Michigan State has less than a week to finish off its 2018 class.
Once National Signing Day on Feb. 7 comes around, almost every last prospect in the class will sign with the school of his choice. Michigan State got the vast majority of its work done during the new early signing period Dec. 20-22, but it still has some needs to fulfill.
Certainly the Spartans have some work to do with the younger classes. Can they hold onto their 2019 commitments? Will they make headway with prospects in the 2020 class? That remains to be seen. But this month is about finishing the 2018 cycle with a bang.
Here’s what Michigan State needs to do on the recruiting trail between now and the end of the month.
3. Land a wide receiver
Who’s it going to be? Right now the only reasonable possibilities for Michigan State look like Samuel Clemens (Schertz, Texas) wideout Tommy Bush, a 4-star senior in the 247Sports composite ratings, and 3-star Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) speedster Jalen Nailor.
Bush remains a long shot, while Nailor is the odds-on favorite to fill that wide receiver spot in Michigan State’s 2018 class. After taking his official visit in January, he declared himself “all in on MSU.” Several weeks later, he remains uncommitted, having waited for the green light from the Spartans.
2. Add defensive line depth
Sure, it would be nice to add a talented receiver to the mix, but after Michigan State wrapped up a fruitful early signing period, the top priority quickly became adding to the defensive line. The Spartans already have three projected defensive linemen committed to the class in Parks Gissinger, Jacob and Zach Slade, but they still have their sights set on a big finish.
Who could be part of the signing class come Feb. 7? Keep your eye on Dashaun Mallory, the 3-star Bolingbrook (Ill.) defensive tackle who has never been shy about wanting to commit to Michigan State. He continues to wait for the results of what he was told is a “final evaluation.” Salt Lake City East DT Tennessee Pututau and fast-rising defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado are both possibilities, though not as likely.
1. Have a drama-free Signing Day
To the outside viewer, it would be a lot of fun to see the bulk of a class enter National Signing Day uncommitted. It would make for wild television and surely some heart palpitations for the coaches awaiting decisions. But it doesn’t and will likely never work like that. Michigan State has 20 players signed already with just some final touches still needed.
And it sure would be nice for the coaches if those final touches could be made before Wednesday comes around. Entering the big day with players already verbally committed would save a lot of stress and make for a quick and easy day like Dec. 20, when the early signees put pen to paper. Maybe it’s too much to ask, but it’s likely what Michigan State wants. And even if they enter that morning still without any verbal commits, to have those final pieces signed before noon would be a nice gift as well.