The implications of a season like the one Michigan State is having don’t go away after the final game.
A season goes awry. A recruiting class takes a hit. Four years later, you see the impact on the field. Repeat.
It looks as though this team is taking a hit that can be traced to 2012, when Michigan State went 3-5 in the Big Ten. That season, the Spartans finished with a bowl win. Fans would be thrilled with that prospect now.
So, how will the scope of Michigan State recruiting change before the signing period in February? These bold predictions will try to answer that.
1. Michigan State will not land any of its top remaining in-state targets
To be fair, the Spartans already have done well in Michigan. Commits Cody White and Hunter Rison are clearly the top receivers in the state not named Donovan Peoples-Jones.
However, things aren’t looking great for MSU with those still uncommitted. A current commit told Land of 10 that he thinks recruiting may take a hit because of the team’s 4-game losing streak, and it’s tough to argue that.
4-star safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell looks about as close to committing as one can get without doing so publicly. Michigan can feel great about its chances with him. Peoples-Jones looks like a Wolverines lean as well.
4-star cornerback Ambry Thomas still may be highly considering the Spartans, but he’s spoken of wanting to play alongside Kelly-Powell. That probably would be in Ann Arbor. Michigan has increased its pursuit of 4-star defensive lineman Deron Irving-Bey. With the way the Wolverines have been performing, that has to be enticing.
2. Michigan State will not sign all of its 16 current commits
To be fair, a great portion of the class appears to be solidly committed. Some, like offensive lineman Jordan Reid and White (below, far right), have made it a point to visit every home game possible.
— Matt Dotson (@Mattdotson21) October 16, 2016
Credit the strong relationships with staff and the two-way commitment seen most noticeably in a “get well soon” card sent to linebacker commit Darien Clemons after his right ACL injury. The Spartans don’t seem to take commitments lightly. That’s what makes this bold to say.
Presumably because of Michigan State’s season so far, other teams have been attempting to court the Spartans’ 2017 commitments. You can’t blame programs for doing that. It goes both ways.
By the signing period, don’t be surprised if someone has been taken in by outside pitches and heads elsewhere. It happens. At the same time, look for the Spartans to keep trying to flip players committed elsewhere, such as South Florida commit Bruce Judson Jr. or N.C. State commit Nick Smith.
3. The men’s basketball team will gain another commitment within a month
Why not end on a more uplifting note for fans?
The early-signing period for basketball starts Nov. 9. When you recruit as high a caliber of player as Michigan State, that first period can be uneventful because you’re waiting for 5-star prospects to decide in the regular session.
Things are looking good for the Spartans to add to the current class of 5-star forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and 4-star forward Xavier Tillman. 4-star guard Nojel Eastern took an official visit earlier in the month, and 5-star wing Brian Bowen was in for Michigan State Madness on Friday.
Michigan State already has landed two of its top post targets. It needs some perimeter prospects to join them. Look for that to potentially happen before the early-signing period begins.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.