While the recruiting process for players in the class of 2018 is beginning to wind down, Clearwater (FL) Academy International 2018 defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado has seen his recruitment heat up with National Signing Day just a couple of weeks away.
A native of Italy, Baldonado has been American football for four years and made the decision to move to the United States with the hopes of improving on the football field and to potentially play the game at the next level and now holds seven offers and has received interest from several other schools, including Michigan State.
Baldonado, who has an official visit to Michigan State scheduled for January 19th, said that he will be joined on his trip to East Lansing by his mother and is looking forward to seeing what Michigan State has to offer.
“I’m bringing my mom because I know that at Michigan State, the family is an important thing,” he said. “So they were willing to bring my mom from Italy, so this is a great thing that they are doing for me.”
While he hasn’t even stepped on campus at Michigan State, Baldonado said that the Spartans have already made a big impression on him by bringing his mom in from Italy to join him on his visit.
“It really means a lot to me,” he said. “That’s why Michigan State is one of my top schools right now.”
Along with his interest from the Spartans, Baldonado holds offers from Central Florida and Connecticut along with five other offers and also has been in contact with Oregon, Nebraska, and Florida
In his interactions with the #15 Spartans, Baldonado said that he hears from Spartans’ offensive line coach Mark Staten the most and has been able to develop a strong relationship with him throughout his recruitment.
“I think he’s really a great person,” he said. “He helps me keep in touch with Michigan State and he shows me a lot of love.”
Baldonado said that when he talks with the Michigan State coaching staff, he’s been told that the Spartans like his ability to get after the quarterback, which is something that he says is one of his best attributes.
“I’m mainly a pass rusher as a weak-side defensive end or an outside linebacker,” he said. “They like my pass rush, which is my strength, I would say.”
While next weekend will be his first trip to East Lansing, Baldonado said that he’s been able to familiarize himself with the Spartans and has had the opportunity to watch the Spartans on TV and told Spartan Nation that he was impressed.
“I’ve watched their team and I really loved what I saw,” he said. “It’s really a great team with a great culture that coach Staten explained to me and even from the academic part, it’s really a great school.”
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