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June 21, 2008EAST LANSING - Nate Klatt was one of a handful that stood out from a large contingent of around 100 offensive and defensive linemen on campus at Michigan State on Saturday.
Klatt and the other linemen at Michigan State on Saturday were in East Lansing for the Spartans' one-day big man camp, which ran simultaneously with a 7-on-7 passing camp that brought out some of the top teams in Michigan and a handful of programs from Indiana and Ohio.
A four-star offensive lineman ranked the nation's No. 4 center by Rivals.com, Klatt excelled in one-on-one drills and shined against some of the top defensive linemen attendance.
The Canal Fulton star came away from the one day event feel good about Michigan State and offensive line coach Dan Roushar.
"It went really well," said Klatt of camp. "Coach Roushar is a great coach and knew coming up here that I was going to learn a lot. He focuses so much on technique and not all coaches focus on the technical side of things as much as he does. The one thing about playing for coach Roushar is that you will learn your technique."
Before taking part in the lineman camp, Klatt toured Michigan State's new facilities and he was impressed with what he saw. After camp, Klatt continued the Michigan State tour by getting an in-depth look at the campus and the academic support facilities.
Klatt's trip to East Lansing came a day after he turned in a strong performance at Ohio State's senior advanced camp. While he was in Columbus, Klatt was told by Buckeye coaches that he would know within a week's time if he would have a scholarship offer from Ohio State.
"I drove up here last evening," said Klatt, who was joined by his father on his one-day stop in East Lansing. "I did well at the Ohio State camp. They told me that they like the way I played and that I should get a call in the next 7 to 10 days to let me know what is going on with them."
Klatt grew up a Buckeye fan and he would like to get an offer from Ohio State. But whether the Buckeye's offer or not, Klatt believes that he has several excellent options to choose from including Michigan State.
"Michigan State is one of the schools at the top of my list," said Klatt who also listed Northwestern, Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio State in his Top 5.
If Klatt chose Michigan State, his fondness for the Spartan coaching staff would weigh heavily in his decision.
"I really like the coaches at Michigan State," said Klatt. "Coach Dantonio is a great football coach and I like the fact that he brings a winning tradition wherever he has gone. He turned Cincinnati around and he has already turned Michigan State around in just a year. I like the coaching staff and the recruiting class that Michigan State has coming in.
"I like the fact that I would be coming in with a couple of real good running backs, a real good quarterback and I know a couple of linemen that have been up here and really enjoyed themselves. I think Michigan State is going to have a real good class this year and help build a winning tradition with coach Dantonio."
Klatt was able to meet a couple of future Spartans on Saturday including Oak Park star Edwin Baker was on campus for the second straight day, this time competing with his high school team in the Spartan 7-on-7 passing camp.
"I spoke with Rock Baker earlier today and he seemed like a real good guy," explained Klatt. "I also got a chance to get to talk to a lot of the coaches. I think I'll probably get to meet a lot of the other players on campus before I go home."
Northwestern's academic reputation is one of the primary reasons why the Wildcat's made the cut for Klatt's Top 5.
"They have a good football program, but the academics are the thing that stands out. Northwestern really can't be beat academically by anyone other than the Ivy League Schools."
Klatt was impressed with Indiana's campus.
"Like Michigan State, Indiana has a nice college campus," said Klatt. "I have developed a good relationship with coach Johnson down there too."
The Cinderella season Kansas had last year caught Klatt's eye.
"They were one win away from playing for the national championship," said Klatt. "They have nice campus and from what I've seen here, a lot of the things I like about Kansas and Indiana, Michigan State has."
Ohio State was Klatt's childhood favorite.
"I grew up a fan of Ohio State and I always rooted for the Buckeyes and the Big Ten," said Klatt. "I think the Big Ten is the best college football conference in the nation."
Klatt was not the only offensive lineman that impressed during Saturday's camp session. Junction City (KS) High School's Justin Aumen had a strong showing. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Aumen tested well in one-on-one drills and agility drills. Beechwood (KY) High School's Dominic Mainello also looked good during one-on-one drills.