With 23 players signed to its 2017 recruiting class, Michigan State didn’t have room for many more.
And yet, there were a few players who decided on National Signing Day that the Spartans would have loved to land regardless. They announced their decisions on Wednesday by picking hats, calling their future coaches during press conferences and signing on the dotted line.
The following recruits could very well have ended up at Michigan State, but late developments forced the Spartans to go a different route — if they even had time to find another option.
Bethel (Hampton, Va.) 3-star athlete Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Fortunately for the Michigan State coaches, they had an inkling before signing day came around that Owusu-Koramoah would end up at Notre Dame instead. That allowed them to target 3-star outside linebacker Noah Harvey, who would commit on Tuesday.
Harvey, though, comes in as a grayshirt, meaning the staff would’ve had another scholarship available for an outside linebacker to join the 2017 class. It had hoped Owusu-Koramoah would be that guy, but it wasn’t to be. He called Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Wednesday and told him he’d be signing with the Irish.
Trezevant (Memphis, Tenn.) 4-star running back Cordarrian Richardson
This saga got weird. On Tuesday morning, he said he wouldn’t sign on Wednesday, as he intended to visit Michigan State first. On Tuesday night, he said he would in fact sign his letter of intent the following day.
On Wednesday morning, he verbally committed to Maryland, which hadn’t even appeared to be an option. Then, sometime after that, he managed to sign with Central Florida instead. Did you get all that?
Sandalwood (Jacksonville, Fla.) 3-star cornerback Ameer Speed
We’ll include Speed for two reasons. First, he had a Michigan State hat on the table when he announced his commitment to Georgia on Wednesday. Second, the Spartans certainly would’ve taken him if he wanted to commit.
That said, Michigan State didn’t have much of a chance here. Speed took his official visit in October and didn’t visit at any point after that as the schools that were closer to home seemed to win him over.
McGill-Toolen (Mobile, Ala.) unranked wide receiver Jalen Tolbert
Michigan State ultimately landed 2-star slot receiver Laress Nelson to solidify its WR class on signing day, but that didn’t appear to be Plan A going into the day. Nelson told Land of 10 the night before that he was waiting to see if he could commit.
Tolbert had looked to be a lock until he made the surprising decision to stay home and sign with South Alabama. How much the Spartans regret that miss remains to be seen.
Bishop Moore Catholic (Orlando, Fla.) 3-star defensive end Donovan Winter
Winter committed to the Spartans in June and stayed rock solid, identifying Michigan State as his dream school. But as you’ve probably read, his long-held plans went to waste as he sat in jail on National Signing Day.