Michigan State vs. Notre Dame at Spartan Stadium on Saturday won’t just be important because of the chance for the home team to move to 3-0 on the year. It will also show a glimpse of Michigan State’s potential future.
Countless recruits will be on campus for the rivalry game, one that ironically none will likely play in. After this year, the Spartans and Notre Dame won’t face off again until 2026.
But the atmosphere, Michigan State hopes, will be enticing enough. A nationally televised game on a warm September night under the lights will bring with it a lot of excitement, as well as the opportunity to try to expand on the 2018 recruiting class.
The Spartans currently have 15 players committed to that class, with five to six more projected to join. So let’s take our weekly look at where things stand and where they’re headed.
Where the Michigan State recruiting class ranks
Michigan State’s 15-person 2018 class ranks No. 35 in the nation and No. 7 in the Big Ten, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Three members of the class carry 4-star ratings.
Latest Michigan State recruiting news
The news of the week has revolved around whom Michigan State visited during its bye week and who plans to visit for the Notre Dame game.
Michigan State will host a number of prospects for maybe its most important recruiting weekend of the season. We’ve broken down who plans to come, who’s unsure and who won’t. These are the headlines:
Michigan State recruiting: Coaches visit top football, basketball targets in Texas, Georgia
Report: Michigan State football reported 11 secondary violations since August 2013
Michigan State OL commit Spencer Brown settles into new school and position, prepares for college football
Michigan State recruiting: Top performances from Spartans commits this weekend
Michigan State QB target Sam Johnson shows progress Spartans are looking for
Michigan State recruiting: 4-star WR Tommy Bush ponders visit, newest offers, 2018 commit highlights
Beyond the Game: Michigan State commit Jeslord Boateng on his name, High School Musical 2 and working at Taco Bell
Michigan State recruiting: Spartans expect lots of visitors for Notre Dame, including former Irish commit
Michigan State recruiting: 4-star prospect Harold Joiner’s official visit; the search for 1 more DT
Michigan State 2018 recruiting offers by the numbers
- Reported offers: 229
- 5-star offers: 14
- 4-star offers: 97
- In-state recruits offered: 17
- Georgia recruits offered: 42
- Ohio recruits offered: 28
Michigan State 2018 commits
- QB Theo Day, 4 stars, Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child
- TE Trenton Gillison, 4 stars, Pickerington (Ohio) Central
- DB Xavier Henderson, 4 stars, Pickerington (Ohio) Central
- LB Jeslord Boateng, 3 stars, Dublin (Ohio) Coffman
- OL Dimitri Douglas, 3 stars, Saline (Mich.)
- DB Michael Dowell, 3 stars, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward
- DL Parks Gissinger, 3 stars, Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.)
- DB Chris Jackson, 3 stars, Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.)
- LB Chase Kline, 3 stars, Chardon (Ohio)
- WR Julian Major, 3 stars, Penn Hills (Pittsburgh)
- DL Jacob Slade, 3 stars, Olentangy (Lewis Center, Ohio)
- DL Zachary Slade, 3 stars, Olentangy (Lewis Center, Ohio)
- LB Edward Warinner, 3 stars, Olentangy Liberty (Powell, Ohio)
- DB Davion Williams, 3 stars, Belleville (Mich.)
- WR Javez Alexander, 3 stars, Sandusky (Ohio)
5 top uncommitted 2018 targets
4-star WR Tommy Bush, Samuel Clemens (Schertz, Texas)
Tommy Bush’s recruitment has grown to the point he has approximately 50 offers. Michigan State became one of the first to offer in January. The Spartans hope to receive one of his five official visits but will have to beat out other suitors to get it. The distance from home also makes setting up a visit during the season particularly tough, but he has been eyeing the Penn State game in November.
3-star RB Elijah Collins, University of Detroit Jesuit
Elijah Collins is the first running back on this list and the one seemingly most likely to end up with the Spartans. He last visited Michigan State on July 31 and the home-state team looks to solidify its class by landing its first projected running back. The Spartans have had Collins on their radar since early in his high school career, and he doesn’t seem to be in any rush to wrap things up.
4-star RB Harold Joiner, Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.)
Harold Joiner previously listed Michigan State as his favorite, but that had more to do with the dearth of running backs on its depth chart than his relationship with the program. Should he get to campus for his official visit over the weekend — amid conflicting messages about his plans — that could change. However, he has SEC powers such as LSU, Auburn and Alabama pushing for him as well.
3-star DT Dashaun Mallory, Bolingbrook (Ill.)
Dashaun Mallory has been nearing a decision for quite some time, with the Spartans leading the way. Though projected as a tackle, Michigan State defensive line coach Ron Burton has spoken with him about a hybrid role. Either way, he would be a solid pickup, but there continue to be some hoops that need to be jumped through before a decision can be made.
3-star OL Jacob Isaia, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Jacob Isaia, the grandson of Michigan State legend Bob Apisa, long has felt a close connection to the Spartans and has visited several times. He plans to be on campus again late this month for the Big Ten opener against Iowa. Offensive line has not been a primary focus in the class, but Isaia would be a good addition to the interior.
2018 position breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of the number of Michigan State commits by position and how many project to sign at each position:
- QB: 1/1 (Day)
- RB: 0/2
- WR: 2/3 (Alexander, Major)
- TE: 1/1 (Gillison)
- OL: 1/3 (Douglas)
- DL: 3/4 (Gissinger, J. Slade, Z. Slade)
- LB: 3/3 (Boateng, Kline, Warinner)
- DB: 4/4 (Dowell, Henderson, Jackson, Williams)
2018 geographical breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of Michigan State’s commits by state:
- Ohio: 9 (Alexander, Boateng, Dowell, Gillison, Henderson, Kline, J. Slade, Z. Slade, Warinner)
- Michigan: 3 (Day, Douglas, Williams)
- California: 1 (Gissinger)
- Georgia: 1 (Jackson)
- Pennsylvania: 1 (Major)