PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Why should Michigan State fans feel indebted to Chase Gianacakos' mother, Stephanie?
Well, it turns out that when Michigan State was in the final stages of landing an on-campus commitment from Enoch Smith Jr. on April 20 during the annual Green-White Game, Gianacakos' mother was front and center preaching the Spartan message.
Stephanie, who played volleyball at the University of Illinois, has experience in the recruiting game. Three weeks after her son committed to Michigan State, Mrs. Gianacakos did her part to help the Spartans land another Chicago-area football prospect during a visit to East Lansing.
Smith, Gianacakos and Brian Allen, each of whom are rising, three-star prospects in the Rivals.com database, all committed to Michigan State in April.
Mrs. Gianacakos and Enoch Smith Jr. happened to strike up a conversation about recruiting during their visit for the Green-White game. Mrs. Gianacakos' son was already committed to Michigan State. Smith was strongly considering making a commitment. Smith eventually committed later in the day.
"My mom talked to him a lot," said Chase Gianacakos. "All the coaches were talking to me afterward and saying, 'Hey, thank your mom for us because he was recruiting the heck out of him.' That was pretty funny."
Following last week's Rivals Camp Series event in Chicago, Chase and Enoch posed for photos. Enoch approached Chase and said, "What's up, Teammate?" Chase just smiled back and threw his arm around him.
Chase was the first of three Chicagoland recruits to commit to Michigan State in April. After Smith and Allen joined the fold later in April, Chase loved the company.
"It felt awesome because I actually know guys going in," Gianacakos said. "Me and Brian have become really close through all of this recruiting together and me and Enoch are getting a lot closer, so that's really cool."
What's been the key in MSU doing well in Chicago this spring?
"I think it's the program that Coach Dantonio has built," Gianacakos said. "He has built a very comfortable program. For me, the coaches are just spectacular. People talk family but that program really shows that they are a family-oriented environment, which is great.
"Academically, the school is a big draw for my major, which is business. That's a great plus for them as they just have a great bunch of people there."
Gianacakos (pronounced eYahn-uh-COCK-owes) discussed Michigan State's Chicagoland recruiting rush and his mother's involvement during an interview at last week's Rivals Camp Series Chicago: