Mark Dantonio and Michigan State Have Eyes on Talented JUCO OL From Sweden: David Hedelin!
David Hedelin is both a special and rare recruit. A junior college transfer and a native of Sweden, Hedelin possesses amazing skills for an offensive tackle, making him a highly coveted prize for programs across the nation.
Choosing a college and adjusting to its lifestyle is not easy. Ask any current college freshman or grad who has gone through it, and they will tell you of the numerous potholes one has to dodge along the way. If such a transition is tough, imagine what it is like to move to a different country. David Hedelin did just that, relocating from his native Sweden to America nearly a year ago. “I came for football,” Hedelin said. “Some coaches back in Sweden told me that I was good there, so I thought why not give it a shot here in America?”
As Hedelin will tell you, American football is growing in Europe. Thanks to its fast-paced, exciting nature, the sport is quickly gaining popularity, as Hedelin knows from his four years of football experience in Sweden. But there is only one NFL and only one NCAA. So, although he had no family members in the States to lean on, Hedelin decided to move here on his own to pursue his love of football.
Beginning his career at the City College of San Francisco, a large community college with 11 locations in the city, Hedelin set his sights on earning a Division I scholarship. Scouts representing high profile programs from sea to shining sea soon discovered the young man with great size and remarkable balance.
The talented offensive lineman recently joined Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. on Spartan Nation Radio to talk about moving to America, chasing his dreams, MSU and the recruiting process.
As countless college coaches have shown recently, the pursuit of truly great football talent knows no country or language barrier. Though still adjusting to the speed of the game in America and a new culture, Hedelin has attracted scholarship offers from over 15 college programs, including MSU, USC, Oregon, and Ole Miss.
“It’s very different from Sweden. Football is so much bigger here. It’s been a bit hectic some days, with calling the coaches and all that,” Hedelin said of the recruiting process. “So far it’s been all good. But I’m not complaining at all.”
One of the major programs to display interest in the Swedish prospect is Michigan State. The Spartan coaching staff would love to see Hedelin in the Green and White, as the youngster might fit perfectly in East Lansing. The 6’5, 285 pound monster would be a perfect addition to MSU’s 2014 recruiting class, especially since three senior offensive linemen will be lost to graduation after the 2013 season.
Hedelin will not be an easy acquisition for any team looking to pick up one of the best junior college recruits in the nation. With many colleges to choose from, the current San Francisco resident can afford to take his time in finding the right place for him. “I’m looking for a good football program and good academics,” he said. “The weather doesn’t really matter. I think I can adapt to any school, actually.”
Luckily for a hopeful Spartan Nation, Michigan State fits Hedelin’s vision of his dream school. “It’s definitely a very good football program. I think that’s the biggest reason why I like the school,” Hedelin offered. “And of course the academics and the climate are fine.”
Though he has not yet met with any members of the Spartan coaching staff in person thus far, Hedelin is “definitely thinking about taking a visit…to Michigan State.” In considering many different schools, the Swedish offensive lineman will use his college visits as his “biggest point” in making his decision. For you Spartan fans leaning forward in your chairs, go ahead and lean back a bit, as Hedelin will most likely hold off on picking a program until at least the start of the season. Dantonio and Co. will have plenty of time to bring Hedelin to MSU’s beautiful campus and convince him that the Green and White would suit him just fine.
Hedelin’s journey to this point is certainly Spartan-esque. His destiny to play Division I college football did not seem so sure just one year ago. Embarking upon an adventure into a foreign land all on his own, Hedelin was certainly not a highly sought-after recruit. A relative nobody, Hedelin had to use his non-stop motor, a common trait of a Spartan, to earn playing time. “My first coach that I had for two years [in Sweden], he was a very aggressive coach and he always wanted me to play hard. That’s the reason why I think I play hard today.” Another source of Hedelin’s energy might be his natural competitiveness. “I have always been a very competitive guy in all sports. I played soccer before and now I play football; that’s even more tough than soccer. I think that the toughness is the reason why I really like playing offensive tackle.”
While adjusting to a new environment and fighting for playing time, Hedelin had to quickly pick up the finer points of the position’s technique and adjust to the speed of the American game. “The speed is very different from Sweden. It’s much slower back home.” Hedelin explained, later adding, “I definitely learned more technique once I got here to America.”
Hedelin has faced obstacle after obstacle, persistently overcoming each with confidence and resolve. A great success story, the Swede provides us with a perfect example of how one can achieve his or her dreams through hard work and determination. Hedelin’s goal of playing football at a Division I school is well within reach. Now, the Spartan Nation just hopes that this promising offensive lineman chooses to continue the pursuit of his dreams in East Lansing.