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We still have a long way to go until 2018 National Signing Day — eight months and six days, to be exact. But it’s already been a weird cycle for in-state recruiting.
The Spartans have landed one junior prospect from Michigan: Theo Day, a Dearborn Divine Child quarterback. He’s set to be their first in-state QB signee since Joe Boisture in 2010.
On the other side of things, it’s unclear who else might join Day from The Mitten. The Spartans will be banking on a commitment from Detroit Cass Tech’s DeAndre Square, a 3-star outside linebacker in the 247Sports composite.
But he’s the only uncommitted player in Michigan’s top 10 who appears to be leaning toward the Spartans. Square is No. 7. Day is No. 9. If Square is the only additional player it lands in-state, it will be the second straight year Michigan State brings in just two of the top 10 players in Michigan.
And if not, it could be looking at the first class with just one since 2007, a class signed just months after hiring Mark Dantonio as head coach. The Spartans will look to uncommitted prospects Square, cornerback Kalon Gervin and offensive tackle Ryan Hayes to change that.
And how about the committed players? In 2017, Michigan State brought in seven players previously committed elsewhere and won’t stop recruiting a prospect just because he has pledged elsewhere.
But maybe the most likely possibility, top-ranked guard Marquan McCall, a Kentucky commit, didn’t give any hopeful words about Michigan State to Land of 10’s Brandon Justice.
“I haven’t heard from Michigan State in a minute,” McCall said, “not since I committed or before. It’s been a while.”
Interior lineman has been a point of emphasis for the Spartans, and McCall isn’t the only one seemingly off the board. Junior college transfer Josh Knipfel of Iowa Western, who played guard in 2016, announced his commitment to Iowa State on Friday, just days after receiving a Spartans offer.
— Josh Knipfel (@JoshKnipfel) May 26, 2017
As prospects come and go at offensive guard, one name always seems to remain: 3-star Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) junior Jacob Isaia. The grandson of Michigan State legend Bob Apisa remains the heavy favorite to end up filling the Spartans’ need on the interior.
What about at tackle? Well, Michigan State offered yet another 2018 prospect on Thursday in 3-star Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) OT Aidan Rafferty.
— Aidan Rafferty (@aidanrafferty66) May 25, 2017
Rafferty’s impressive offer list includes academic standouts Dartmouth, Harvard, Virginia and Yale as well as Power 5 programs such as Arizona, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.
Michigan State has offered many tackles, and it will likely take some camps and visits before we start to see any narrowing down of the top targets.
2018 class snapshot
Michigan State’s 2018 class has started to take shape. Now, every week leading up to National Signing Day, we’ll give you an update on where it stands and any changes in the last week.
Where it ranks
Michigan State’s 2018 class is No. 39 in the nation and No. 9 in the Big Ten, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Michigan State has two pledges from 4-star recruits who happen to be teammates at Pickerington (Ohio) Central.
Trenton Gillison: 4-star TE (Pickerington, Ohio)
Xavier Henderson: 4-star ATH (Pickerington, Ohio)
Michigan State has not landed a commitment in more than a month. Its last pledge came from 3-star linebacker Edward Warinner, who made his decision public on April 12.
Michigan State’s top uncommitted targets
The following players would be massive commits, if the Spartans could land them.
- DeAndre Square, 3-star OLB (Detroit) — Michigan State has long been among Square’s favorites, in part because his former teammate, Spartans signee Jordan Reid, has been aggressively recruiting him.
- Jacob Isaia, 3-star OG (Las Vegas, Nev.) — The aforementioned Isaia wouldn’t surprise anyone if he chose the Spartans. In fact, he’s starting to look more and more like a must-get.
- Ryan Hayes, 4-star OT (Traverse City, Mich.) — Michigan has been reeling in the 247Sports crystal ball predictions for Hayes, but Michigan State has been there from the start and will likely continue to be.
Breakdown by position
Ohio (3): Trenton Gillison, Xavier Henderson, Edward Warinner
Michigan (1): Theo Day
Georgia (1): Chris Jackson