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Perfect ending to Denver Warren’s big day
The clouds in the East Lansing, Mich., sky chose not to sully Denver Warren’s big moment with a punishing downpour on Saturday.
The West Aurora (Ill.) sophomore stood on the sideline at Spartan Stadium, watching the Michigan State defensive line warm up. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound prospect has the size that projects him as a tackle. Central Michigan, Iowa and Syracuse have already extended offers.
A staffer directed Warren to the middle of the field, where Spartans coach Mark Dantonio was talking to several other recruits. Then he turned and greeted the 2020 prospect.
“He just shook my hand and told me I’m a hell of a player,” Warren said. “He said Michigan State really likes me and they’d love for me to be there. Then he told me I have an offer.”
— D. warren #️⃣4️⃣3️⃣ (@drippy_D1) November 4, 2017
The offer blindsided him. He had never spoken to the Michigan State coaches before Saturday. His coach set up the trip. He just planned to establish a relationship that would hopefully grow over time.
It turned into much more. Not only did he spend time with the coaches and earn his offer, but he felt a genuine connection with the fans. Sticking it out through the rain, particularly a three-hour weather delay, seems to bring people closer together.
“I just felt like I was already going there,” Warren said. “I felt like I’ve already been there, just the energy. All the fans were asking me if I was a recruit. They were just telling me they were alumni. Everybody was so welcoming.”
It wasn’t tough to identify Warren as a recruit from the lanyard around his neck, but he caught the coaches’ eyes with his physical gifts. He wrestles and throws discus and shot put like many linemen.
But he’s also a sprinter who runs the 100-yard dash. Yes, you read that correctly. And his 5.2-second 40-yard dash still isn’t good enough. He wants to get below 5 seconds by his junior year.
“I just want to get faster, get more violent hands, get my swim moves, my spins faster and be able to dominate in the trenches because going into my junior year, that’s my most important year,” Warren said.
Fellow Illinois native Jacub Panasiuk, a Michigan State defensive end, knows Warren and had been pushing for him to take a visit. When his mother didn’t have to work, it came to fruition.
And they weren’t about to let the rain cut it short. During the delay which ballooned to three hours and 23 minutes, Warren and his parents went to eat. And once it ended, they went back to Spartan Stadium and sat in the rain again.
“We drove four hours, not for no reason,” Warren said. “We had to [stay]. The game was too good.”
It was well worth it to see Michigan State come out on top 27-24 via a 34-yard field goal from Matt Coghlin as time expired. Warren took in the locker room atmosphere, as well, meeting coaches and watching the celebration. Though he just missed the swag surfing celebration, the visit still earned rave reviews.
— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) November 4, 2017
“I loved it,” Warren said. “Me and my parents loved it. Everything was great. It’s a brotherhood. It’s a lot of energy, a lot of talent everywhere and everybody did their part. When they said that everybody’s a part of the puzzle, they actually mean that because everybody did their part. Every single player did their part, even the kicker at the end of the game.”
Spartans welcome other talented prospects
Warren certainly wasn’t the only recruit who braved the elements. Patrick Panasiuk, brother of the aforementioned Jacob and Spartans defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk, made the visit, as well. The Lake Park (Roselle, Ill.) junior offensive lineman returned to Spartan Stadium after the delay to take in the win.
“When isn’t it a good time in East Lansing?” he asked rhetorically. The rain didn’t ruin a memorable visit for him.
Yet another Illinois recruit visited in Anthony Williams Jr. The Bolingbrook (Ill.) junior running back made his return, and though he had to leave during the delay to complete his second visit of the day at Michigan, still enjoyed himself.
— Ant Williams ⚡ (@antwilliamsjr34) November 5, 2017
“I always have a good time when I come up here,” Williams told Land of 10. He holds offers from Cincinnati and several MAC schools, but Michigan State has not yet jumped in.
The Spartans have offered Morgan County (Ga.) athlete Jordan Huff, though, and he returned to campus on Saturday as well. The Class of 2019 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite has become a top target in the class.
Huff holds competing Power Five offers from Iowa State, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. At 6-2, he has the versatility to play multiple spots on either side of the ball.
— Cedric Huff (@CedricHuff7) November 5, 2017
“It was great,” Huff said of the game, “and the visit was, too.”
Stay locked in to Land of 10 throughout the week as we check in with visitors and cover the early signing period for basketball.
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