Spartan Nation Exclusive: Mark Dantonio’s 4th Commitment for 2015 OT Noah Listermann
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr.: He’s from Cincinnati, OH. He’s a 6’8″, nearly 300 lb. offensive tackle recruit for the 2014 recruiting class. Noah Listermann… How relieved are you to have the process over?
Listermann: I’m thrilled that I found the place where I know I wanna be. I can then focus now on completing our goals of winning the state title for my high school team.
HONDO: What was it about Michigan State that convinced you this was your home?
NOAH: It was just everything. Everything I was looking for in a school Michigan State had. There was not one thing about the school… It wasn’t just the football, wasn’t just the people, it wasn’t just where it was. It was everything. Everything that I looked for Michigan State had. And I went for it.
HONDO: What did you enjoy most about the recruiting process?
NOAH: Building relationships with people and meeting all these people that I got to know. I got to know things about myself and life in general, in the professional sense, through the whole thing.
HONDO: You love to have fun, but you’re very mature. That’s a good balance and tells me you come from a good family. Tell us about your family.
NOAH: Yeah, I was raised by my whole family, I’d say. I would say I didn’t have a father growing up, but I did because it was my uncle, my grandpa… I’m from a very kind family, very open-minded. There’s not one bad thing I could ever say about my family. They’ve never done anything wrong to raise me the way they did.
HONDO: What was the family’s reaction when you said you were going to Michigan State?
NOAH: They were all very happy. Me and my uncle are probably the…we know the most about football in my family. He grew up kind of a Spartan fan and he was real proud of me. He was one of the main reasons I actually started playing football. My mom and my dad, my stepdad Mike…he’s actually my father, but…they’re very happy. When we went there this weekend. He said I can’t wait for you to become a man here and do the things that you’ll do here. I know that you’ll be…you’re a great fit for this place, just by all the people we’ve met. That just felt really good that he supported me that much in my decision.
HONDO: What kind of a weekend did you have with Benny McGowan?
NOAH: We went putt putt golfing with a lot of the guys Donovan, Bennie, Ed, I’m trying to think of the other guys… A lot of the guys I met there are from Ohio. We just went putt putt golfing went back to their place and hung out. Just a really good time.
HONDO: Do you have any idea what you wanna major in?
NOAH: I wanna be a physical therapist. I wanna major in either Kinesiology or Exercise Science.
HONDO: What made you pick that major?
NOAH: After my sophomore season I had something done to my knee, just a small in and out procedure, and had physical therapy at the Beacon near where I lived. All the people there seemed like they really enjoyed their job. They enjoyed waking up every day and helping people. I’ve really liked being there for some people and help them get through things. I just like that feeling. I wanna stay in the sports background after all this goes through; football doesn’t last forever. That way you can live vicariously through others that you help. It’s nice to be involved with that.
HONDO: So right now, how much do you weigh?
HONDO: And how tall are ya?
HONDO: What are some things you enjoy doing off the field, when you’re not in the classroom and you have the chance to relax? Hunting, fishing, video games, movies…
NOAH: All of that, actually. I used to skateboard. Now I just hang out with my buddies. I’m really musical. I play the guitar, the piano, and the sax. I’m a big gamer. I enjoy hunting I’ve got a crossbow. Me and my grandpa, we go hunting every now and then.
HONDO: You won my heart right there, because I’m a hunter.
NOAH: Oh yeah?
HONDO: You won my heart right there. Did you meet Riley Bullough on your visit? He’s quite a musical guy. He’s actually written and performed several songs.
NOAH: I actually didn’t meet him but I did hear that.
HONDO: Next time you’re on campus, look him up. He’s quite a musician.
NOAH: I will. Thank you.
HONDO: You’ve met a lot of coaches through this recruiting process. What do you keep hearing that you do best, and what do you keep hearing you’ve got to get better at?
NOAH: I hear that I’m a very good athlete for my size. I’m a real physical guy. I’m not afraid to throw my body out for the team. I’ll do anything to help us win. I persevere through tough times during the game. But I hear, and I agree with it, that I need to get stronger. I’ve gotta hit the weights hard this offseason (??) to get better for my team.
HONDO: When you walked into the MSU weight room, what did you think of it?
NOAH: I’ve seen quite a few weight rooms through this process and I definitely feel theirs takes the cake.
HONDO: What did you think of Coach Mannie?
NOAH: He’s a pretty intense guy. That’s what I definitely need. The way I like to be coached is…I need high energy and I need crazy chaos. I think he’s like the perfect fit for strength coach for me. I’ve seen what he does to the players. He makes them like giant walls. I really look forward to being coached by him and getting stronger with him.
HONDO: I love that term…you love crazy chaos. That’s awesome. So when you see what he’s able to do to their bodies, do you think, ‘Wow, that’s me in 3 years’?
NOAH: Yeah, I’m a pretty big guy. I like to think I’m a lot bigger than everybody else. But walking around with these guys it was like, ‘Oh geesh. I’ve got some work to do.’
HONDO: What was your reaction to the stadium, the Skandalaris Center… What did you think of the MSU facilities?
NOAH: They’re all very impressive. They’re upgrading their locker room…I saw what they’re doing to it. It’s gonna be pretty sweet. Their whole facility has a very sleek kind of look. It just kinda sticks out to me.
HONDO: Harlon Barnett was your main recruiter, I would assume. What did you think of him?
NOAH: I love that guy. That guy…Coach B is awesome. He’s from around my area. He went to school at Princeton. So we know… We kind of connect on a level, a homey level.
HONDO: Tell me about the hair. You definitely have the skateboarder hair.
NOAH: Yeah, it’s getting pretty long.
HONDO: What is the biggest lesson you learned about yourself through the recruiting process?
NOAH: I need to be more patience, to put myself out there more. You’ve gotta present yourself in a very good way. I never think that I present myself in a bad way, but you just show people who you truly are because if you don’t… If you do end up going to a school and you don’t show your true colors, there’s no point.
HONDO: Michigan State beat Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship game. Are you going to continue to do your part to turn the state of Ohio green?
NOAH: Of course, of course.
HONDO: Noah, you’re a leader. Are you the kind of guy that’s gonna get on the phone and try to get other guys to join you at Michigan State?
NOAH: I think at a certain point people need to make their own decisions. But yeah, I would definitely… One of my best friends in high school, I know he’s being recruited. I feel like he’d do very well. He’s one of our linebackers. I know they’re really interested in these two running backs from Hubbard. I wanna try and get in contact with them and see what their thoughts are. I don’t wanna like…I don’t wanna say negatively recruit…but there’s no good in that. I don’t think persuade is the right answer. You present the information you know and how you feel about school and whatnot. Because at the end of the day it’s what fits you best and how you feel about it. That’s the biggest thing.
HONDO: For the benefit of our listeners who don’t follow recruiting in detail who is this linebacker they’re after?
NOAH: David Long.
HONDO: When you told him you were going green what did he say to you?
NOAH: He was with me through my whole sophomore, freshman year. He was just real proud of me. I told him I wanted him to come up with me, but we’ll see where that lies.
HONDO: How much did you like the way Michigan State recruited?
NOAH: I loved it. They’re very straightforward and they don’t put up a smokescreen. They don’t blow smoke at you. They show you what they’re about and they’re genuinely interested in who you are. Not just as a football player, but who you are as a person…what did you do, what you like, what do you wanna be, all of that. I’ve just grown to love it, you know?
HONDO: One of the things I heard about you was every scholarship offer you got, whether it was a small school or a big school, meant something to you. How special was it to be able to tell your Mom that you were going to school and she didn’t have to pay?
NOAH: That was the best feeling in the world. I don’t wanna say we necessarily struggled…but we did when I was a child. I had a whole different mindset about life when I was younger, before I started playing football. I’ve only been playing football for 2 years. I had a whole different life that I wasn’t…that I was gonna go to college. I didn’t have high expectations for myself. But it was just the best feeling in the world, because I know that she knew that I had changed as a person and I was becoming a man.
HONDO: You said you didn’t have high expectations for yourself. What changed in you that you thought that things were different now and you could go to college?
NOAH: I met Coach Parker, my head coach. That man has been one of the…actually the biggest inspiration in my life. He brought me from… He turned me into a man. He’s always supported me no matter what, even before I played football for him. He was in the classroom and we’d talk about anything. He just pushed me no matter what.
HONDO: Thank God for a coach, huh?
NOAH: Yeah. Oh yeah.
HONDO: I’m as impressed with you as a person. I have a lot of respect for your family and the people that raised you. Thank you for your time, Noah.
NOAH: Thank you, thank you.