”
In today’s world of young people with eyes on simply making it to pro football, Chambers has been raised to see the value of an education. Like a thirsty many after water Chambers wants a degree. To him it is about finishing more than starting.
I was impressed as he said to me about why he loves MSU, “It is very important. Coach Dantonio is a role model in what I can look up to and be in his shoes someday. I can follow in his shoes. He is a great example of the right (way) to his players. All I hear are positive things and all I see are positive things. I am all in.”
While most recruits play shy and coy wanting all of the national attention, that isn’t Chambers. Perhaps because of losing his dad at only nine years old he recognizes a need to be around strong men, because he speaks with reverence about the MSU staff in ways that have little to do with football.
Chambers is a great player, but an amazing young man. Perhaps some would define his story of a young man losing a father, but he would correct you. He is on a quest. To make that man proud, to care for his amazing mother and to be the man in his four lovely sisters lives.
Who knows if Chambers will every play in the NFL, but don’t count him out. I bet one day when he walks across the stage as a proud college graduate degree in hand, he will have five beautiful women ready to hug “Their man” and a dad who passed way too early looking down from heaven at his son, proud.
No matter where Chambers plays don’t count him out. He is a winner as a man, and a football player. His mother wouldn’t have it any other way.