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Michigan State players take part in Future Focus camp; Q&A with Jordan Hall, Alessio Milivojevic and Ashton Lepo

IMG_2371by:Kenny Jordan06/04/24

While Michigan State fans eagerly await the start of Jonathan Smith’s first season in East Lansing, several Spartan football players will put their coaching hats on for the Future Focus football camp this June and July.

Future Focus is an organization founded by former Michigan State kicker Stephen Rusnak. Its mission is to provide affordable training to high school football players at every position, with help from over 60-plus Michigan State football players. Over the next two months, the organization will host 10 total sessions that occur twice per week, on Mondays and Fridays, at Waverly High School in Lansing.

Despite Rusnak’s decision to enter the portal and commit to Charlotte following spring practice, he has remained committed to the program he founded as a student-athlete at Michigan State. The organization began as a continuation of Rusnak’s Legacy Kicking foundation, which helped provide training to high school-age specialists.

Rusnak noted that his passion for giving back to youth football players alongside his former teammates has kept him motivated while he finishes up classes at Michigan State this summer.

Quarterback Aidan Chiles, tight end Jack Velling, linebacker Jordan Hall and safety Dillon Tatum are among the many Michigan State football players who will commit their time to Rusnak’s organization this summer. The first session occurred Monday evening, and SpartanMag was on-site to speak with Hall, quarterback Alessio Milivojevic and offensive lineman Ashton Lepo about Future Focus and the upcoming Spartan football season.

Michigan State LB Jordan Hall

SpartanMag: What made you want to give back to the youth football community?

Hall: Growing up, I had a lot of resources. I’m just getting to know the kids, so I’m not sure what their resources are, but I think this is a good opportunity to become a resource for them. Rusty (Stephen Rusnak) hit me up about it, and I couldn’t pass it up.

SM: If you were in the shoes of a high school player right now, how much would you have appreciated training with a Division I college football player?

Hall: I would’ve really appreciated that someone is taking their time and putting in effort to better me and helping make me a better player.

SM: How do you feel the session went tonight?

Hall: I think it was good. I think the athletes that I coached took in a lot of information that I was giving them and progressed throughout the session. I’m excited to see them keep growing this summer, hopefully.

SM: Do you feel like coaching helps you progress your game as a player?

Hall: My philosophy is the best way to truly know something is to coach it and teach it to someone else. We’re learning things everyday and I’ve learned a lot recently, so being able to teach some of it to someone else helps me further understand those things.

Michigan State QB Alessio Milivojevic

SpartanMag: What made you want to give back to the youth football community?

Milivojevic: I was in their position not long ago, and I remember just looking up to college and NFL guys and I wanted to give back and help. Even if they just learn a few things from us, it could be the difference for them and just being a resource through football and even life.

SM: Given that you just graduated from high school, how do you feel you’ve matured in the past six months since early-enrolling at Michigan State?

Milivojevic: I’ve obviously had to mature pretty fast, but it has gone well. Just simple things like learning how to do laundry by myself and things like that, but since I early-enrolled and I’ve been here for six months now, I just feel like I’ve matured football-wise, too. Just the IQ of being in college practices and being coached by coach (Brian) Lindgren, the other great quarterbacks at MSU teaching me things and being in a college room. I feel like that gives me the ability to come out here and share some of that and what I’ve learned with the athletes.

SM: How do you feel the session went tonight?

Milivojevic: I think it went really well. We had a decent amount of quarterbacks out here and I went through a full warm-up with them and we worked a lot on their movements and footwork. I think it’s just going to keep growing, too, as we continue to get the word out there. The more competition, the better we get.

SM: How has the summer gone for yourself and the team thus far?

Milivojevic: It’s been awesome. Just getting in the weight room and around my teammates and just building that locker room chemistry, it’s been special. I went home recently to finish high school stuff with prom and walking at graduation with my class, so that was all good, too. All of my teammates and myself have been putting in work to be as ready as possible for fall camp, and we’re going to keep it up all summer. It’ll be hard, but it’ll be worth it to give us the best season possible.

Michigan State OL Ashton Lepo

SpartanMag: What made you want to give back to the youth football community?

Lepo: For me, I just remember in elementary and middle school when the varsity high school players would come down and coach us, I would get so excited. I think it just inspired me to chase after my dreams and to work harder. I thought by coming out here and coaching, I would get to help the younger generation of football players do the same.

SM: If you were in the shoes of a high school player right now, how excited would you be to be training with a Division I college football player?

Lepo: I’d be very excited, man. Like I said before, even the high school varsity team made me excited. When I was in high school, I would go to some camps, and seeing some of the guys that were in college at the time playing college football gave me hope to do the same thing. That’s my main goal in trying to give back with coaching for Future Focus.

SM: How do you feel the session went tonight?

Lepo: I think it went well. We had a good turnout and the kids listened well and I could see them getting better just from the start of the session to the end. Our next session we’re supposed to get even more, and maximizing the amount of players will help with competition and doing drills with them.

SM: How do you feel heading into the summer, as you approach your third season at Michigan State?

Lepo: I feel good about the team. I think we have some good pieces, but overall everyone that’s here now are just good guys and good teammates to have. Team morale has been high and guys are showing up day-in and day-out, putting in work with lifts and conditioning. A lot of guys are putting in extra work and I just think we’re on the right track, but there’s always more work we can do. I think the team understands that and is hungry to keep pushing this summer.

Photo courtesy Kenny Jordan for

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