EAST LANSING, Mich. — The past year has been almost all business for Michigan State’s 2017 signing class.
The 23 recruits have competed at camps. They’ve planned and taken visits. They’ve committed. They’ve looked to recruit others. And, finally, they filled out their letters of intent on National Signing Day.
Now that it’s over, why not have a little fun? Let’s learn a little more than names, faces and star ratings with our signing day superlatives.
Most likely to win a halftime taco-eating contest: Jack Camper
At IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), the 3-star defensive end (and future tight end) served as the anchor in the defense’s run to a Thanksgiving food eating title. He doesn’t need any silverware to demolish mashed potatoes.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 16, 2016
So why not give him a shot at the Breslin Center, where taco-eating contests often take place at halftime? It might not be fair to put him against average students, but it would sure be fun.
Everyone’s best friend: Darien Clemons
If he didn’t live more than three hours from East Lansing, the 3-star Piqua (Ohio) linebacker would probably be on campus a lot more. Every time he’s had the chance, he has been on campus, meeting recruits and making sure they know all about Michigan State.
Swiss Army knife: Connor Heyward
He played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback and safety for Peachtree Ridge (Suwanee, Ga.) Heck. He even punted on occasion.
Expect a lot of the same at Michigan State. He’ll start at running back, then could potentially move to slot receiver, linebacker or safety. Wherever he’s at on the field, he plays hard.
Most straightforward: Kevin Jarvis
When you see the 4-star Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.) offensive lineman give an interview, don’t expect a long, elaborate answer rife with anecdotes and metaphors.
“Whenever people ask me questions, they expect me to have a long answer,” he told Land of 10, “but it’s kind of simple where you can just say stuff about the game. ‘It was fun’ or ‘It was easy.’ People always expect weird answers.”
Most unlikely path: Mustafa Khaleefah
The 3-star Dearborn (Mich.) offensive tackle will likely be a fan favorite at Michigan State because of what it took for him to get there. As a kid, he escaped war in Iraq to start a new life. That eventually led him to learn a new sport as well.
Khaleefah has taken abuse online (to which we won’t link) and continues to rise above it in a time when refugees like himself have often been demonized. How could you not root for him?
Future movie star: Rocky Lombardi
First off, Rocky Lombardi just sounds like a stage name. You won’t forget the 3-star quarterback after he comes in for an audition. (Being 6-foot-4 might help with that, too.)
Secondly, he’s got a magnificent mane of ridiculously blonde hair that would work in a number of roles. He could be “Rocky” villain Ivan Drago or Sunshine in a remake of “Remember the Titans.”
Best in the classroom: Dominique Long
Maybe someone else has the numbers to match, but it’s doubtful. Coach Mark Dantonio introduced Long, a 3-star safety, to the media on signing day by lauding his 4.3 grade-point average and Ivy League-impressive 31 on the ACT. If anyone else in this class has done better, we’d love to see the evidence.
Most likely to dunk on you: Cody White
If you find yourself in the same room as the 3-star Walled Lake (Mich.) Western wide receiver, make sure you’re not standing anywhere near a basketball hoop. He will throw down on top of your head.
Why jump Wednesday!!??❄️? pic.twitter.com/IMY9d8C6HP
— Cody White (@lilcdub328) December 21, 2016