The cat has been let out the bag. Madre London is going to be a Spartan.
London, a Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas running back, publically announced his oral commitment to Michigan State on Monday, over finalists Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Illinois, after notifying the Spartans’ coaching staff last Tuesday of his intentions.
London becomes the 17th commitment in the Class of 2014 for Spartans coach Mark Dantonio. He’ll compete with the two players currently committed, and a roster with seven more tailbacks on the roster. Despite the numbers, London’s relationship with MSU’s staff, primarily offensive line coach Mark Staten, was an instrumental part in his decision to join the Spartans.
“[Staten] is really easy to talk and basically the whole staff is,” London said on Thursday. “He understands how the recruiting process so he doesn’t try to pressure me or anything. They told me who all they’re recruiting at running back and who they’re taking in and from my perspective, that’s a respectful coach. That’s the type of coach I’d like to play for.
“He’s laid back, funny and makes a lot of jokes and stuff. And for him being an O-line coach, he knows what type of running back he’s looking for so his boys can block for me.”
Playing in the competitive Big Ten and hopefully a BCS bowl every year were also contributing factors for London, who said “In the Big Ten, they breed big O-lineman and big running backs, and I love to run downhill and be on the rushing attack.”
London took official visits to his final four schools — Nebraska on Sept. 7; Wisconsin on Sept. 21; MSU on Oct. 11 and Illinois on Oct. 18 — before canceling visits to Virginia and Pittsburgh after seeing all he needed to see.
London had a great time on his visit to East Lansing, Mich., where former Davie University School wide receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr. was his host.
“My visit was Macgarrett was fun,” London said. “He was basically telling me how the coaching staff is, how things didn’t turn out right for him in his freshman year, but he had to get it together and now in his sophomore year, he’s doing real good.
“He said the coaches keep it really honest with him.”
Insider info — if you will
London, who considers teammate Corey Holmes — a Notre Dame oral commitment — one of his closest friends, was at Holmes’ Under Armour All-American jersey presentation on Oct. 9.
London had a conversation with Holmes’ father, David, who inquired about London’s future plans. During the talk, David Holmes said, “Oh that’s nice. You’ll be near Corey, and you guys can visit each others on the weekends.
Michigan State is roughly 2 ½ hours (more than 150 miles away) from Notre Dame.
London considers Corey Holmes a brother, and said, “We’re real close. We joke around a lot. We’re best friends and we tell each other everything.
“Hopefully in the end, he’ll do [well] and I’ll do [well], and we can see each other on another level.”