January 25, 2010

Palazeti looking at Spartans and Wolverines

Anyone who follows high school football in Michigan knows who Niko Palazeti is. The bruising fullback was one of the top players from Detroit Catholic Central and helped the Shamrocks to a dominant season. In the process of winning the state championship, Palazeti rolled up close to 1300-yards rushing and scored 24 touchdowns against some of the best competition the state had to offer.

Palazeti has been getting plenty of recruiting attention these past few weeks and he updated us on what teams are currently recruiting him and where he stands with them.

"Right now I have three scholarship offers, Palazeti said. They are from Wayne State, Northwood and Hillsdale. Michigan and Michigan State have both offered me preferred walk-on spots with a chance to earn an offer. "

What are the Wolverines saying to you?
"I visited Michigan this past weekend and really enjoyed it. Coach Rodriguez said they want to get back to using a fullback more like they did when he had Own Schmidt at West Virginia. He said if they had an extra scholarship I would have it. He offered me a preferred walk-on spot and told me they would have a scholarship for me by August."

How about the Spartans?

"I am going up there on Friday to meet with them. Michigan State has also said they want me as a preferred walk-on and it is possible that a scholarship spot could open up after this spring. I have been talking with Coach Tressel from there."

Interestingly the MAC schools are not really involved with Palazeti. The in-state MAC schools mainly run spread offenses and are not looking for a bruiser like Palazeti.

SpartanMag.com asked Palazeti about some of his connections to each school and how he feels about them.

"At Michigan I am friends with Mike Martin and Scott Scrimscher. I grew up favoring Michigan as I remember following them when they had guys like Charles Woodson and Anthony Thomas. I like Michigan State though too. I have been up there a lot and they have a good program. My uncle is a doctor and he is a big Michigan State fan and my sister goes there too."

With Division II scholarships an option along with preferred walk-on opportunities at Michigan and Michigan State, SparrtanMag.com asked Palazeti which path he is favoring?

"Right now I am leaning toward going to a Big Ten school. I want to challenge myself and play at the highest level. How I make my choice will have a lot to do with the college experience I think I can have at the school and the vibe I get there."

As many know, Michigan State has long wanted to add a fullback to this class and the opportunity to get Palazeti as a preferred walk-on with the potential to earn a scholarship is a positive development.

The Spartans did not use the fullback as much in 2009 as they did in 2008. Despite Andrew Hawken's improved athletic ability over Jeff McPherson, the Spartans prefer a fullback who is a wrecking ball. As evidenced by this quote from MichigaPreps.com, Palazeti has a fullback's attitude.

"My strength and toughness. I try to embody the old smashmouth CC fullback. I live for the collisions and contact. It is why I play football."

Wherever Palazeti ends up playing his college football, that team is going to get a player who is going to do whatever it takes to help his team win games. Football is a game of toughness and they don't come any tougher in the class of 2010 than Palazeti.

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