- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
A week ago, Chris Frey Jr. (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) was a Kentucky lean. Then Michigan State offered, and Frey contemplated a commitment to the Spartans before a Monday visit. That was until Kentucky offered while Frey was en route to East Lansing.
He made a final decision Wednesday. The outside linebacker is heading to the Big Ten, he told ESPN.com.
"They love how I'm versatile and could be a big part to their defense playing the 'star' outside linebacker position," Frey said Tuesday.
Frey visited Michigan State three times, the most recent trip coming earlier this week. Last summer, he was told by the coaches if he was 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds -- his current measurements -- 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.
Spartans coach Mark Dantonio received word of Frey's new height and weight and felt he would be a good fit for the 'star' position after watching his film. The 'star' linebacker spot is a bit of a hybrid between safety and linebacker, which ironically is what held Frey back at the beginning of the recruiting process. BCS programs were reluctant to offer, because they felt Frey was not a true linebacker nor a true safety.
Dantonio and Frey met face to face Monday for the first time, and Frey raved about the Spartans' coach.
“I really, really like it [at Michigan State],” he said Tuesday. “It was my third time down [visiting Monday] 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.”
The Spartans finally put at least a temporary stop on Kentucky's run in Ohio. 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.
“If you asked a week ago or two weeks ago,” Frey said Tuesday, “I’d be going to Kentucky.”
Boston College and Purdue were also finalists for Frey.