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Michigan State offer comes too late for Henry Geil
Henry Geil wasn’t about to wait for anyone.
The Green Bay (Wis.) Preble running back, rated a 3-star junior in the 247Sports composite, wanted to have his college chosen before his senior season. No waiting for additional offers, no falling victim to aimless teasing from schools that waited to jump in late.
Michigan State pulled the trigger and offered Geil on Thursday, but it proved to be too late. What looked like a two-team battle ended three days later when Geil pledged to Iowa.
THE WAIT IS OVER… I'm blessed beyond measure to be able to make this announcement??✨ pic.twitter.com/7uzOO2GT9T
— Henry A. Geil (@HenryGeil6) April 23, 2017
There goes another target who looked like a real possibility. Geil saw the potential to step into Michigan State’s thin running back corps and make an impact. But the Spartans appear to have their sights set on other players, given the time it took to make an offer.
There’s plenty of time for Michigan State to find its answer at running back, and Geil heading elsewhere is no reason to panic. But where will the Spartans look?
The search continues in Washington, D.C., with H.D. Woodson running back Mychale Salahuddin. The 3-star junior, ranked as the No. 26 RB in the nation, has 30 offers, among them one from Michigan State. He gave the Spartans rave reviews during an interview with Land of 10’s Corey Masisak at the D.C. regional of The Opening.
“I love Michigan State,” he said. “East Lansing is definitely a place that I’d see myself at.”
He hasn’t been to East Lansing, as the Spartans offered on April 4. He has a list of high-priority schools he wants to visit, namely Arkansas, North Carolina and USC.
If you want a clear indication of what Michigan State thinks of him, Salahuddin said the Spartans will be sending two coaches to see him this week: his area recruiter, defensive line coach Ron Burton, as well as running backs coach Dave Warner. He already knows what he likes about MSU.
“Being the next Le’Veon Bell, man,” he said, referencing the Pittsburgh Steelers star and former Spartans standout. “They haven’t had a big-time running back come through Michigan State in a minute. I could definitely see myself there.”
Salahuddin stood out with his agility at The Opening, as documented by 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. Ultimately he earned running back MVP honors and an invite to The Opening Finals.
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) April 23, 2017
Location won’t be a factor for Salahuddin. He puts more emphasis on a college degree and his future after football. As for Michigan State’s 3-9 record last season, he really doesn’t care.
“I’m just trying to go into a school and win championships for the school,” he said. “Their past is irrelevant to me. I’m just trying to go in and change everything.”
Like Geil, Salahuddin plans to make a decision before his senior season. Michigan State will need to get him on campus as soon as possible to give itself a chance. And he knows what he wants to hear.
“I’m definitely trying to go into a school that’s gonna feed me the rock.”
Michigan State has been looking to Georgia for answers recently, and it may be able to find some at running back. In the last several weeks, the Spartans have offered several Peach State running backs in 3-star prospects Lyn-J Dixon, Anthony Grant and Jalynn Sykes.
But maybe the most likely answer is University of Detroit Jesuit standout Elijah Collins. Many Michiganders have been leaving the state, and several other Big Ten teams will look to snag Collins. Iowa could cool down following Geil’s commitment, but there’s still Minnesota and Wisconsin, which signed Collins’ teammate, defensive back Scott Nelson.
And who knows? With Geil off the table, we may see some new running back offers.