It was just this morning that Taylor Calero received an offer from Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, but by the afternoon, he had given the Spartans his word that he would play his college football in East Lansing.
“I committed to State,” he reported, “I got offered, I called Coach Dantonio and told him I wanted to be a Spartan bad. He wanted to me to come over today and sit and talk to him before it was made public, so I went over this afternoon with my parents.”
The 6’3, 230-lb Calero was not well known coming into the year, but exploded this spring, earning several offers. While it was very likely he would continue to add offers, he decided to halt the process here as he received the one he really wanted.
“I’ve been looking at Michigan State for a long time,” he explained, “I love their coaching staff. They have been real honest with me about whole recruiting process. I love the facilities. They are a great football team and the program will be good for awhile now, so I feel like I jumped in at a good time.”
This outcome really could not have been foreseen a few years back. Calero had never played football going into high school and Southfield Christian had never fielded a team. Luckily for both parties, they learned fast.
“Well, I started playing football l as a freshman. That was my first year and the first year of the program, so I haven’t played that long. I realized I could potentially play at the college level my sophomore year. When I was a freshman, I didn’t know if I wanted to play in college.”
But Calero fell in love with the game and is now ready to take his game to the next level. It was not always easy. There were several hurdles he had to leap before this day could come. The first was, he had to prove that smaller high schools had talent too.
“People say, oh you come from a small school, but that doesn’t matter. If you’re good, coaches will find you. It goes to show, someone from a school with only 300 kids can still go to State.”
Calero went to the Spartans’ summer camp last week, in hopes of proving he belonged. He accomplished his goal and did it despite an injury.
“I have a stress fracture on my pelvis. It bothered me a little bit, but I had to play through it. It was my one shot.”
With a few weeks off, Calero says he will be back to 100% and ready to focus on the fall season. A linebacker for his team, he says MSU sees him strictly as a defensive end and he is working towards getting to 250-lbs. That work ethic, combined with his 4.67 speed should have Spartan fans excited about their latest commitment, at least as excited as he is to play for them.
“This is it. I committed to State and I’m not de-committing. It feels good to be done with now and I can focus on healing my injury and my team and senior season.”
Calero says he plans to major in business. As a junior, he recorded 90 tackles (15 for loss) and six sacks.