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.
Who will join Olentangy Liberty (Powell, Ohio) junior Edward Warinner in Michigan State’s linebacking corps?
Warinner gave the Spartans their first linebacker commitment of the 2018 class, and now they have been pushing for an outside linebacker to join Warinner, who will shore up the middle. Quite possibly their top choice would be another Ohio product, St. John’s Jesuit (Toledo, Ohio) OLB Dallas Gant.
Gant, a 4-star prospect and the No. 5 player at his position in the 247Sports composite, has been a fan of Michigan State in the past and included the Spartans in his final cut list. However, it would be quite a coup should he choose the Spartans when he announces his decision on Tuesday.
My commitment announcement this Tuesday will be at 3:30 in the McCade Theatre at my school, St. John's. Everyone is welcome to attend!
— Dallas Gant (@dallas_gant) May 10, 2017
Land of 10 Ohio State recruiting expert Jeremy Birmingham visited Gant at school and spoke with the junior star, who visited Michigan State in November when the Spartans faced Ohio State. Unsurprisingly, their opponent that day looks like the favorite.
“All things kind of point to Ohio State being the choice,” Birmingham said Thursday on the Inside The Shoe podcast. He went on to cite Gant’s relationship with Urban Meyer and the OSU staff as the reason for his prognosis. You can hear his full comments here.
So where will the Spartans look next, assuming 15 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions are correct? They may well try to nab a different Buckeyes target from Ohio. Christopher Oats, a 4-star junior from Cincinnati Winton Woods, has held a Spartans offer for more than a year. To get him, though, they’ll have to ward off OSU and Cincinnati. Not an easy task when it comes to recruiting a Cincy kid.
As it stands, the most likely answer is Jeslord Boateng, the recently offered 3-star OLB from Dublin (Ohio) Coffman. Beyond him, Torey Zanders of George Walton Academy (Monroe, Ga.) and D’Andre Ragin of St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) have each received slim Power 5 interest but both hold Michigan State offers, putting the Spartans in good position.
However, none of the three has visited Michigan State, so don’t expect a commitment from any of them at least until they visit campus.
Familiar in-state DB offered
Michigan State has done more than its due diligence with Davion Williams.
A standout wide receiver and cornerback as well as a 3-star guard on the basketball court for Belleville (Mich.), Williams has been on countless visits to the MSU campus. Typically, he has joined his sophomore teammates, 4-star tackle Devontae Dobbs and wide receiver Julian Barnett, who both hold offers.
Now Williams finally has an offer of his own — this one for football. On Thursday, the Spartans joined Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Purdue among Big Ten schools to have offered.
— Davion (@on_the_com_up_) May 11, 2017
Because of his strong relationship with the staff, Michigan State immediately looks like a favorite for Williams’ pledge. Though a talented receiver for Belleville as well, the 6-foot-2 standout looks primed to be a cornerback at the next level. His coach, Jermain Crowell, has a knack for developing defensive backs, which he honed as Detroit Cass Tech’s defensive coordinator before taking the Belleville job.
Should Williams end up at Michigan State, he would join Jahz Watts, a former teammate and Spartans walk-on.
And the Spartans, who already have commitments from two 2018 defensive backs in 3-star cornerback Chris Jackson and 4-star athlete Xavier Henderson, didn’t stop there. They also offered 3-star Cypress Falls (Houston) cornerback Starrland Baldwin.
— Starrland Baldwin Jr (@BaamBfam) May 11, 2017
Baldwin also holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Houston, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Utah and West Virginia, among others, putting the Spartans in tough company.
Spartans offer two receivers
It’s been more than two months since 4-star wide receiver Joseph Scates de-committed from Michigan State, putting the Spartans back at square one in their search for receivers in the 2018 class.
In the last 24 hours, two more have been offered by the Spartans, both from the South. Let’s introduce them.
— Kendall Williamson (@kentw2018) May 11, 2017
Williamson holds a massive list of offers including Georgia Tech, Louisville, Mississippi State and North Carolina. Mark Dantonio and the Spartans have found success recruiting Brookwood in the past, though, having reeled in wide receiver Andre Sims Jr. and running back Nick Tompkins.
— Jeshaun Jones (@JeshaunJones06) May 11, 2017
Jones has an even more daunting list than Williamson, with Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin among his options. Michigan State co-offensive coordinator Jim Bollman and wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel have led Michigan State’s recruitment of the 6-foot-1.5 standout so far.