Plainfield (Ill.) South linebacker Clifton Garrett is still a year away from being able to take official visits, but the class of 2014 prospect spent an official visit-length weekend at Michigan State the last few days in conjunction with the Spartan's home contest against Ohio State.
"I left Friday night late and just got home [Sunday]," Garrett said. "I was going to get the game day atmosphere and I definitely got a good vibe from Michigan State. It was a really good game, very competitive. They have really good fans and both sides played really good games, so I was impressed with both teams.
The early arrival allowed Garrett and his parents to take their time Saturday and soak in the game day atmosphere around East Lansing prior to the 3:30 pm kickoff.
"We walked around and watched people tailgate," Garrett said. "We didn't get into the stadium until an hour before the game started, and once we did we went on the sidelines. I talked to Coach [Pat] Narduzzi, Coach [Mark] Dantonio and Coach [Dan] Roushar. They were all telling me how excited they were to have me there."
Garrett has listed Michigan State in an early top five and the Spartans were one of his early scholarship offers. This was his second visit to their campus and further enhanced his opinion of the school.
"When I went there for my visit in the summer I got a chance to see the academics and all the facilities, so I was already impressed," Garrett said. "This trip was to see how the game day part was going to be, and I was pretty impressed.
"Right now I am just going to talk to some recruits who are going to Michigan State, see how they are feeling. I'll keep building a good relationship with the coaches and see how things progress from here."
Prior to Garrett's visit to East Lansing, the junior standout visited Notre Dame for their home matchup against Michigan two weekends ago. The Irish are another top contender in Garrett's recruitment.
"That was a great, historic game," Garrett said. "I saw one of the last games that they are going to play for awhile, so that was pretty special."
The next visit Garrett is looking to make takes place the weekend of Oct. 27 when Oklahoma is set to host Notre Dame. Garrett used to work out with current Oklahoma running back David Smith.
Garrett holds a total of nine scholarship offers, but he is also starting to receive new interest from schools since college coaches have been able to contact junior prospects.
"Alabama, I have been talking to them a lot lately. I have been talking to LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss a lot. About two weeks ago [Ole Miss] sent me about 60 handwritten letters, so I've been talking to their coaching staff a lot. Arizona State, Boise State, Georgia Tech, Florida… there are a lot of different schools."
Plainfield South improved their record to 3-3 on Friday. Garrett contributed to the win with 15 tackles and one sack, and also caught a touchdown from the tight end position.