Raymond Wingo's father never played a down for Michigan State. He never set foot in a classroom on the school's campus, either. He never experienced a homecoming game or hit a sled at practice in East Lansing.
And still, there's history at work. Wingo's connection to the Spartans may not be a particularly strong one, but it's something. When Michigan State offered the St. Louis (Mo.) University High School athlete last week, his father's situation immediately popped to mind.
"My dad committed to Michigan State out of high school but never went," Wingo said on Tuesday, "He decided to stay home with my brother at the last minute. he just committed there."
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Other than his father's tie to the program, Wingo knows little about the Spartans. He's somewhat versed in the program's history and familiar with its logo. But when it comes to modern-day Spartan football, he's admittedly clueless. Learning about the culture is a process he's just started.
"I know it's a good ball club with a great tradition, but I don't know anything about their style," Wingo said. "They want me to visit."
Wingo, who plays both defensive back and quarterback at the high school level, says he intends to take the Spartans' staff up the offer and visit campus this summer. Then, that doesn't necessarily make coach Mark Dantonio's team a favorite in Wingo's recruitment. The three-star prospect currently holds eight scholarship offers and has grand plans when it comes to exploring his options.
"I probably want to visit most of the schools that have offered me and the schools that are talking to me," Wingo said. "I have to do it this summer because I have track right now."
According to Wingo, his 100-meters time is the fastest in the state this year. He also participates in the 200 and a pair of relays. His heavy involvement in track has stunted his trip through the recruiting process. He's in no rush to pick a school, though.
"I really haven't been thinking about it much yet," Wingo said. "I'm going to take my time with it. It's a hard decision to make."
Wingo's older brother, Ronnie Wingo Jr., played his college football at Arkansas, but Raymond, who is being recruited as a defensive back, declines to say what kind of impact that may have on his impending college choice.