We’ve nearly reached the end of the road.
National Signing Day arrives Wednesday, a day when fax machines briefly return to relevancy and coaches make a mad dash to get their verbal commits bound to their schools in writing.
This will be a crucial class for years to come at Michigan State, as the Spartans look to rebound from a 3-9 season, their worst since 1994. The full impact of this group won’t be seen for a few years, but several will have a chance to contribute immediately.
So, what does Michigan State need to accomplish on National Signing Day 2017? It will be a successful one if …
Michigan State signs all its current commits
This is by far the top priority. Michigan State had some issues with silent commitments during this cycle, but when recruits publicly committed, they stayed that way. Hunter Rison, an early enrollee, reopened his recruitment for a brief period, but eventually recommitted. The anomaly is 3-star wide receiver Raheem Blackshear, who jumped the gun on his commitment and rescinded it after visiting Rutgers.
All commits have taken official visits and none appear to be wavering in their decisions. But with 20 players in the class, surprises can surely happen. Michigan State has been hitting the road to solidify relationships and ensure that when Wednesday morning comes around, these commits will officially sign on to play for the Spartans.
Another defensive back commits
Michigan State needs guys with size and speed to come in and make an early impact. It has pursued a number of prospects projected as safeties but recruited as cornerbacks by the Spartans.
Emmanuel Flowers , a 2-star Ruben S. Ayala (Chino, Calif.) defensive back, comes to mind. He stands 6-foot-1 and has blown up lately. He took a Michigan State visit on Jan. 20 and then cancelled a planned UCLA visit. MSU has a great chance with him.
Michigan State over-signs
You don’t typically like to see this, as it indicates that players might be forced out. Mark Dantonio has said he wants to sign 21-24 recruits in the 2017 class. He’s at 20, and a couple more would (unofficially) put Michigan State over the allotted 85 scholarships for 2017.
However, Dantonio has also spoken of his expectations that Michigan State will deal with roster attrition. He didn’t go into more specifics, but after a 3-9 season, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if several players transfer. By going over the scholarship limit for now, the Spartans will prepare for what seem to be inevitable departures.