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What Jalen Nailor brings to Michigan State
National Signing Day just got even less dramatic for Michigan State fans.
Michigan State landed a commitment from Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) wide receiver Jalen Nailor on Saturday, adding a verbal commitment to a 2018 recruiting class that already contains 20 signees. Nailor has said he plans to sign with the Spartans first thing Wednesday morning.
With that, the Spartans added even more depth to replace what was lost with transfer announcements from young receivers Trishton Jackson and Hunter Rison. They already had two early enrollees on campus in Ja’Vez Alexander and Julian Major.
Now they’ve got a 5-foot-11, blazing-fast slot receiver in Nailor aptly nicknamed “Speedy.” He’s a 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite ratings who ranks eighth among juniors from Nevada and 136th nationally among wide receivers.
Without Rison, the spot behind Darrell Stewart needs to be seized by someone. Nailor and Laress Nelson, who had 3 catches for 29 yards as a freshman in 2017, likely will battle for it. They’ll also go at it for special teams touches.
“Every school that recruited me told me that I would have a chance to compete for playing time,” Nailor told Land of 10, “and also a chance to possibly be a returner for punts and kicks.”
That includes Michigan State, which certainly could use that boost in 2018. Nailor caught 41 passes for 807 yards and 12 touchdowns and added 243 return yards as a senior, per MaxPreps.
And on a powerhouse Bishop Gorman team, he was far from the only target for 4-star UCLA quarterback commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Four-star Miami tight end signee Brevin Jordan had 63 grabs for 1,111 yards, and Tennessee receiver target Cedric Tillman had 37 catches for 774 yards.
Nailor knows all about competition and plans to embrace it. His opportunities on offense might even extend beyond the slot, depending how quickly he grasps the system. He said wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel told him he could play out wide as well.
“He sees me as a vertical threat, and he likes how I play in open space,” Nailor said of his talks with Samuel.
With that, Michigan State’s wide receiver recruiting is almost certainly done. Two players have departed since the end of the season, and three have been gained. A deep receiving corps just got even deeper.
Parks Gissinger makes Super Bowl cameo
A turning point in Michigan State’s recruitment of Nailor came on Dec. 28, when he headed to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego with teammate and Spartans signee Jacob Isaia. There, he met another MSU signee, Parks Gissinger.
And like Nailor, Gissinger also had a pretty cool moment this weekend. His was a bit different, though. The NFL aired a commercial for its Handoff Across America campaign during the Super Bowl on Sunday, and he made an appearance.
Gissinger posted a video of the commercial as it aired, complete with the reaction of those around him. The video shows Gissinger flipping a tire. Don’t blink, or you might miss it.
— Parks (@ParksGissinger) February 5, 2018
The commercial was an abridged version of one that has run throughout the season. In the full video shown below, you can get a better look at Gissinger’s appearance at the 44-second mark.
Gissinger, a 3-star Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.) defensive end, committed to Michigan State on July 20 and signed five months later. He ranks 47th nationally among 2018 weakside defensive ends.
“Parks played defensive end and tight end in high school, but we recruited him as a defensive end,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said during the early signing period. “We were impressed with him when we went out to watch him play in California. He’s active, uses his hands very well and has good pass-rushing skills.”
Michigan State wants Gissinger to add about 20 pounds to 234-pound frame, and that won’t be the only change from high school. That flowing blond hair? It’s gone now. He cut and donated his hair while raising money to make wigs for children affected by hair loss.
Saturday marked the final day of the contact period until the next one begins in November. Until then, college coaches won’t be able to visit recruits in their high schools and extend offers there. Michigan State didn’t take that opportunity lightly. The Spartans offered two more 2019 prospects, both offensive standouts.
Buford (Ga.) High has been one of Michigan State co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner’s favorite spots, and yet another player from the school landed a Spartans offer on Saturday. Reece McIntyre, a 6-5 junior tackle, was the recipient this time.
Buford recruiting coordinator Fyrone Davis told Land of 10 in November that he expected McIntyre to be the next player from his team offered by Michigan State. He proved to be correct. McIntyre’s recruitment has been a bit slower than his talent merits because he played baseball during the summer.
McIntyre, a 3-star prospect as rated by 247Sports, holds offers from Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, N.C. State and more.
The Spartans also offered 3-star wide receiver Genson Hooper-Price of St. John’s School in Houston. The 6-4 standout mainly has been recruited by Samuel.
Hooper-Price had 25 catches for 466 yards and 6 touchdowns as a junior, according to MaxPreps. He ranks 54th nationally among 2019 receivers and holds offers from a plethora of highly-regarded academic institutions such as Cal, Duke, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Virginia.
Michigan State men’s basketball signee stat tracker
Michigan State’s 2018 men’s basketball recruiting class keeps on rising up the rankings. The Spartans haven’t added a commit since September, but the collective stock of their five signees continues to rise. MSU recently jumped past Michigan into the No. 1 spot in the Big Ten recruiting class rankings, while also improving to No. 10 nationally.
Need an explanation? Simply look at the performances of those players this season. While 3-star forward Thomas Kithier was ruled ineligible, the other four have been dominant. They were all in action this weekend. Here’s how they did.
- Four-star Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central forward Marcus Bingham Jr. led his team to a 59-40 win over Spring Lake (Mich.) on Friday to improve to 11-1 and 7-0 in conference play. Bingham scored 14 points in the win, according to Grand Haven Tribune.
- Clarkston (Mich.) steamrolled Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) for a 75-29 win on Friday. In the process, 4-star point guard Foster Loyer dropped in 31 points in three quarters to pass the 2,000-point threshold for his career. He will need to average better than 26 points per game and lead the Wolves back to the state championship game in the process to pass Michigan State assistant coach Dane Fife. Fife is Clarkston’s all-time leading scorer with 2,287 points.
Big s/o to all my teammates, past and present. Couldn’t have done it without you guys! Thank you Clarkston Basketball #2,000 pic.twitter.com/RJcPuLJ91g
— FosterLoyer (@FosterLoyer) February 3, 2018
- Four-star wing Gabe Brown and Belleville (Mich.) have now won four games in a row after an 81-42 win over Dearborn Heights (Mich.) Crestwood on Friday. He dropped in 19 points and added 7 assists on the night, per the Detroit Free Press.
- Three-star Ben Davis (Indianapolis) wing Aaron Henry helped the Giants to a 65-40 win over Avon (Ind.) on Saturday. He scored 15 points in the contest, according to WZIS FM’s Corey Clark.
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