On the banks of the Red Cedar, recruiting never stops. We’re here every step of the way to keep you informed with our daily notebook. Recruiting questions? Comment below or direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll do our best to get them answered.
7 days from signing
We’re one week away from the early signing period. Sorry, Class of 2018. It was never going to be easy for you.
Last spring, the NCAA introduced a series of new recruiting rules, two of which will likely impact high school players most: The early signing period and a new early official visit period.
Unfortunately for this group of seniors, those rules were not implemented at the same time. The 2018 class will be the first to experience the new signing period, from Dec. 20-22. But these recruits didn’t get the benefit of taking official visits from April through June.
So it’s been a hectic cycle. Sure, recruits don’t have to sign now. (Technically they don’t have to sign ever, but that’s another story.) They can wait until the regular period, which begins Feb. 7. But by that point, a spot at a prospect’s favorite school could be filled.
For that reason, there’s been a lot of pressure to move quickly and be ready to sign early. But current rules don’t allow official visits before Sept. 1. For some prospects, state championships aren’t decided until December. That means taking a lot of official visits during one’s high school football season.
“It’s eating up some of these players’ high school season,” Mountain Brook [Birmingham, Ala.] coach Chris Yeager told Land of 10. “How would the colleges feel about it if the draft occurred the day after the national championship game and they were having to do some of these NFL combines during bowl practice?
“The thing it would do is it would not allow them to maximize their last season in college, and I feel by hurrying this thing up, what ends up happening is these players are making a decision when they should be focusing on one of the best experiences that they’ll ever have, the high school football experience.”
Ideally that will change when earlier official visits are allowed. During this cycle, though, those without the resources to pay their own way for unofficial spring and summer visits have been put at a disadvantage. And yet Michigan State has still found a way to put together a 20-player class going into the early period, thanks in large part to landing 15 players from Michigan and Ohio.
The pressure continues for those verbally committed to Michigan State. When the early period begins in a week, all will be expected to make those pledges official. If not, they might not be part of the class for much longer.
“I would expect anyone that is committed to us to sign with us in the early signing period, otherwise they probably aren’t really committed,” Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. “That’s the reality of it.”
If all goes according to plan, Michigan State will have 20 signees — or maybe even more, depending if it lands another commitment — by Dec. 20. For all the negatives of this early period, it will make life a lot less stressful for both Spartans coaches and recruits in the month and a half to follow.
Dave Warner back recruiting in Georgia
Dantonio was in San Diego on Saturday for his media duties leading up to his team’s battle with Washington State in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28. His assistants hit the road as well, but for recruiting purposes.
Co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner once again made the most notable appearance. It seems as though he has been in Georgia as much as Michigan lately, and on Wednesday he dropped in on Grayson High in Loganville.
— graysonrams_fb (@GraysonramsF) December 13, 2017
Grayson has one of the most talented 2019 classes in the nation, with one 5-star prospect and five 4-star prospects in the 247Sports composite ratings. Michigan State has already offered three of those juniors: Kevin Harris, Tru Thompson and Jalen Alexander.
Harris is a 4-star, 6-foot-4 outside linebacker with offers from three of the four College Football Playoff teams and many more. Thompson is a 3-star defensive tackle who committed to Florida State in March and has since seen coach Jimbo Fisher depart for Texas A&M. Alexander is a 3-star cornerback with additional Big Ten offers from Indiana and Wisconsin. Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard also dropped in.
Michigan State has found success in Georgia recently, having landed five commits from the state in the last two classes.
Michigan State basketball signee stat tracker
Two Michigan State men’s basketball signees hit the hardwood on Tuesday night and put up big performances in wins for their respective teams.
After a rough 0-2 start to the season, 4-star wing Gabe Brown and Belleville (Mich.) got back on track with a 79-60 win over Ypsilanti (Mich.) Lincoln. Brown scored 20 points and reeled in 13 rebounds, per the Detroit Free Press.
Four-star Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central forward Marcus Bingham Jr., Michigan State’s highest-ranked signee, had another huge game with 27 points in a 73-49 win over Grand Rapids Christian, according to FOX 17’s Jason Hutton. Bingham has 60 points in his first two games.
Michigan State’s five-player class ranks eighth in the nation and second in the Big Ten.
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