August 6, 2012

Cass Tech's Drake enjoys big visit to MSU

On Saturday, one of the top linebackers in the Midwest for the Class of 2014, Deon Drake of Detroit Cass Tech, visited Michigan State during the Spartans' first practice of the 2012 season.

Drake, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior with offers from Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Iowa and Pittsburgh, made the trip to East Lansing with his family to meet coach Mark Dantonio and his staff before starting camp for Cass Tech.

Before the practice, Drake sat down with Dantonio for a discussion. The MSU head coach told him the Spartan staff like his athletisim, speed, explosive tackling and his ability to move from sideline to sideline.

Linebackers and special teams coach Mike Tressel broke down the Michigan State defense with him and showed Drake how he would fit in as a Spartan.

"Coach Tressel explained the different techniques and terminology they use on Saturdays and then quizzed me to make sure I understood the concepts" Drake said. "The whole experience was very impressive."

Drake's mother became emotional while sitting with Coach Dantonio as she reflected on how far her son has progressed from little league football to being on the verge of attending a BCS college.

Drake's father, Deon Sr., stated: "My son's talents are opening door for the whole family. His talents are bigger than he knows."

The Drake family is familiar with MSU as Deon has extended relatives who have graduated or are currently enrolled at Michigan State.

"I was not able to attend all of practice because we had to visit some of my family before we left East Lansing," said Drake Jr.

When asked if he had a timetable for making a decision, Drake Jr. said that he was not in a rush to make a commitment. The soonest it could come would be the end of his junior season, he said.

He is examining many factor for picking his future school including education along with traditions and atmosphere. He is also looking at the current roster of players and how successful they are.

The coaching staff is also important to Drake. He said he is looking for a staff that set high expectations of their players and have open doors of communication. Drake stated he likes coaches who are hard on him because it only makes him better.

Overall, he said he had a great experience at Michigan State.

"As of right now, I would have to say that Michigan State is my number one school," Drake said.

He was unaware that if he picked Michigan State that he would become the first Detroit Cass Tech player to do so since 2000. Drake said he will be visiting again for the Boise State game on August 31.

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