Michigan State didn’t make it to the Big Ten Championship Game, but the Spartans still had plenty of reason to celebrate Saturday night.
With the early signing period 18 days away, the Spartans landed a commitment from Detroit Cass Tech senior cornerback Kalon Gervin, a 4-star prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings. But it means more than just a verbal pledge. Here’s why.
Michigan State can still get it done in Detroit
The Spartans’ ability to recruit Michigan, and particularly Detroit, was in question when the school didn’t renew director of college advancement and performance Curtis Blackwell’s contract. Blackwell previously co-founded the Detroit-based Sound Mind, Sound Body and had established relationships with coaches around the state.
Soon after Blackwell was let go, Michigan State missed on Cass Tech linebacker DeAndre Square, who long had been considered a Spartans lean. Its future recruiting the area looked bleak. But landing a player like Gervin sets the stage for the Spartans to reel in Detroit players in the years to come. They’ll hope 4-star Cass Tech running back Jaren Mangham is next.
The Spartans look set at cornerback for years to come
Just look at who got playing time this year. Josiah Scott, a freshman, and Justin Layne, a sophomore, got most of the starts. Josh Butler, a sophomore, and Tyson Smith, a junior, backed them up. The young crew ranks fourth in the Big Ten in pass defense efficiency and has allowed fewer than 200 passing yards per game.
That alone is encouraging. Then consider the rest of the roster. Should they all sign, Gervin would join super-athletic cornerback commits Chris Jackson and Davion Williams in East Lansing next season. Three-star Michael Dowell could end up at cornerback as well. And don’t forget about Emmanuel Flowers, who has redshirted this season. With so much young talent, the future of the Michigan State secondary looks bright.
Mark Dantonio got tremendous player
Plain and simple. Michigan State has thrived on identifying overlooked cornerbacks, but Gervin is not one of them. At 20th nationally among senior cornerbacks, he becomes the highest-ranked cornerback the Spartans have landed in the 247Sports composite rankings era. There’s no mistaking his talent.
Gervin, a sprinter for his track team, possesses great top-end speed. Though not particularly big for his position, he plays with the type of physicality that Michigan State likes from its cornerbacks. He’s a cerebral player whose fundamentals and technique stand out.