Ryan Izzo is a 6-foot-6 senior-to-be high school tight end who has been offered athletic scholarships by several major-college football programs, including Iowa.
Just hearing the name "Izzo" is enough to make you think "Michigan State." That is, after all, where Tom Izzo has coached one of the nation's dominant men's basketball programs.
“Let’s get this straight, Tom Izzo is a football coach who coaches basketball," Nick Saban once said. Saban was Michigan State's football coach once upon a time. And he was second-banana at MSU, as will any football coach in East Lansing as long as Izzo is there.
Iowa had already offered Ryan Izzo a scholarship. So had Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Indiana. This week, Mark Dantonio's Michigan State program did likewise.
— Ryan Izzo (@IzzoRyan) April 2, 2013
— Ryan Izzo (@IzzoRyan) April 30, 2013
Luckily for the schools that aren't MSU, this Izzo isn't from East Lansing. Or Michigan. He's from Sparta, N.J.
I can't find anything that suggests the two Izzos are related, and you would think it would have been mentioned if they were. Here's a quote from the younger Izzo from the Detroit Free Press story I linked two paragraphs ago:
"I play both basketball and football so I kind of follow both sports equally. I have been a fan of the Spartans."
But Izzo also said this a month or so ago in this NJ.com story:
"I've always been interested in Rutgers, it being the state school of New Jersey, but it's a great school with great tradition. And with them moving to the Big Ten, It's definitely a huge move for them and the whole program."
Such is recruiting. The kids like all of the schools and coaches that are wooing them. Izzo said this a few weeks ago in this rivals.com video:
"Players like Dallas Clark played there. Definitely, big names have played there ... I can't wait to go out there, see the campus, meet the coaches. They'll definitely be in my top choices in the future."
Then he added that Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin were starting to show interest, too.