Central Michigan University’s Junior Day turned out to be quite the adventure for a pair of Mendon football standouts.
Braving whiteout conditions, invitees Logan Slaughter and Elijah Klepper trekked through a snowstorm to Mt. Pleasant Saturday to check out CMU and its football program.
The two spent roughly three and a half hours on campus and left with a good impression. For Klepper, a 6-foot, 190-pound running back/linebacker, it was his introduction to the college football recruiting process. For Slaughter (6-5, 265), an offensive/defensive tackle being looked at by a number of Division I schools, it was his second Junior Day in as many weeks after visiting Toledo the previous weekend.
Meetings with academic advisors and a visit to the weight room, which included a breakdown of the lifting regiment members of the strength and conditioning staff, followed a campus bus tour.
“It was actually a lot better than I expected,” Klepper said. “They have really cool facilities. Their locker room was really, really nice. They have like a little lounge area that’s really nice. It’s awesome. You get to meet with the coaches. They actually make you feel like, not just part of the team, but almost family. It’s really cool.”
Klepper’s getting highlight footage together to start sending out to college coaches in the coming weeks. Slaughter has already visited a number of programs in the last year. He’s had interaction with Indiana, Princeton, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Akron, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Nebraska and Missouri.
“[Central Michigan was] actually very similar, except Toledo was renovating their weight room and a lot of their other athletic stuff, so they couldn’t show us that,” Slaughter said of his back-to-back Junior Day experiences. “Both focus a lot on academics as well. I think Toledo is a little bit better academically at the moment, but CMU is on the rise. It seems like both schools have a family feel to it.”
Chippewas assistant head coach Kyle Nostrom came to Mendon back in October and, though the emphasis on the visit was to meet with Slaughter, Nostrom picked Klepper out of a crowd of Hornets football players and addressed him by name. It had a positive impact on Klepper.
Klepper and Slaughter were able to chat with Nostrom Saturday, along with Mendon alumnus and second-year CMU defensive graduate assistant Ryan Ettinger, who has provided a wealth of information to the two prep standouts.
“I was lucky and have actually been in touch with their assistant head coach a lot lately,” Slaughter said. “I got to talk to him and (Ettinger). I actually got quite a bit of interaction with two of the coaches that are on their staff.