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Growing up in Buckeyes territory, just a short drive from Ohio Stadium, Jeslord Boateng has kept close tabs on Big Ten football.
Over the years, Michigan State has caught his eye. And since the Dublin (Ohio) Coffman junior outside linebacker started hearing from the Spartans near the end of his sophomore year, he has taken their interest very seriously.
“It’s always been one of my favorite teams to watch in college football,” Boateng said of Michigan State. “If I ever got an offer from them, I’d be pretty excited. I could see myself playing there. I’ve always watched them, and I know what they do and how they operate.”
— Jeslord Boateng (@JeslordBoateng6) May 8, 2017
That offer could come soon. Michigan State continues to search for an outside linebacker in the 2018 class, and the contact with Boateng has continued. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect, ranked the No. 68 OLB in the 2018 class by the 247Sports composite, said co-defensive coordinator Mike Tressel will visit Dublin Coffman on Wednesday.
Two players at the school who have drawn heavy Michigan State attention are Boateng and freshman running back Mike Drennen II. Boateng has gotten to know Tressel well through the process.
“I think he’s a great guy,” Boateng said. “I think he’s a good coach who’s developed great talent at Michigan State. I respect him very highly.”
Boateng said Tressel’s interest stems from his speed, length and overall upside. The Spartans, Boateng said, feel they can develop him like they have many players under Dantonio.
And the talented junior likes what he’s seen from Michigan State. The struggles of the Spartans’ 3-9 season in 2016 haven’t deterred his interest.
“They’re saying that they’ve coached a lot of great talent, and they think they can do the same with me,” Boateng said. “That’s standing out to me because I see they’ve done such great things over the years. I know they weren’t good this past season, but I know they’ll bounce back because it’s Michigan State.”
For that to happen, the Spartans have to offer. Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Syracuse and several others have already done so and continue to show heavy interest.
Though he hopes to have a decision made before his senior season, Boateng isn’t in a rush. He intends to visit Michigan State over the summer once his track season finishes. But he hopes he doesn’t have to wait that long for the offer.
“I think it’ll come pretty soon,” he said.
Decision coming soon from MSU legacy
Can Michigan State make it a Dowell trio?
It won’t be long before we find out. Three-star Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward junior safety Michael Dowell, the younger brother of Michigan State players and twins Andrew and David Dowell, said he will announce his college decision on May 29.
— Michael (@mike_mikeyd123) May 9, 2017
Dowell holds an offer from Michigan State, and given his lineage, the Spartans appear to be in the driver’s seat. All 10 predictions in the 247Sports Crystal Ball see him heading to East Lansing.
Cincinnati, Duke, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ole Miss and Pittsburgh are among the other schools on his offer list.
Spartans quick to respond to recruiting miss
The state of Michigan didn’t get great news on Monday when its top 2018 recruit, 4-star Oak Park offensive guard Marquan McCall, announced his commitment to Kentucky.
Michigan and Michigan State had both offered McCall. And though the Spartans won’t likely stop just because of his verbal pledge to the Wildcats, they also moved quickly to offer another interior lineman.
Mill Creek (Hoschton, Ga.) junior offensive guard John Harris announced the Spartans offer early Tuesday afternoon. Incidentally, they followed shortly after Kentucky, which offered Harris on Wednesday.
— John Harris (@_JohnnyHarris_) May 9, 2017
Harris holds additional offers from Cincinnati, Duke, Louisville, Minnesota, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, among others.
The Spartans have not yet landed an offensive lineman in the 2018 class and have targeted both tackles and guards to fill needs.
Basketball recruiting update
That didn’t take long.
One week after DePaul hired La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) coach Shane Heirman as an assistant, the Blue Demons followed by landing Heirman’s massively talented 4-star point guard, Tyger Campbell. The 6-foot standout announced his decision on Monday night.
— Tyger Campbell (@tygercampbell15) May 9, 2017
Per Scout’s Evan Daniels, Campbell will reclassify to the 2018 class. He had previously been a class of 2019 recruit. Michigan State had offered and was long considered a favorite. Had Campbell chosen the Spartans, though, it would have been difficult to accommodate both him and their current point guard commit, Foster Loyer.
In more La Lumiere news, 247Sports’ Matt Prehm reports that Brian “Tugs” Bowen took an unofficial visit to Oregon on Monday. Bowen, a 5-star senior and teammate of Campbell at La Lumiere, had to pay his own way as he had already taken his five allotted official visits.
Michigan State was one of those visits. The Spartans have one remaining scholarship available for the 2017 class, but it continues to look less likely that Bowen will fill that spot. Schools like Creighton and Oregon with less returning depth on the wing look to be more attractive options for a player looking for heavy early playing time.