Early Enrollee & 2014 LB Commit Chris Frey Looking to Compete for Time Early On the Nation’s Best Defense at Michigan State
Linebacker Chris Frey out of Upper Arlington High School near Columbus Ohio is one of just two players in the 2014 Spartan recruiting class to enroll early at MSU. Understanding that he is single part of a deep class of talented players, Frey made it a point of emphasis to get to East Lansing early in order to have a chance at earning playing time.
Since coming to MSU in early January, Frey has been able to participate in the Spartans winter training sessions and will be on the field for spring practices. Because he’s an early enrollee, Frey has become acquainted with MSU strength and conditioning coach Ken Mannie before his teammates in the 2014 class. In an interview with Spartan Nation, Frey told us just how intense those Ken Mannie winter workouts can get.
“He’s a great lifting coach (Mannie), everybody says he’s a legend, and I really see that now”, continuing, “the lifts that he’s put me through, they’ve been pretty hectic. I came in telling myself I’d be ready for it, but that first lift really tore me up.”
In his interview, Frey told Spartan Nation founder Hondo S. Carpenter Sr. that while he has been ripped a time or two by Mannie in the weight room, he understand that there is a purpose for everything Mannie does and he trusts that the coach has his best interest at heart. “He’s looking out for you, he’s going to push you until you break, he wants you down on your knees begging for mercy, and I realize that. It’s tough sometimes because you want to quit but I’m here for a reason.”
That reason? “I want play, that’s the reason I came here early. So every time I go through these lifts I keep telling myself that so I push myself more to get through it.”
As a football prospect growing up in Ohio State country, Frey face a lot of questions from people in his community when he announced he would be playing football up north at Michigan State. “Everyone questioned why I chose this place (MSU) and why I didn’t wait it out and wait on Ohio State or wait on a bigger school. I kind of look back and laugh at them now because this is the place I wanted to go all along.”
Frey told listeners that his decision to come to MSU was made long before the Spartan’s Big Ten Title or Rose Bowl Championship, saying “I made my decision before the season started, before anybody even thought we would be there.” Frey recalled that the official visit he took to campus last fall was all he needed to know that he wanted to a Spartan. “After I my visit here for the Notre Dame game, I fell in love with this place. This place is awesome, the coaching staff is awesome, the guys are awesome that are on the team, even though they lost the game, it was a great experience.”
After his visit, Frey was told by coaches that he needed to put on weight if he wanted to be a linebacker in the Big Ten. Frey no longer wanted to be just a Big Ten linebacker anymore, “I wanted to be a Spartan linebacker.” He therefore stopped playing basketball and running track and focused on bulking up. “I did what I needed to do and I put on the weight and I got the offer, and that’s all I needed.”
Currently weighing in at about 220, Frey is working on adding another 15-20 pounds before the beginning of camp in the fall, an objective he feels is “absolutely possible” with the help of coach Mannie and the Spartan strength and conditioning staff. As a young man, Frey had to work for everything he has accomplished in life” Growing up, “lot of people said, you’re not big enough or strong enough, you’re only playing because you’re the coaches son” He, however, has worked extremely hard to be where he is today and has a simple message for his critics.
“I pushed myself and I had a great family behind me pushing me, so people can hate and they can say mean things, and say I picked the wrong school, but they have no chance at changing my mind.” As a member of the Spartan family, Frey is surrounded by a brotherhood of “Spartan Dawgs” who have has back. Chris Frey embraces hard work, perseverance, and strength of character and Spartan Nation should be excited to watch his development as player and person during his time at MSU.