Jan 4, 2012

DeAnthony Arnett chooses to play for Michigan State

By Sean Gagnier

It's official, Saginaw's own DeAnthony Arnett will be staying in Michigan and playing for Michigan State.

The University of Tennessee granted Arnett his release to either Michigan or Michigan State on Tuesday after having previously released him to any of the Mid-American Conference schools in the state of Michigan. Arnett had asked for a release from Tennessee to be able to be closer to his family and ailing father back in Saginaw, Mich.

As a true freshman with the Vols' Arnett caught 24 passes and was a major part of the Tennessee offense last season. Arnett will seek a hardship waiver to be able to play with the Spartans next season.

Classes at Michigan State begin on Jan. 9th and Spartan students will have a new classmate as Arnett will begin attending the school on Monday when students return from winter break.

"It was tough from an emotional standpoint, going through things with my father," Arnett said. "The choice of going to State wasn't hard at all."

Arnett said that he had to wait until Tennessee released him before he could talk to anyone from the University of Michigan or Michigan State University. Once he was released to choose a school Arnett said the choice was easy.

"State is home. They were one of the teams that recruited me the hardest. I didn't talk to anyone from (University of) Michigan. I wasn't able to talk to Coach (Mark) Dantonio. I had to wait until Tennessee released me. When that happened, everything else happened right away. It was an easy choice. State is only a 50-minute drive from my house."

The transfer had been on Arnett's mind since September, but he had only asked Vols' head coach Derek Dooley for the transfer just before winter break. When he was being recruited Arnett's father had been doing alright health wise but recently has had heart surgery and has had to undergo dialysis. Because of his declining health, Arnett's father was not able to travel to Tennessee to see any of Arnett's games, something Arnett says is important to him.

While Michigan State may have snagged an impressive receiver, things are not finished - Arnett has to apply for and be approved a hardship waiver by the NCAA. But regardless of if he is approved he will be donning the green and white next season. If his hardship waiver is approved he will maintain all three years of eligibility but if it is declined, according to Arnett he will use his redshirt year in 2012 and will still have three years of eligibility remaining.

Arnett is joining a Michigan State team with a wide open wide receiving corps situation - with B.J. Cunningham, Keith Nichol and Keshawn Martin all graduating this year. Should Arnett be eligible to play next year the Spartans would field a formidable receiving corps of four-star recruit Aaron Burbridge, Arnett, who was ranked as a four-star recruit when Tennessee recruited him, and Juwan Caesar.

With Arnett joining the Spartans he will be joining a team that will be lead by former Midland high school quarterback Andrew Maxwell. Arnett should be familiar with Maxwell as the two played each other when they were both in the Saginaw Valley League in high school.

"I'm walking into a beautiful situation," Arnett said. "I talked to Andrew. We talked about things. I'm ready to roll. We've played against each other. He beat us every time. But the Midland High game when I was a sophomore was one of my best games. It was the game that got my name out there."

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