A strong off-season on the camp and combine circuit has rolled into increased college attention this spring for Upper Arlington (Ohio) linebacker Chris Frey who grabbed two Big Ten offers in the last week to bring his total to 12.
The most recent offer for the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Frey came Sunday from the Purdue Boilermakers and assistant coach Marcus Freeman.
"Coach Freeman and I have been real close. He recruited me when he was at Kent State," Frey said. "He was at school the other day and then sent me a message on Facebook today, told me to give him a call. He told me the head coach had seen my film, really liked the way I played and I had a scholarship there.
"I was born a Buckeye and I grew up seeing all the linebackers there, including Marcus Freeman. As soon as that name popped up I thought, 'whoa, I am talking to a guy I watched on TV and wanted to play like.' I look up to him a lot and loved the way he played the game. It's a real honor to talk with him and get advice from him."
In their previous talks Freeman has also had high praise for Frey and has let the three-star linebacker know how valued he is by the Purdue program.
"He told me 'we're only taking one linebacker and want you to be our one linebacker,'" Frey said.
Frey picked up his first Big Ten offer late last week from Michigan State. It was an offer he did not see coming at this stage of his recruitment.
"The other night Coach [Mark] Dantonio called," Frey said. "At first I thought it was a reporter, so when I picked up and he said 'Hey Chris, it's Coach Dantonio,' I thought, 'No way.'
"He proceeded to say he watched my video plenty of times, likes the way I play, that I am an old-school linebacker who brings enthusiasm to the field and loves to hit. He said, 'I wanted to offer you a scholarship.' I had to stop for a second and take a deep breath because it was a huge surprise… I was not expecting it at all."
Frey had made visits to Michigan State last year for camp and for their home game against Notre Dame last fall, and has been recruited by assistant coach Mike Tressel from the beginning.
"I have gotten really close with Coach Tressel," Frey said. "He was my coach last year at camp and he has always been real straightforward with me."
On Monday, Frey plans to return to Michigan State's campus for an unofficial visit for the first time since that home game last fall.
Boston College also offered Frey within the last week. He is still processing how these latest offers will affect his recruitment.
"Seeing how I did not have the ACC offer and two Big Ten offers a week ago, I still plan on going to camps this summer," Frey said. "I plan on going to Michigan State, plan on going to Purdue and a few other camps this summer.
"I want to make my decision by the end of July, but I could sit down with a coaching staff and absolutely fall in love. I'm not sure when it is going to be, but I am definitely going to make my decision by July 31st."
The other schools that have offered Frey are Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan.