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Michigan State has some ground to make up with Cam Goode.
Goode, a 3-star defensive tackle per the 247Sports composite, showed up to the Washington D.C. regional of The Opening in a Virginia Tech jacket Sunday. The Hokies are the most recent offer for the St. John’s College High (Washington D.C.) junior, and he visited campus earlier in the month.
But don’t count out the Spartans. Goode hasn’t forgotten the excitement of receiving his first Big Ten offer. And as a proud D.C. native, the words from Spartans defensive analyst Matt Adolph still resonate.
— Cam Goode ™ (@_YooCammm) December 1, 2016
“‘I’m gonna be on you hard to try to get you up here,'” Goode remembers him saying. “‘We need some D.C. love.’ Because he’s from the area. OK, OK, I like it. He’s just telling me his mind and what he thought of me. I like that a lot, somebody being real with me, telling me what I need to work on and what I’ve already perfected.”
Goode hasn’t yet visited Michigan State. He had hoped to do so during his spring break, but now he’ll look to make the trip near the end of May.
But he’s already gotten to know the staff well: Adolph, as well as defensive line coach Ron Burton, with whom he said he has “a special bond.” And then there’s Spartans coach Mark Dantonio, who has stood out by not sticking out.
“I like the way he puts everybody in position to succeed,” Goode told Land of 10’s Corey Masisak. “I like that a lot. And he’s very straight to the point, very knowledgeably guy. … He might not say a lot of words, but he speaks loud.”
He has had the chance to meet these coaches because of the staff’s heavy interest in his high school. The Spartans offered 2017 St. John’s College High prospects Kasim Hill, Tyree Johnson, Cam Spence and Kofi Wardlow. They’ve done the same with Goode, 2018 QB Kevin Doyle and 2019 RBs Joachim Bangda and Keilan Robinson.
Goode’s high school relationships, as well as his family, will ultimately be a big factor in his decision.
“I have to make sure my family agrees with me,” he said. “I’m gonna be living there for four years. I’ve got to make sure I’m doing the right thing. And I want to also talk to my coaches and make sure I’m doing the right thing. It’s a team movement.”
Goode said Michigan State, Arizona, Georgia, Temple, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest have been standing out. The Spartans remain high on his list even though he hasn’t visited.
Undeterred by the off-field issues surrounding Michigan State, Goode blames them on poor personal decision-making. He said he’ll stay home and out of trouble regardless of where he ends up.
“The program is special,” he said of Michigan State. “This year was kind of bumpy, but the last couple years, they’ve been dominant, and I like that a lot. A lot of people sleep on Michigan State because of Michigan and Ohio State, and Michigan State is coming with something to look out for real soon. I like that a lot, and I just want to be part of something special.”
Elsewhere at defensive tackle
Who else might fill Michigan State’s need at defensive tackle in the 2018 class?
At one point, it looked like Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 3-star junior Josh Walker would be a prime candidate. But the recruitment has slowed, and Walker recently released a top 10 list that didn’t include the Spartans.
The Spartans also offered his teammate, Kingston Harris, in the spring of 2016, but contact has since slowed.
Keep an eye on Jackson Cravens, though. The Provo (Utah) Timpview junior recently picked up a Michigan State offer, and the Spartans don’t yet have much Power 5 competition to deal with.
In-state prospects leaving fast
Michigan State must be feeling confident in its chances with out-of-state targets, because it’s letting quite a few Michigan prospects go.
Four-star Detroit East English Village center Tyrone Sampson Jr., who has been a standout this spring at The Opening, pledged to Syracuse on Tuesday. He had not picked up a Michigan State offer, as it doesn’t look as though the Spartans are targeting a center in the class.
Just a day before that, 3-star Belleville (Mich.) defensive back standout Patrick Lupro committed to Bowling Green despite offers from Cincinnati and Syracuse, among others. The Spartans did not offer, as Lupro is smaller than the prototypical defensive back they pursue. Had they done so, it would’ve been likely he would end up in East Lansing.
And on Saturday, 3-star Detroit King WR Erik Gibson committed to Minnesota and head coach P.J. Fleck, who had recruited him while at Western Michigan. Gibson had visited Michigan State several times and built a solid relationship, but an offer hadn’t come.
In no way were these necessarily poor decisions. But as they continue to put heavy emphasis on areas such as D.C. and Atlanta, the talent pool surrounding the Spartans continues to get slimmer.