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There’s no need for much introduction. We’ve been gearing up for this for two weeks. Michigan State vs. Notre Dame. Under the lights. On national television. Last meeting in this rivalry until 2026.
On the recruiting side, prospects from across the nation will be in East Lansing on Saturday to take it in. But before listing who will be in attendance, let’s note who won’t.
Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.) running back Harold Joiner, a 4-star senior in the 247Sports composite ratings who had long been planning to take an official visit, cancelled his trip, per 247Sports’ Sean Scherer. Ole Miss commit and 3-star Huffman (Birmingham, Ala.) defensive tackle Allen Love postponed his official visit to a new date.
Patrick Panasiuk, a Lake Park (Roselle, Ill.) lineman and the brother of Michigan State defensive lineman Jacub and Mike Panasiuk, had planned to attend the game but will no longer make it. He expects to attend the Spartans’ game against Iowa on Sept. 30.
With that said, here are some of the biggest names planning to be on campus this weekend. All plans have been confirmed by Land of 10 unless otherwise noted.
Class of 2018
3-star Timpview (Provo, Utah) defensive tackle Jackson Cravens: The cousin of Michigan State tight end/defensive end Mufi Hill-Hunt, Cravens has been hoping to take a visit. The Spartans, who have three committed defensive linemen and would like to add a fourth, hope to use it to sway him from other suitors such as Utah and Washington.
4-star Woodland (Stockbridge, Ga.) offensive lineman James Ohonba: At 6-foot-4 and 345 pounds, Ohonba has been recruited by schools as both a guard and a tackle. He didn’t include Michigan State in his latest cut list, but the Spartans’ continued pursuit has paid off. Both of his 247Sports Crystal Ball projections have him choosing Duke.
4-star Fairfield (Ohio) defensive lineman Malik Vann: Take this one with caution. Vann remains committed to Cincinnati, but Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt reported that Spartans cornerback Josiah Scott’s former teammate plans to take an official visit to MSU. Vann did not respond to a request for confirmation.
3-star University of Detroit Jesuit running back Elijah Collins: Joiner had been the talk of the town, but Collins looks most likely to become the Spartans’ first running back commit. 247Sports reported his plans to visit for the game.
4-star Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Kalon Gervin: This recruitment keeps twisting and turning, and Michigan State has stayed alive throughout. Now Gervin plans to take an unofficial visit before he potentially comes back for an official one. This time around, he’ll see Notre Dame, the team to which he was previously committed.
3-star Belleville (Mich.) running back Patrick Lupro: Long recruited as a cornerback, Lupro has now begun to garner interest from Michigan State as a running back. The Spartans need to see more film of him at the position before an offer could potentially come. Regardless, he plans to be on campus for an unofficial visit.
3-star Hilliard (Ohio) Bradley wide receiver Kory Taylor: On Monday, Taylor spoke to Michigan State wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel, who told him he’s next on the list of wide receivers to offer. At 6-5, he would give the Spartans the rangy wideout they want to help finish out the class.
Class of 2019
4-star Belleville (Mich.) wide receiver/cornerback Julian Barnett: Will he play on offense or defense in college? If he chooses Michigan State, the position coaches will likely battle it out. Either way, the Spartans appear to be in great shape with Barnett.
— Julian Barnett (@_OfficialJB1) September 15, 2017
Madison Heights (Mich.) Madison quarterback Austin Brown: After recovering from a broken leg and transferring to a new school, Brown has been putting up astounding numbers. In one game, he set a state record with 8 touchdown passes in the first half. Akron, Miami (Ohio) and Toledo have offered.
3-star Buford (Ga.) offensive tackle Carter Colquitt: Colquitt picked up one of several offers extended to Buford players in May, but he’s the only one of the lot expected to visit Saturday. The 6-6 standout also holds offers from Florida, Mississippi State and Oregon.
3-star Reynoldsburg (Ohio) outside linebacker Dezman Cooper: He has been sitting on one offer from Miami (Ohio) since April, but Cooper seems destined to blow up soon. He visited Michigan State over the summer and plans to be back, telling Land of 10, “Can’t wait.”
Detroit Cass Tech safety Ormondell Dingle: This standout DB for Michigan’s reigning state champions already has Syracuse and Washington State on his offer list. Now he plans to make the trip to East Lansing along with teammates Gervin and Jaren Mangham, the latter of whom is listed below.
5-star Belleville (Mich.) offensive tackle Devontae Dobbs: Each time he visits — and he has visited countless times — it gets Michigan State fans’ hopes up. Dobbs has developed a great relationship with the staff, and the Spartans will hope that it propels them past Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and more.
Wauwatosa West (Milwaukee) center Austin Ertl: Ertl will have to make the long trip through Chicago and around Lake Michigan to get to East Lansing, but he plans to do so. The 6-2 standout with a Buffalo offer has already taken visits to Wisconsin and Iowa this year.
Macomb (Mich.) Lutheran North kicker Jackson Griskie: This special teams star keeps coming back to East Lansing. Saturday would be his fifth unofficial visit. Kohl’s Professional Camps noted that he “showed flashes of a powerful leg.”
3-star Pine-Richland (Gibsonia, Pa.) offensive tackle Andrew Kristofic: This 6-6 standout, who blocks for Notre Dame QB commit Phil Jurkovec, will make his return to Michigan State. He holds an offer from the Spartans as well as from Pittsburgh, where his father played. The two schools may end up battling it out.
4-star Detroit Cass Tech running back Jaren Mangham: Of all the Cass Tech stars in attendance, Michigan State is likely in the best position with Mangham. But his long offer list, which includes such schools as Maryland, Oregon and UCLA, makes it unwise to get too comfortable.
De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis) quarterback Nate Martens: A 6-3 pro-style QB, Martens plans to take his third visit to campus. He holds a Syracuse offer, and though the Spartans haven’t followed, he respects how they go about the recruiting process.
Oak Park (Mich.) cornerback Torriano Richardson: This is a fairly new name out of Oak Park, a school from which Michigan State has targeted several players in recent years. Richardson stands 5-10 and holds his lone offer from Miami (Ohio).
3-star Warwick (Lititz, Pa.) tight end Hayden Rucci: It seems like half the Big Ten already wants Rucci, a Penn State legacy. Michigan State has offered along with Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions may not be far away.
Class of 2020
St. Xavier (Cincinnati) offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.: Only a sophomore, Johnson already stands 6-7 and continues to grow into his frame. Rutgers has offered and Michigan State could potentially follow. He attends the same school from which Spartans tight end Noah Davis graduated.
Belleville (Mich.) cornerback Andre Seldon Jr.: Another Belleville visitor on the list. Sheldon already holds a Kentucky offer and has taken visits all over the Midwest. At 5-8, he plays with aggression to make up for his lack of size.
Detroit King wide receiver Rashawn Williams: Kentucky, Ohio State and Syracuse have already offered, but not yet Michigan State. Michigan State has had a solid relationship with Detroit schools in the past but may have ground to make up since parting ways with staffer Curtis Blackwell.
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