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Duel-sport athlete Trannon commits to U, continues Flint tradition

November 6, 2001

MSU football head coach Bobby Williams recorded two victories over Michigan this weekend.

Even before the Spartans registered their 26-24 win Saturday, Williams received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-7 Flint Northern High School senior wide receiver Matt Trannon Friday afternoon, defeating the Wolverines on the recruiting front.

“It just felt right,” Trannon said of choosing MSU. “It felt like I was really at home (when I was at MSU).”

But football talent isn’t all Trannon will bring to the banks of the Red Cedar.

ESPN.com ranks Trannon the No. 18 senior in the country for basketball and MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo has had his eye on the Flint product for years. And with Trannon receiving a scholarship from Williams, Izzo gets a blue chip recruit with walk-on status - and another ‘Flintstone.’

Trannon won’t be the first Spartan to play both football and basketball. Senior backup safety Lorenzo Guess played backup guard for Izzo from 1997-99 and Flint native and wide receiver Andre Rison had a stint on the basketball team under coach Jud Heathcote from 1985 to 19 88.

Juggling two sports on top of going to class can be a hard task for student-athletes, but Trannon said his intentions are to play both football and basketball in 2002.

“I’m not really concerned, the fact that I want to play two sports is because I just want to work hard and stick to my tasks and try my best,” Trannon said.

Flint Northern football head coach Gary Lee said playing two sports in college will be hard for Trannon and believes Trannon will find himself choosing one of the two sports in the near future.

“(It will be) very tough (for him to play two sports),” Lee said. “I think he’ll do it for a little while, and I think eventually he’s going to have to make a decision because it’s just too tough. Academically it’s just too demanding, the time is too demanding, so I think after a couple of years he’s going to feel where his niche is and that’s what he’s going to do.”

MSU and Michigan duke it out each year for in-state talent and recruiting has become an important facet of the intrastate rivalry. Lee said he understands how tough it will be for his receiver to call Michigan football head coach Lloyd Carr to tell him his intentions to wear the Spartans’ green and white.

“These guys have developed personal relationships with these coaches, they’re really friends with these guys,” Lee said. “And then to have to call one and say, ‘I’m not coming,’ that’s difficult for them.”

But Trannon is set on his decision and said coaches have to understand a player’s decision.

“It will probably be difficult to a point (calling coaches),” Trannon said. “But they have to understand I made my decision to go to a different school.”

And with Trannon set on being a Spartan, Lee said he will bring great things to the MSU football and basketball programs.

“I think he had a decision to make that he felt comfortable with, and he made it and I think it’s going to work out for him,” Lee said. “I think he’s going to have a great time at Michigan State, and he’s going to bring some great pride to their school.”

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