While fans were surprised when #5 Michigan State and Head Coach Mark Dantonio saw a rare recruiting flip recently, it was not a shock to those close to the program. Opinion on the former MSU commit (Dwan Mathis) was split and it had been evident that he wanted to be in Columbus, OH. That is why the Spartans were ready.
Moments after they learned that they had lost their committed QB for the 2019 class, they already had a game plan ready and sprang into action. One of the top QB’s in the nation that the Spartans had been keeping a very close eye on was a big, fast Texan who has the guts of Ben Roethlisberger to stay in the pocket, but with a set of wheels that would make many “Dual Threat” QB’s jealous.
The lanky 6’5” flamethrower out of Austin’s St. Michael’s Academy sounds and looks like he just walked out of custom casting in Hollywood for the next great western blockbuster, but the tape tells a different story. Sam Saxton is a tough as nails QB that can kill you with the rocket on his arm or with the deceptive speed most young men of his size show off at WR. He is the real deal.
MSU Coach Sheldon White reached out to Saxton who told Spartan Nation in an exclusive interview, “I was really excited, Michigan State had always been my favorite Big Ten team, without a doubt. It has always been really good football and a really good coaching staff. I was pumped when I got that call.” Things started rolling from there. Soon Saxton was on the phone with QB Coach Brad Salem and the process began.
For Saxton, who has all of the tools to play on Sundays, the Spartans stand out for obvious reasons. The Spartans currently have five NFL QB’s in Connor Cook, Kirk Cousins, Drew Stanton, Brian Hoyer and a family friend in Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles who is also from Austin. Dantonio gets guys in the league and Michigan State has a reputation as a cradle for NFL signal callers.
“I really want to go to a school that runs a true pro-style. As a quarterback, every quarterback, it is my dream to go play in the NFL in the future. It would be huge for me to go there and learn from that coaching staff and Coach Salem. It would be a real honor to play at Michigan State.”
He went on to add about the Spartans NFL success and the departed Dwan Mathis for OSH, “That says a lot. That last QB (Mathis) he was saying that he left Michigan State because Urban Meyer was better at developing quarterbacks to play in the NFL, but I don’t think that is true at all. From that list (Foles, Cousins, Hoyer, Cook and Stanton) you are giving me, it is evident that Michigan State is just as, if not better at developing quarterbacks than anyone in the country.”
He said of Foles (who still has a very close relationship with Dantonio), “Nick Foles is from my neck of the woods. His high school is about two miles from mine. I know his family really well. He is a great guy from a great family. I can’t say enough great things about Nick and I was really excited that he won the Super Bowl this year. I didn’t exactly know that he went to Michigan State. I knew that he hopped around a little bit. That is a big deal that he came out of there.”
Saxton went on to add about the Spartan legacy of NFL QB’s, “It says a lot about the coach that you can get those kinds of QB’s (Foles, Stanton, Hoyer, Cook and Cousins) there because I know that in this kind of recruiting process it is crazy. You see a lot of different coaches and it says a lot that all of those guys who are high-level quarterbacks and you see a lot of potential and learning in that quarterback room.”
So what are White and Salem telling the Texan that they like most about his game? “They are really excited about me. They say that I have the makeup of the other quarterbacks that they have had in the past and the current quarterback (Brian Lewerke) they say I am very similar to. I am a very good thrower, but if I need to use my legs I can. A lot of people do not see this, but I run a 4.6 40 (yard dash) and I don’t show it a lot, but I can get out of situations when needed. They are very excited and want to keep me close and have me up there as soon as possible. I am really excited about the future to come with Michigan State.”
As far as a visit to East Lansing, Saxton plans to get up here, “As soon as possible. As soon as the dead period ends in August.” For those concerned with the pressures of recruiting, Saxton has informed Spartan Nation that he will not be making a commitment anywhere until he visits Michigan State.
He said of that, “I will not commit until I get to Michigan State.”
The Texan is 195# and 6’5” and has a completion percentage of 85%, highlighting his pin-point accuracy. If you take out drops that should have been caught, it skyrockets to an astronomical 90%. Also, with nearly a 4.0 GPA, Saxton wants to major in business and finance.
Stay tuned to Spartan Nation for the latest on Saxton and the Spartans quest for their next NFL caliber QB.
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