Michigan State recruiting mailbag: Spartans’ next 2019 commit, RB recruiting and the 2018 basketball class
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Recruiting season is in full swing. Michigan State football has reached a bye week and begun to hit the road to meet with recruits, while the men’s basketball team likely wrapped up its 2018 class with a fifth commitment.
So it’s time to bring you another installment of our weekly recruiting mailbag. Please keep sending your questions to the links above. We want to know what you want to know.
“Looking ahead to 2019, who do you think the next commit will be?” — Clay Snowden
It would have to be a player who has visited a lot and built a very close relationship with the staff. That was the case with 2018 Pickerington (Ohio) Central DB Xavier Henderson, who committed to the Spartans early in his junior year. It’s also true with 2019 Walled Lake (Mich.) Western OT Spencer Brown, who committed in July before his junior season even began.
The one player who comes to mind is Oak Park (Mich.) standout Dwan Mathis, a 4-star quarterback in the 247Sports composite ratings. He has visited countless times, most recently for the season-opener. The Spartans will hope to reel him in before Ohio State extends an offer. It would be a massive pickup, as Mathis is ranked the sixth-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation.
“Should there be a little bit of concern that MSU hasn’t recruited a solid running back yet?” — Kevin Gonzales
A little bit of concern? Certainly. Michigan State hasn’t landed a commitment yet at one of the most important spots in the 2018 class. If the Spartans lose LJ Scott to the NFL after the 2017 season, they’ll be set to have three scholarship running backs for next year, Madre London, Weston Bridges and Connor Heyward. And Heyward, primarily a wide receiver and defender in high school, took fewer than 5 carries per game as a senior.
That said, there’s still plenty of time. Last cycle, 10 players joined the 2017 class after this point in the year. We may see two running backs eventually commit to Michigan State that we haven’t even heard of yet. But the Spartans are in a good spot with 3-star University of Detroit Jesuit RB Elijah Collins, and if they can bring him in, they’ll be well on their way.
“So the SG Dort is off the table with Aaron Henry’s commitment?” — Ty Kelly
This question, I assume, refers to Luguentz Dort. Michigan State men’s basketball had extended an offer to the 4-star Canadian guard in May and liked his toughness and scoring ability. Now that the Spartans have landed 3-star wing Aaron Henry, though, they have five commitments in the 2018 class. That brings the scholarship total to 14 in the 2018-19 season, one more than the NCAA allows.
Henry’s commitment comes with the assumption that one player with remaining eligibility will leave Michigan State after the 2017-18 season. Sophomore Miles Bridges and freshman Jaren Jackson Jr., both projected first-round picks in the 2018 NBA draft, seem like the obvious choices. If they both leave, the Spartans would have another available spot to fill. But to bring in a sixth commit and force Jackson’s hand before he even plays a college game seems unfair, and very unlikely.
In short, it seems likely but not certain that Michigan State’s 2018 recruiting class is wrapped up. The coaching staff will certainly continue relationships with players like Dort in the event that someone de-commits or a current player shares his intentions to leave early, but that doesn’t appear likely to happen anytime soon. As the season progresses, we will learn more about Michigan State players’ NBA potential.
Have a question about Michigan State recruiting? Send them to the links at the top of this article, and we’ll try to answer them in a future mailbag. Have a question we may have answered before? Check out the previous mailbag entries here.