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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Spartans, Wildcats vie for Ohio LB's verbal

By Jared Shanker

Chris Frey Jr. (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) waited a long time for more BCS offers. Now he will not wait much longer to make a decision.

Boston College, Kentucky, Michigan State and Purdue all offered over the last few days, and those are the schools Frey named as his finalists. It will likely come down to two, however.

“If you asked a week ago or two weeks ago,” Frey said, “I’d be going to Kentucky.”

But then Michigan State offered the 6-foot-2, 217-pound outside linebacker May 8.

“They’re at the top of my list right now,” he said.

So Frey visited East Lansing on Monday and while he said he did not intend to commit on his visit, he acknowledged there was a possibility. So Kentucky made a preemptive strike.

“Kentucky offered on the way [to Michigan State] and changed everything and I held out a little bit,” Frey said. “After my trip I wasn’t going to commit and Kentucky definitely changed that a little bit.”

With Michigan State as his top school and Kentucky trailing closely, Frey said he will do a little more evaluating before coming to a final decision. That decision could come quickly, as Frey said he does not see his decision dragging past the end of next week.

Frey has visited Michigan State three times now. He was told by the coaches if he was 6-2 and 217 at the time of the camp he attended last summer, he would have landed an offer a long time ago. Assistant coach Mike Tressel kept recruiting Frey, and Frey kept coming back to Michigan State.

“I really really like it there,” he said. “It was my third time down and first I got to sit down with Coach [Mark Dantonio]. The bottom line is he wins games. He’s a great coach and a great person. He’s a guy I’d love to play for. Growing up in the Big Ten and being a Buckeyes fan (Dantonio was a former OSU assistant) and watching him, he’s awesome and I’m very high on him.”

Michigan State recruits the state of Ohio hard, but there might not be a team putting a larger emphasis on the Buckeye State right now than Kentucky. New coach Mark Stoops is an Ohio native and he put together a staff with strong Ohio ties knowing full well that Ohio was going to be a major point of emphasis for the Wildcats.

Of the Wildcats’ seven commitments, five reside in Ohio. Frey is friends with a lot of them, including tight end Darryl Long, who lives close to Frey in the Columbus area.

“Kentucky is on the rise. I really like Kentucky too,” Frey said. “They definitely are coming around with Stoops and the new coaching staff and have one of the best fan bases I’ve ever seen. They’re the real deal.”

The day Kentucky offered, Frey said he gained more than 100 new Twitter followers and was receiving a mention every few minutes. Fans also asked for pictures and autographs at Kentucky’s spring game.

Sitting at No. 2 on Frey’s list, Kentucky is hoping that fan base and the fellow Ohioans committed already are enough to swing Frey back to the Wildcats’ side at the 11th hour.

Said Frey: “I’m not sure what’s going to happen yet.”