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 offers have been flowing in for Michael Tarquin over the past week — many of them from extremely high-profile programs.
First was 2014 national champion Ohio State kicking things off with Tarquin’s first Big Ten offer. Another offer followed three days later from Michigan, the winningest program in college football history.
Recent national champion Auburn followed up with an offer on Thursday, only to be trumped by reigning national champion Clemson a day later. The Belleview (Fla.) sophomore offensive tackle barely had time to digest one offer before the next came in.
Then came Michigan State on Sunday. The Spartans don’t have a recent national championship to their name, but the offer stuck out for another reason.
— Michael Tarquin (@Mike_Tarquin70) May 21, 2017
“My dad graduated from Michigan State,” Tarquin explained, “so he and I have always liked the Spartans. I’ve just been communicating with them for a while.”
For about a year and a half now, to be more precise. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound standout visited Michigan State for its 2016 Green-White spring game, then again that summer for a camp and most recently this spring to see a practice.
— Michael Tarquin (@Mike_Tarquin70) April 24, 2016
Tarquin’s father has been there to show him around, give Tarquin a tour of where he lived and share his experiences from college. But when decision time comes around, Tarquin doesn’t expect his father to try to sway him.
“I think he just wants the best for me,” Tarquin said, “but he’s really excited about this [Michigan State] offer.”
Michigan State took ample time to evaluate Tarquin, and he has been in consistent contact with recruiting coordinator Brad Salem and offensive line coach Mark Staten. After Salem made the trip to see Belleview’s spring jamboree, the Spartans decided not to wait any longer.
“I just talked to Coach Staten about it and found out I had an offer, so I’m really excited,” Tarquin said. “He said that was the main reason Coach Salem went down there, just so he could see me. And he said that I’ve earned the offer.”
With more than 10 offers in hand, Tarquin has plenty to consider. He ultimately intends to choose a school, a program and a coaching staff with which he feels a sense of comfort. And, of course, he wants to find the right fit academically.
Michigan State has gotten a head start in recruiting Tarquin. It’s the only Big Ten school he has visited so far, though he hopes to see Michigan and Ohio State soon. MSU has stood out because of its staff and its message.
“I really like the coaches,” he said. “Coach [Mark] Dantonio seems like a really good coach. They’ve done a lot. I just like where the program’s headed. I’m really excited about the offer.”
Following a 3-9 season, what gives Tarquin a sense that the Spartans are on the right track?
“Just going up there and hearing what they had to say, they just seem positive,” he said. “It sounded like they’re going to bounce back and have a good season this year.”
Michigan State makes cut for two defenders
It’s spring. If recruits aren’t committing, they’re probably dropping lists with an arbitrary number of schools while adding that they’re still open to other schools and then an even shorter list will be coming soon. There are no rules.
So while cut lists should be viewed with an asterisk — one asterisk being that a group of 27 offers probably doesn’t deserve its own list — they still can provide valuable insight into a recruitment. They show which schools have been showing the most interest.
Over the weekend, two players included Michigan State in their lists. The first, Miami Southridge defensive end James Head, picked up an offer from the Spartans three weeks ago, and they made his top seven on Saturday.
— James Jr. 1️⃣1️⃣ (@D1_intentions) May 19, 2017
Head, a 3-star junior, per the 247Sports composite, also included Baylor, Indiana, Mississippi State, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee in his list. He intends to enroll early at the school of his choice.
Michigan State, which missed on 4-star Cincinnati defensive end commit Malik Vann in April, has made Head one of its priorities at the position. The Spartans have also offered his teammate at the position, Randy Charlton.
On Sunday, Michigan State got more good news — if any stock can be put in a top 11. Three-star Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) cornerback Stanley Garner included the Spartans alongside Clemson, Florida State, Miami and more.
— Stanley Garner lll (@StanleyG_9) May 21, 2017
With a list like that, Michigan State’s chances appear slim. However, the Spartans have a history with Dillard, most recently landing defensive lineman Noah Jones in the 2013 class.
Spartans offer two more prep prospects
The 39-day evaluation period is almost over. Coaches who have been constantly on the road may finally get a full night of sleep, and writers and fans will get a chance to look back and evaluate the bevy of offers.
Two more came from Michigan State over the weekend. As the Spartans look to find an outside linebacker, defensive line coach Ron Burton sought out one on his recruiting turf in Virginia. Three-star Benedictine (Richmond, Va.) junior OLB Wendell Davis made the announcement on Saturday.
Grateful to receive an offer from Michigan State University!! pic.twitter.com/3YJdOjIyy8
— Wendell Davis (@wendellwdj) May 20, 2017
Davis, an unrated prospect in the 247Sports composite, holds offers from such schools as Boston College, Duke, Pittsburgh and Rutgers.
The Spartans also checked out Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips, where they were very active in the 2017 class. Though they didn’t land anyone in that group, it appears they’ll keep trying. Three-star junior offensive tackle John Campbell announced an MSU offer on Saturday.
Blessed to receive an offer from Michigan State 😈 pic.twitter.com/9tgbsakr1H
— John Campbell (@_jcamp74) May 20, 2017
Campbell, the No. 29 OT in the 2018 class, holds a massive list of offers including Alabama, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon. Don’t hold your breath on this one.