Spartans remain on top for James Sanford

Xenia (Ohio) defensive back James Sanford never saw 76,405 people go silent as fast as they did. As the referee walked out to the field to reveal the replay assistant’s decision, a hush fell over the Michigan State crowd.

“I never heard so many people get so quiet,” Sanford said.

A deafening silence turned into a deafening roar, though, when the referee announced Michigan State’s Keith Nichol broke the plane and scored the game-winning touchdown on a last-second Hail Mary.

“It went crazy in there,” Sanford said.

Sanford, a two-star safety prospect, already had the Spartans as his leader before the game. They only strengthened their lead after it. It was Sanford’s first football game at Michigan State, and he said the trip was “just about perfect.”

“I think they’re even higher now,” he added.

Sanford is still planning to take at least two official visits -- one to Michigan State and the other to West Virginia.

Prior to the game, Sanford was able to talk to secondary coach Harlon Barnett, who is also his lead recruiter. He also got a chance to speak with coach Mark Dantonio, and the two talked about when his written offer might come.

“They said I should hear from them in a week or so,” Sanford said. “They haven’t been looking at all of my film yet. They said I should get [an offer] soon.”