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Devontae Dobbs keeps Spartans right near the top
Devontae Dobbs found his career path while shadowing a Belleville (Mich.) teammate’s mother at work.
There the junior tackle, a 5-star prospect in the 247Sports composite ratings, learned about polysomnography and the psychology of sleep. He learned how to lucid dream, in which a person is aware he is dreaming and can exert control over his surroundings. And he learned what he wants to do for a career.
Thankfully for Michigan State, one of the nation’s top sleep studies programs, Michigan-based Baker College, doesn’t offer athletics. Dobbs will have to look elsewhere to play football. He controls his destiny just as he does his dreams.
Dobbs, who celebrated his birthday Thursday, got his initial dream offers from Penn State and Tennessee pretty early in the process. He’s also received more than 30 others. And though he won’t be signing his letter of intent anytime soon, the possibilities have narrowed.
“Things have been going pretty good, going pretty slow right now because of the dead period,” Dobbs said Wednesday. “But it’s been pretty good. I’ve been in contact with Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Penn State. Just those have been in contact with me all the time.”
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) January 4, 2018
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound tackle had long noted Michigan State as the program with which he is closest, but the Spartans haven’t been after him quite as aggressively as Ohio State. Dobbs said he receives texts from Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer or assistants Kerry Coombs and Greg Studrawa every day.
But the Spartans are right there in the running for the nation’s No. 1 tackle in the 2019 class. One Belleville teammate, 3-star senior cornerback Davion Williams, signed with the Spartans on Dec. 20. Another, 2019 4-star cornerback Julian Barnett, committed two days later.
“It’s something that I take into interest,” Dobbs said of the connection. “I’m always looking at it, but I don’t think it’ll impact me a whole lot.
“They just keep saying that I’m next and we were all gonna go up there and be the pipeline, turn the program around.”
Turning the program around had been a pitch in Michigan State recruiting for around a year. Now that the Spartans have returned to prominence, that won’t hold quite the same weight.
But their strong start to the 2019 class certainly looks enticing to recruits. Only four of the 27 ranked juniors in Michigan have committed. Three have chosen Michigan State: Barnett (No. 2), 4-star quarterback Dwan Mathis (No. 7) and 4-star offensive tackle Spencer Brown (No. 9).
Happy Birthday Bro 💪🏾 2018 it’s our year 🎒🦍 Love you my dawg pic.twitter.com/HyptMI0LAb
— Julian Barnett (@_OfficialJB1) January 4, 2018
Childhood fandom won’t play a factor in his choice. Besides, Dobbs said his family is pretty evenly split between Michigan and Michigan State fans. But above all else, one feeling will drive his decision.
“Trust,” Dobbs said. “Coach trust. I don’t want to go to a school and then the O-line coach that recruited me [says], ‘Oh, I’m going over here now.’ You are who you are, so I don’t want that to happen.”
For that reason, Michigan State has stood out along with Georgia, Ohio State and Penn State. Dobbs anticipates the latter three will get official visits. The Spartans may get one, but he also might save it for a longer trip. He can get to East Lansing, Mich., whenever he wants.
Alabama may get an official visit, as well. Dobbs plans to take a few during the spring now that recruits can do so, and then the rest during his senior season. Though he would like to have a decision made before the first game of the year, he anticipates it will likely come during the season.
Wherever he goes, Dobbs wants to play left tackle, major in sleep studies and minor in psychology. One other thing will likely seal the deal.
“I just want to feel comfortable while I’m there and be able to trust the coach,” he said.
Jamarcus Chatman plans official visit
“If you are out there listening, defensive lineman would be a great, great find right now,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said after signing 20 recruits on Dec. 20.
Michigan State has three defensive linemen committed to its 2018 class in 3-star recruits Parks Gissinger, Jacob Slade and Zach Slade. Still, the Spartans would like to finish up the group with a fourth.
Jamarcus Chatman became available in a strike of good fortune. Michigan State offered the 3-star Rome (Ga.) defensive lineman in the spring, but he committed to LSU and later Tennessee. When the Volunteers fired coach Butch Jones, Chatman became available once again in early December.
— Jamarcus Chatman (@ChatmanJamarcus) December 14, 2017
Michigan State defensive tackles coach Ron Burton visited Chatman and his family at home shortly after, and now, Chatman will visit Burton and the Spartans. His brother Jamar told Land of 10 that Chatman will take an official visit to Michigan State starting Jan. 26.
He also said that Michigan State is recruiting Chatman as a defensive end. At around 260 pounds, Chatman has the frame to potentially move inside to defensive tackle.
Florida, Florida State, Nebraska, North Carolina and more have also been in the mix. Chatman ranks 29th nationally among defensive tackles in the 2018 class.
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