January 7, 2013

Spartans offer Wisconsin DL

The last few seasons the Michigan State Spartans have made a concerted effort to recruit the state of Wisconsin hard and it has paid off with commitments from several high-quality prospects. For 2014 the staff is hoping to once again land a player or two from there and Billy Hirschfeld of Arrowhead High School is at the top of the wish list.

With 3 early commitments for the class of 2014, the Spartans are already off to a strong start. Hirschfeld is a player the staff likes due to his size and versatility. We spoke with the 6-foot-6, 270-pound prospect about his recruitment and what teams are showing him the most interest at the stage of the process.

"Right now I have offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan State, he said. "I am also hearing from Toledo, Ball State, Northern Illinois, Nebraska, Pitt, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern and Notre Dame."

Arrowhead High School finished up the season undefeated at 13-0 and was crowned state champions after defeating Sun Prairie High school by a score of 35-14 in the finals. Hirschfeld had a strong junior campaign for Arrowhead High School and received numerous accolades for his play.

"I had 64 total tackles with 17 tackles for loss, 1 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 3 deflected passes," he stated. "I was named 1st Team All-Conference, All-Area, All-Region and All-State."

Part of the reason why the Spartan have had success recruiting Wisconsin in recent years is due to the solid job the Coach Brad Salem has done building relationships there since being hire by Mark Dantonio. We spoke with Hirschfeld about his contact with Michigan State and what his pans are as far as his recruitment.

"Coach Salem is recruiting me from Michigan State," he said. "I have been invited there for a Junior Day as well as one at Minnesota. I hope to get out to visit, but a lot will depend on my basketball schedule. I am looking for a school that I feel comfortable at and where I have a good connection with the coaching staff."

Getting Hirschfeld on campus will be a top priority of the staff. If he cannot attend a junior day, look for the staff to try and host him on campus for a spring practice or possibly the Green and White Game.

In the Spartans aggressive defensive scheme a player like Hirschfeld could play a roll similar to someone like William Gholston or possibly Tyler Hoover if he continues to add more size.

"Teams do not really know what position I will play yet because I could play either defensive tackle or defensive end, Hirschfeld said. I am a big player so I have the size to play inside and plug the gabs, but I also have good speed and could use my size and agility to rush the quarterback."

Look for Coach Salem to keep in frequent contact with Hirschfeld ion the coming weeks. As with most players in Wisconsin, the Badgers are actively involved in his recruitment and despite the coaching change they have been in contact. Hirschfeld indicated that both the new head coach and defensive coordinator had reached out via Facebook.

Arrowhead High School should once again be a strong player next year when it comes to the state championship. Hirschfeld believes that with hard work they will have an opportunity to defend the title and possible even be a better team than next year. SpartanMag.com will continue to follow the recruitment of this outstanding class of 2014 prospect as it unfolds.

Matt Dorsey's Take: Getting a player out of Wisconsin that the Badgers have offered is never an easy task, but the Spartans are hoping to host Hirschfeld on campus so he can learn about the program first hand. The Spartans and Badgers have had tremendous battles on the field the past 5 years so it only makes sense that those battles would translate to the recruiting landscape.

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