April 8, 2011
Recruiting Rap: The state of State
SpartanMag.com looks at how things are looking early on in the recruiting process for the Spartans. Michigan State does not have any commitments at this point, but analyst Matt Dorsey does not believe that is an issue and may actually be a sign of strength. Find out the details.
Some have pointed out that Michigan State does not have any commitments at this time. In my opinion it is not a big deal. It is obvious that the staff is being very selective, going after high-level players and they started spring practice later than everyone else. Add those three factors up and you can see why this is not one of those years when the Spartans will have half the class verbally committed by July 1st.
Quarterback: Spartans will land top notch signal-caller
SpartanMag.com believes that the Spartans have an excellent chance of landing quarterback Tyler O'Connor of Lima Catholic High School. The Michigan State staff has made him a priority for eth class and the fact that the Spartans only have 3 quarterbacks on scholarship is a positive factor.
O'Connor has been on campus multiple times now and that is how Mark Dantonio likes to recruits. Last year, Connor Cook committed to Michigan State on his 7th visit to East Lansing. Feeling comfortable and building rapport is critical. Look for O'Connor to be on campus again this summer to work with MSU quarterback coach Dave Warner.
If the Spartans do not land O'Conner there are several other prospects on the radar. Wes Lunt has a Spartan offer and Blake Rankin of Pennsylvania will be on campus this month and plans on attending camp.
Michigan State is ALWAYS going to land a good quarterback. The Spartans pro-style offense along with the success of the program is very attractive. Even when Mark Dantonio first arrived, the Spartans were able to sign Kirk Cousins and Nick Foles. Looking back, that was the best quarterback class signed by any school in the nation in 2007.
<>Running Back: Looking coast to coast for next great one
Michigan State is not playing games this year at running back. They want to sign an Edwin Baker, Javon Ringer type of running back for the class of 2012. They are going all over the country to find just such a player.
William Mahone of Ohio fits the mold of what the Spartans are looking for and his offer list which includes Michigan State, Penn State, Notre Dame and Iowa, is testament to just how good a prospect he is. Ohio State has already received verbal commitments from two running backs they liked better than Mahone. The Buckeyes did the same thing back in the day when it came to Javon Ringer.
Drew Harris of Pennsylvania also has a Michigan State offer to go along with Penn State, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Miami. He is a player the staff is looking to have on campus this summer. The Spartans are making a concerted effort to recruit Eastern Pennsylvania hard this year and that is a good move. It was not long ago that eastern PA stars like Jeff Smoker, Jaren Hayes, Michael Bazemore and Colin Neely made significant contributions to Michigan State.
Jonathan Williams of Texas is the lasts running back to pick up a Michigan State offer. Texas is always loaded with running back talent and the Longhorns cannot sign all of them. It makes perfect sense for Michigan State to target Williams as a plan A recruit for 2012. Williams also has offers from Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and West Virginia. Williams will be looking at the offense the team runs and the depth chart. These factors cannot hurt the Spartans chances.
Tight end: A game of numbers
Looking at the Michigan State depth chart you will see that the Spartans will graduate 2 quality tight ends after the 2011 (Celek and Linthicum) and they only signed 1 tight end last year. That means they need to sign at least 1 if not 2 players in the class of 2012.
The Spartans are being selective in who they offer at this point and tow of the players they like a lot are from the state of Pennsylvania, in Colin Thompson and JP Holtz. The interesting fact is that Penn State, which has also offered both of them, has already take a commitment from tight end Jesse James and is making a hard run at Florida standout Kent Taylor.
Could the Spartans be the lucky dog when it comes to Pennsylvania tight end recruiting? It is a great year for talent in the Keystone State and with Mark Staten and Dave Warner working hard, SpartanMag.com expects that Michigan ate will be a major factor here for the class of 2012.
Defensive Tackle: Michigan State vs. Michigan?
If there is a position where the Spartans and Wolverines could have some serious head-to-head battles it is at the defensive tackle spot. Looking at the rivals.com database, the Spartans and Wolverines have both offered 4 of the same defensive tackle prospect. Two of those players are 2 in-state prospects (Matthew Godin and Danny O'Brien) and one has strong family ties to Michigan, Ondre Pipkin. Sheldon Day of Indian is the other tackle prospect that both the Spartans and Wolverines are after.
Michigan has offered nearly twice as many defensive tackle prospects as the Spartans. Much of that is due to the fact that the Wolverines have not recruited the position well in recent years. While the Wolverines have an obvious need, the Spartans are in a strong situation for a player that wants to develop. With Worthy and Wright the Spartans have a pair of tackles that will be as good as anyone in nation in 2012. A player in 2012 could learn from them and step in as a 3 or 4 years starter after a redshirt.
Red-shirt DT's is always a plus, Michigan State has had the luxury of doing just that under Mark Dantonio and that is a reason of the teams success. A redshirt also allows a player a better shot at playing on Sunday. Would Cliff Ryan be in the NFL had he not red-shirted?
If the Spartans or Wolverines are able to land any one of the above 4 prospect that they have both offered, they will certainly have plenty to smile about.
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