Donovan Winter had committed to Michigan State. All that was left was for him to ink his name on National Signing Day and the three-star defensive end from Bishop Moore High School in Florida would be headed to East Lansing to play college football.
But Winter didn’t get that opportunity. Instead, he was sitting in jail on charges of burglary and larceny of a firearm. Winter had lost his offer from Mark Dantonio and the Spartans.
In a recent article with the Orlando Sentinel, Winter opened up about his downward spiral, arrest and how 40 days in jail changed his life.
Winter said he was getting too caught up in the social media after he committed to Michigan State back in June 2016 and had made friends with the wrong people. He also talked about how he disobeyed his parents and that he chose to ignore any positive advice that was hurled his way.
From the article:
All the publicity on Twitter … like, ‘Wow, this kid’s going to Michigan State.’ ‘This kid’s going to a big-time college.’ Well, these kids … that just do drugs every single day … they want to hang out with a kid who is going somewhere in life and you gotta be careful. … They’re going to bring you down as low as them,” Donovan Winter said. “I thought they were friends. I didn’t really know. … I didn’t even listen to my parents. It was the stupidest thing. … It hurts to just talk about it.
With no immediate opportunity to play at the Division I level, Winter will enroll at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas as he plans to get his life headed back in the right direction.
But the former three-star prospect still had plenty of regret and wanted to apologize to Michigan State and Dantonio.
He was asked what he would say to the Spartans’ head coach if given the opportunity. Winter’s response was humble:
I’m gonna say I’m sorry for what I did to him. I’m sorry for what I did to the Spartans and sorry for what I did to all the people out there. Honestly, it’s the worst decision of my life. If I could change it, I would. I know I’m crying right now, and I’m sorry … but I love the whole Spartan nation and I’m so sorry this happened.
The powerful article on Winter can be read in full here.