On Friday, the NCAA recruiting dead period ends, allowing college coaches to start meeting 2018 prospects either at their schools or on official visits. For three weeks, Michigan State will go full throttle to fill out its class before National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
That day won’t be nearly as eventful as it was last year. Michigan State already signed 20 players to the 2018 class during the first-ever early signing period. But the Spartans still have room for a few more recruits to complete the class, and wide receiver and defensive line look like the primary spots being targeted.
Keep an eye on these six prospects, all of whom hold a Michigan State offer, as we inch closer to that crucial first Wednesday of February.
WR Tommy Bush, 4 stars, Samuel Clemens (Schertz, Texas)
Top schools: Michigan State, Baylor, Georgia
The rundown: Tommy Bush has been at the top of Michigan State’s recruiting board as long as just about anyone in the class. The 6-foot-5 standout ranks 37th nationally among wide receivers and took his official visit to Michigan State over the weekend of the Nov. 4 game against Penn State. Bush stated recently that his top schools are Michigan State, Baylor and Georgia. Baylor has the local advantage, and Georgia is coming off a national runner-up season. It won’t be easy for the Spartans to overcome those tough odds, but they continue to make a push.
DE Jamarcus Chatman, 3 stars, Rome (Ga.)
Top schools: Michigan State, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech
The rundown: Jamarcus Chatman long has held a Michigan State offer, but only recently has it begun to look as if the Spartans have a legitimate shot at landing him. He holds a seemingly endless list of offers but has pared his options to just a few after committing to, and de-committing from, both LSU and Tennessee during the process. Chatman is scheduled to make an official visit to Michigan State on Jan. 26, where the Spartans will try to convince him he’s a perfect fit at defensive end. Down the road, though, the 260-pound standout could transition to tackle.
DT Jackson Cravens, 3 stars, Timpview (Provo, Utah)
Top schools: Michigan State, Oregon, Utah, Washington
The rundown: Michigan State’s chances don’t look particularly great here. Jackson Cravens took an official visit to Michigan State in September for a game against Notre Dame, and the Spartans looked to have an edge because his cousin, Mufi Hill-Hunt, plays for Michigan State. Weeks and months have passed without a decision, and it now seems likely that the 6-3, 285-pound defensive tackle will stay out west and play somewhere in the Pac-12. Oregon, Utah and Washington all want him, which might end up being too tough for the Spartans to overcome.
DT Dashaun Mallory, 3 stars, Bolingbrook (Ill.)
Top school: Michigan State
The rundown: There’s no need to list any other schools here. Dashaun Mallory has been crystal clear from the moment he got a Michigan State offer that it’s where he wants to be. However, extenuating circumstances related to clearance and eligibility slowed that process to a crawl and made the chance he would end up at Michigan State look slim. Mallory recently told Land of 10 he has been cleared to take an official visit and plans to arrive Friday. It would surprise no one to see the 6-3, 260-pound defensive tackle commit while on campus.
WR Jalen Nailor, 3 stars, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Top schools: Michigan State, Arizona State, Utah
The rundown: All you need to know about Jalen Nailor is that his nickname is “Speedy,” and it was not bestowed upon him ironically. The 5-11 receiver attracted schools nationwide with his lightning quickness. Arizona State looked to have an edge at one point, but after the Sun Devils fired coach Todd Graham, Michigan State has capitalized. Nailor’s teammate, Michigan State signee Jacob Isaia, took him to see the Spartans play in the Holiday Bowl in his native California, and this weekend he’ll arrive on campus for his official visit. Plenty of signs point to Nailor ending up alongside Isaia in East Lansing, Mich.
DT Tennessee Pututau, 4 stars, Salt Lake City East
Top schools: Michigan State, Utah, Washington
The rundown: Michigan State never looked to have a particularly good shot at landing Tennessee Pututau. The 260-pound defensive tackle has one brother playing for Utah and two more signed to do so. The home-state school seemed like an obvious destination after his Mormon mission. But Michigan State made things interesting when it welcomed him for an official visit in December. He told Land of 10 that after the trip, he put the Spartans on his radar. Will they still be there come decision time? Maybe, but it’s unlikely that they can beat out the others on his list.