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.
The JUCO transfer you should actually know
Have you heard the story about the junior college prospect who wasn’t?
Supposed junior college transfer Unique Brissett II manufactured an entire recruitment only to see it come crashing down. His claim that he visited Michigan State on Monday, supported by photos taken from legitimate visitor Cody Carone, led to the downfall of his ruse.
We won’t dwell too much on this eyebrow-raising situation. Whether Brissett (if that is his real name) intended to earn an actual scholarship offer or simply dupe social media followers, overblown attention will have a negative effect. It will either embarrass a misguided athlete with big dreams or give attention to a fraud.
So let’s focus on an actual junior college transfer with actual offers. Anthony McKinney is a monstrous offensive tackle for Iowa Western. The Rockford, Ill., native is listed at 6-foot-8 and 291 pounds on the Reivers’ website.
On Sunday, McKinney announced an offer from Michigan State. He has also listed offers from Houston, Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville, Maryland, Oregon, Syracuse and TCU.
Blessed to receive a offer from the Michigan State Spartans! pic.twitter.com/vwfUuHR2I9
— Anthony McKinney (@Antwonmckinney6) May 21, 2017
McKinney just wrapped up his freshman season at Iowa Western, anchoring an offensive line that allowed only 5 sacks on the season. He earned an ICCAC All-Conference selection as a result.
Per the Rockford Register Star, McKinney’s hometown paper in Illinois, he plans to graduate after the first semester of his sophomore year, then enroll at the four-year school of his choice for the second semester. That way, he can participate in spring practice and be prepared to contribute as a junior.
“With his long arms and big hands and as athletic as he is, he’s got the ability to be one of the best,” Iowa Western coach Scott Strohmeier told the paper.
Neither McKinney nor Strohmeier responded to requests for comment.
Other options at OT
Landing an offensive tackle in the 2018 class is a high priority for Michigan State. If not McKinney, the Spartans still have hopes of picking up a commitment from in-state standout Ryan Hayes. The Traverse City (Mich.) West junior, rated a 4-star prospect by the 247Sports composite, told Land of 10 he grew up a Michigan State fan.
The Spartans will hope Hayes is the answer after missing out on another top in-state target. Four-star Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central tackle Jalen Mayfield, who initially committed to Minnesota before reopening his recruitment, chose Michigan the second time around.
The Decision!!!!!!! https://t.co/ZvplDccl1D
— Jalen Mayfield (@jay_may_11) May 23, 2017
Should Hayes head elsewhere, Michigan State will likely look outside the state for its answer at tackle. Three-star Pennsylvania prospects Justin Johnson and Blake Zubovic both hold offers from Michigan State and have indicated interest. The next step will be to bring them in for visits.
The Spartans will lose senior offensive tackle Dennis Finley after the 2017 season and will need someone to fill the void.
On the other side of things
Michigan State has been making moves to shore up its defensive line as well. Four-star Cambridge Christian (Tampa, Fla.) Richard Gouraige announced an offer from the Spartans on Sunday.
— RGlll🥀🏳 (@richardg813) May 21, 2017
Gouraige currently holds more than 35 offers, which might explain why his announcement didn’t include the common proclamation that he is “blessed” or “honored.” At what point do offers stop raising your eyebrows?
On Monday the Spartans offered Lloyd Murray Jr. The Hirschi (Wichita Falls, Texas) sophomore defensive tackle already holds offers from Florida State, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Why has Michigan State been so eager to offer? In the 2018 class, the Spartans have already offered more than 200 players. In 2017, per 247Sports, they offered 216. It’s only May.
The likely reason is that Michigan State doesn’t want to be caught scrambling right before National Signing Day like it was in February. By offering more liberally, the Spartans will cast a wider net and likely have more luck finding a player with significant interest early.