January 3, 2013

Ohio LB looking to visit MSU

One of the players that the Michigan state staff has already offered for the class of 2014 is linebacker Kyle Berger of Cleveland St Ignatius High School in Ohio. SpartanMag.com caught up with this outstanding prospect and got the latest details on his recruitment.

As many Michigan State fans know, Cleveland St. Ignatius High Schoolsis one of the traditional powerhouse programs in the state of Ohio. Every year the Wildcats not only make a run at the Ohio Championship, but they also produce high-level football prospects. For the class of 2014, Berger is one of the gems from there.

The Michigan State coaching staff is hoping to add the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Berger to the Green and White, but it will definitely be a battle to do so. SpartanMag.com asked Berger about the teams that are currently recruiting him the hardest.

"Right now I have offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Illinois and West Virginia," he stated. "I have also just started talking with Tennessee as well."

The Tennessee interest is a direct result of Coach Butch Jones leaving the Bearcats for Knoxville. You can be sure he will be trying hard to get several Ohio players to come down and join him at Tennessee.

Michigan State was one of the first schools to offer Berger a scholarship and he does have a significant amount of interest in the program. He informed us that he is hoping to learn more in the coming months.

"I like Michigan State, I enjoy talking to Coach Samuel," Berger said. "I actually am good friends with Kenny Kaminski who is on the Michigan State basketball team so I hope to visit soon and go to a basketball game."

Berger had an outstanding season this past fall for St Ignatius while helping lead them to an 11-2 record. The following analysis came from rivals.com analyst Marc Givler.

"There was not a junior defensive player in the state of Ohio that had a better season than Berger. He does just about anything you would want a linebacker to do. He is highly effective as a pass-rusher, he sheds blocks well, and he runs to the football as well as any linebacker in the state, regardless of class. That type of versatility and wide range of skills allow him to project to any of the three linebacker positions at the next level, though he will most likely stay on the outside."

That type of versatility is what Head Coach Mark Dantonio and Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi like to see in linebacker prospects. The Spartans already have two linebacker commitments for the class of 2014 in Deon Drake of Cass Tech and Byron Bullough of Traverse City Saint Francis. Adding a player of Berger's ability would all but assure Michigan State one of the best linebacker classes in the nation for 2014.

The Spartans will be having a couple of junior days later this winter and they will certainly be inviting Berger to one of those events. In addition, it is very likely that they will want to have Berger attend a spring practice sessions so he can see how the Spartan linebacking corps operates and is coached. Berger talked about his time-table for making his college choice and what he will be looking for.

"Well definitely the first thing I look at is the academics for a school," he said. "Football is eventually going to end so I want a good education then I look at the football side. How I like the coaches and the atmosphere of the school. I plan on making a decision around late spring before summer starts, late April or May."

SpartanMag.com will continue to follow the recruitment of Berger over the coming months. It is likely that he will be very busy checking out colleges and preparing for his senior season. St Ignatius will once again be looking to get back to that championship level and Berger plans on doing his part.

"I definitely think we will have a great year. We do have some big spots to fill but we have a lot of guys that are going to work their butts off this off-season to fill those spots."

Matt Dorsey's Take: Berger is an outstanding prospect and the Spartans will have to likely beat out the Ohio State Buckeyes for his services. Outstanding linebacker play has become a hallmark of the Spartan program under the direction of Coach Dantonio and players from Ohio such as All-American Greg Jones and All-Big Ten player Denicos Allen have contributed to that. The last Ignatius grad to play at Michigan State had an excellent college career and actually started last week for the Arizona Cardinals, Brian Hoyer.

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