MANSFIELD — The opportunity to play in the Big Ten was just too good to pass up for Mansfield Senior’s Angelo Grose.
The ultra-athletic rising senior cornerback verbally committed to Michigan State early Sunday afternoon, just hours after returning from his official visit to MSU’s East Lansing campus over the weekend.
Grose is the ninth player in Michigan State’s 2020 recruiting class and the only cornerback to commit so far. He originally committed to Cincinnati in May, but de-committed earlier this month.
Michigan’s State’s proximity to his hometown, the culture cultivated by head coach Mark Dantonio and the high profile of the program and the conference all factored into Grose’s decision.
“It’s the Big Ten and Michigan State is one of the top programs in the nation. This is a dream come true,” Grose said. “It just felt like the best fit for me.”
A three-sport standout who placed third in the long jump at the Division I state meet earlier this month, Grose was a jack-of-all-trades for the Tygers last fall.
He passed for 434 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 538 yards and five TDs while serving as Senior High’s quarterback for the first half of the season. He moved to his traditional wide receiver spot for the second half of the year and caught 26 passes for 414 yards and five scores.
Defensively, he had 58 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, and three interceptions. He averaged 33.7 yards on kickoff returns and 24 yards per punt return.
“He’s a mutant,” Mansfield Senior coach Chioke Bradley said. “Look at all the things he does for us. It’s hard to comprehend.”
Bradley was a four-year starting defensive back at Bowling Green who was heavily recruited by Michigan. Grose’s father, Ali, played cornerback at Youngstown State before finishing his collegiate football career at Ashland University and is an assistant on Bradley’s staff.
“Between Chioke and my dad, I’ve got two great mentors,” Grose said. “They both played at a high level and they are teaching me a lot of those things. I feel like I’m going to know what to expect when I get there.”
Michigan State is the perfect fit for Grose, Bradley said.
“It’s Angelo’s dream school and they play an aggressive defense which fits his skill set,” Bradley said. “(MSU defensive backs coach) Paul Haynes was my coach at Bowling Green. He is a great leader of young men.
“Mike Tressel, who is the defensive coordinator at Michigan State, personally recruited Angelo. When the defensive coordinator recruits you, he is expecting you to come in and be a dude on his defense right away.”
Grose hopes to make an impact immediately.
“They definitely are expecting me to come in and compete right away and push the older guys,” Grose said. “I’ve got to get bigger and stronger, but I hope to be able to get on the field.”
Before he arrives in East Lansing, Grose has some unfinished business to tend to this fall. Mansfield Senior was 5-5 last year with all five losses coming to playoff teams.
“We have high expectations for ourselves this year,” Grose said. “We have a talented group of seniors who have been playing at the varsity level since our freshman year. We want to win a conference championship and go real far in the playoffs.
“We’ll see how things play out.”