March 29, 2013

New QB commit 'can really throw the pill'

Michigan State gained its third commitment of the 2014 recruiting campaign when Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline quarterback Chris Durkin canceled tentative plans to visit other schools this spring and instead saw all he needed to see at Michigan State.

Durkin confirmed the commitment through his coach, Larry Kempe, on Thursday.

Durkin, a three-star prospect in the Rivals.com database, committed to Michigan State over offers from California, Northwestern, Illinois and Indiana. He also received interest from Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Maryland and others.

Durkin threw for 1,500 yards and rushed for 1,100 last fall as a junior while totaling 23 touchdowns. He was first-team All-Northeast Ohio and second-team All-Ohio.

He quarterbacked Ursuline to an 8-5 record and a berth in the regional finals.

"He is 6-4, 225 and he runs hard and he can throw the ball and he is a great competitor," said Kempe, who is entering his second year as head coach at Ursuline after several years as an assistant. "It will be my fourth year coaching him and you can see some of the intangibles that Chris has that anyone would like. He is a great competitor. He works very hard at his craft academically and athletically and those are pluses that Michigan State liked with Chris."

Durkin excelled as a hard-running dual threat quarterback for Ursuline's spread offense, earning comparisons to former Spartan signee and eventual Colorado State standout Bradlee Van Pelt.

"He can really throw the pill, too," Kempe said. "He has a very strong arm. He can toss it about 65 yards. He takes coaching very well. The thing that I like about Chris is he developing more and more and more into what we want him to be in our program."

Durkin played wide receiver as a freshman at Ursuline in helping the team to a state championship. He will be a third-year starter at QB in 2013.

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