Meet the Early Enrollees: Jack Camper
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Jack Camper is used to transition.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Camper elected to spend his final two seasons of high school at IMG Academy -- one of the best prep football programs in the nation -- in Bradenton, Florida.
Now, he's settling into East Lansing at midyear, prepping for spring practice while undergoing grueling winter workouts, all while balancing college classes.
And it's exactly what the 6-5, 240-pound tight end wants.
"I feel like every athlete, when they choose what school they want to go to, they choose the school that can develop them to be the most successful," said Camper, who plans to major in business. "Be the best athlete that they can be. I feel like that's what I thought.
"I'm just enjoying the game, being up here with everybody. Starting to learn, get into it, get hands on with the learning process of getting this offense down."
Camper was recruited as a tight end, but primarily played defensive end at IMG Academy, as the Lancers utilized a spread offense. He recorded 31 tackles, including three for losses and one sack, as a senior this past fall. Playing for one of the nation's powerhouses -- IMG went 11-0 and finished No. 2 in the final USA TODAY Super Top 25 rankings -- gave a glimpse into the competition Camper will see on a daily basis at Michigan State.
"I felt like (going to IMG Academy) did a couple things," he said. "One, it gave me the ability to graduate early and get in here and really get hands on being at Michigan State itself. And then two, it helped me because I learned how to compete. I learned how to fight for a position pretty much, to be effective. Because if you weren't fighting, you were getting run over by those guys."
Football runs in the Camper bloodlines, as his father, John, lettered for two seasons (1986-87) as a defensive lineman at Duke, and his brother, Blake, is currently a sophomore offensive lineman at South Carolina.
"We're excited that Jack is here and joined our team for the spring semester," remarked MSU head coach Mark Dantonio. "He has been extremely impressive in workouts thus far. He shows great explosive ability and runs well. He can play on both sides of the ball, but was recruited as a tight end. I expect him to compete for playing time this season."
Camper is excited to see the rest of his class join the team later this summer.
"I think there are a lot of good guys that want to work hard," he said. "They love the game, love Michigan State, and they've been committed. Nobody really waived at all throughout the recruiting process, they stayed 100 percent committed to Michigan State."
But first up, Camper will go through spring practice with two other early enrollees, Hunter Rison and Josiah Scott. And they will surely have some notes to pass along to the other freshmen by the time the 15 spring practices are done.
The Spartans begin spring practice on Saturday, Feb. 25 and the Green-White spring game, presented by McLaren Health Plan, is scheduled for April 1 in Spartan Stadium at 3 p.m.