Simon Connette first struck a relationship with San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre when he was Duke's defensive coordinator. It carried on throughout this last recruiting cycle and paid off for both of them recently when Connette committed to the Spartans.
The Corona (Calif.) Santiago safety cited his relationship with MacIntyre as one of the big reasons why he made his pledge in recent days. A nice trip to San Jose State also made things go smoothly.
"I went up there for an unofficial visit and I really liked it," Connette said. "They took me around the school, around the stadium and I met all the coaches and I really liked everything. I liked the dorms and I just liked the program and I think coach MacIntyre has it going up.
"Going up there, I previously knew coach MacIntyre from Duke and I went up (to Duke) before so I liked MacIntyre a lot and there was that factor. I liked the area around the school. For the most part I was going up there saying, 'OK, if I like everything I see then I'll commit.'"
UTEP had also offered Connette, a 6-foot, 180-pound prospect who has worked out at B2G events this off-season. Air Force, North Carolina, Duke and Oregon State had also shown interest. Connette finished with 93 tackles and two interceptions in his junior season.
His brother, Brandon, signed with Duke and that's how Connette knows MacIntyre since he went to the Blue Devils' camp last summer. That relationship continued when MacIntyre got the job at San Jose State.
"Last summer me and my brother both went to the Duke camp," Connette said. "He had committed there already and I went up there as well even though I was going to be a junior, just so they could see me.
"MacIntyre liked me a lot and he stayed in contact with me when he became head coach at San Jose State and our relationship was good the whole time."
More than getting a commitment done before his senior season, Connette said he was focused on finding the right fit. After talking with MacIntyre and the coaching staff numerous times and finally getting up to campus, he found it with San Jose State. He's off the market weeks before his senior year starts.
"For the most part it was trying to find the right spot," Connette said. "I found it because they want me to come in and graduate early. I took summer school language arts to graduate early hoping San Jose State was the right school for me."