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.
La’Darius Jefferson undecided on decision date
Almost everything about the recruiting process has been enjoyable for La’Darius Jefferson.
He’s visited schools and welcomed coaches for in-home visits. He’s seen his hard work get rewarded with scholarship offers. He’s met people from all over the nation who share his passion for football.
But one thing has concerned the Muskegon (Mich.) senior quarterback: seeing so many coaches leave. Three weeks after he de-committed from Central Florida, news broke that Knights coach Scott Frost would be leaving for the Nebraska job. But he feels assured that if he chose Michigan State, that wouldn’t happen.
“The coaches have been there 11 years in a row,” he told Land of 10. “They’ve won championships on championships, competed on a big-time stage, put players in the NFL, and their players are getting their education. That’s the most important thing.”
That has put Michigan State in good position to land Jefferson, a 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite ratings. After reeling in 4-star cornerback Kalon Gervin over the weekend, Jefferson is the last in-state senior with an offer from the Spartans.
Jefferson welcomed Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and co-defensive coordinator Mike Tressel to Muskegon on Monday for what he called “an amazing home visit.” Next he will take his official visit to East Lansing over the weekend. He’s been there before for camps and games, but this will offer him a chance to see more.
“When I get down there, I’m just gonna be looking forward to getting a view of everything and seeing how everything is,” Jefferson said. “I’m trying to let everything sink in and see if that’s somewhere I want to be for the next four years.”
Countless people within the program have been working to give him that sense. From the coaches to the recruits to the current players — namely linebacker Antjuan Simmons — Jefferson said everyone at Michigan State has been recruiting him heavily.
And with that sense of belonging, Jefferson also needs to feel comfortable with his education. A National Honor Society student in high school, he plans to study mechanical engineering if he chooses Michigan State. The coaches have been preparing him for that challenge.
“They say it’s gonna be hard, but that’s just how it is in high school,” Jefferson said. “I’m mainly focused on academics. Football is gonna come due to the hard work I’m gonna put in and everything. I just know the person that I am. I’m not worried about that. But the academic part is something I’m going to be really heavily focused on.”
Indiana and Michigan State have been the main schools in the race. He hasn’t heard from Frost since the move to Nebraska. Indiana wants him as a quarterback, while Michigan State has mainly been talking to him about playing running back and potentially getting a shot at quarterback.
Jefferson announced on Sunday that he plans to share his decision on Christmas Day, but it might not get that far. He hasn’t ruled out signing during the early period, which goes from Dec. 20-22.
“I had announced that I was gonna do it on the 25th, but I know at either Indiana or Michigan State, all the commits are gonna sign on the 20th,” he said. “So I might do it a little early. I don’t know yet. I might do it on the 20th. It’s something for the making.”
Spartans offer 2 more Lone Star State standouts
It doesn’t matter where in the country your program is located. If you’re a college football coach, you cannot ignore Texas. There’s far too much talent.
Michigan State continues to prioritize the state during the contact period. On Wednesday, North Forest (Houston) junior tackle Javonne Shepherd announced that the Spartans had offered.
Shepherd does not yet have a 247Sports composite ranking, but Baylor, Houston, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and more have already offered. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound tackle landed his offer from Michigan State wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel, a Houston native.
Later in the day, another Texan announced he had received an offer from Michigan State. This one went to Hunter Spears, a 4-star defensive end for Sachse High, just outside of Dallas.
Spears ranks 14th among junior strong-side defensive ends and 171st overall among 2019 prospects. Alabama, Baylor, Houston, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Virginia and more have offered the 6-4, 267-pound defensive end as well.
Michigan State currently has three players from Texas on its roster: Josh Butler, Tyler Higby and Darrell Stewart. All three signed in Michigan State’s 2015 class, and the Spartans have not landed a recruit from the state since.
Michigan State basketball signee stat tracker
One day after we wrapped up our weekly football highlights section in the notebook, it’s time to get going on our prep basketball stat tracker. The season has begun for three teams with Michigan State signees. Here’s how they did.
- Four-star wing Aaron Henry and Ben Davis (Indianapolis) opened their season by beating Southport (Indianapolis) on Saturday, 66-41. Henry scored 13 points for the defending state champions, per the IndyStar.
- Four-star point guard Foster Loyer led defending state champion Clarkston (Mich.) to a 65-55 win over Wayne (Mich.) Memorial on Tuesday with a team-high 23 points, according to The Detroit News. He moved into third place in the program’s record book with 183 3-pointers, 19 behind second-place Dane Fife, his future assistant coach at Michigan State.
- Three-star forward Thomas Kithier, Loyer’s new teammate, did not play as he still hasn’t received clearance. The MHSAA has not come to a decision about whether the nature of his transfer is within the rules.
- Four-star Belleville (Mich.) forward Gabe Brown scored 25 points on Tuesday as his team got upset by Canton (Mich.), 65-61, according to HometownLife. Spartans cornerback commit Davion Williams added 13.
- Four-star Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central forward Marcus Bingham Jr. will open his season on Saturday when his team makes the long trek to face Detroit Country Day.
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