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.
What can Shakur Brown do for MSU?
Shakur Brown’s commitment came at the right time. In recent days, Michigan State two potential contributors at defensive back transferred. The Spartans confirmed the departure of cornerback Kaleel Gaines, and safety Kenney Lyke announced his transfer.
Neither move merited panic. Gaines and Lyke combined to play in four games in their short-lived Michigan State careers. But the secondary’s depth took a hit with their departures.
Enter Brown, a 3-star senior prospect in the 247Sports composite. He announced his commitment to Michigan State on Saturday night, marking the second addition to the 2017 class (along with kicker Cole Hahn) since National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
Finally, a commitment from a player at Woodland High in Stockbridge, Ga. One of Brown’s classmates, cornerback Yusuf Corker, opted to commit to Kentucky over the Spartans in December. Another, 4-star junior tackle James Ohonba, did not include Michigan State in his top four after picking up an offer.
With Brown’s decision, it’s better late than never. Michigan State brings back Josh Butler, Vayante Copeland, T.J. Harrell, Justin Layne and Tyson Smith at cornerback. Smith recently shared that he suffered a stroke last year, bringing into question his ability to compete in 2017. Michigan State declined comment on his health, per university policy.
So depth is an issue. Early enrollee Josiah Scott is in position to start in 2017, and he’ll be joined by fellow incoming freshman cornerbacks Emmanuel Flowers, Tre Person and Brown. Brown is another competitor who will have a chance to see the field early.
Additionally, the pickup helps build on Michigan State’s presence in Georgia. The Spartans have multiple coaches (namely running backs coach Dave Warner and wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel) recruiting the Atlanta area, and they’ve found success in the secondary more than any other position group. Brown, Person and 2018 cornerback commit Chris Jackson all come from the area.
In a spring marked by unexpected departures and tumult, Brown’s commitment was an important one.
Cut list season
May has turned to June. In-school recruiting visits have ceased. Now top prospects will look to cut down their hefty offer lists.
You probably haven’t heard Ronnie Walker’s name in awhile. There hasn’t been much action in the 4-star Hopewell (Va.) running back‘s recruitment by Michigan State since the Spartans offered on Jan. 26. Nevertheless, he included the Spartans in his top 10 on Monday.
— RonnieWalker (@RonnieWalker32) June 5, 2017
It’s not a major advancement, but Walker did omit some significant offers: Cincinnati, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, to name a few. Michigan State’s presence is a good sign, as Walker is the No. 17 running back in the 2018 class.
Additionally, Michigan State made the cut for Blake Zubovic, a 3-star offensive lineman who picked up an offer on May 6. The Spartans joined Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech in his top five.
TOP 5🚨🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/YsBlgp8tiF
— Big Z🎒 (@blake_zubovic66) June 5, 2017
It will be tough to pull the Belle Vernon (Pa.) junior away from his home state. Penn State and Pittsburgh, should they continue to have room for him, will be favorites. It’s yet another battle between former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi (Pitt’s coach) and the Spartans.
Did we mention Narduzzi? Well, it’s Pitt against Michigan State for a commitment from 3-star Deerfield Beach (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) linebacker Kenny Bastida, who announced that he’ll make a decision between the Panthers and Spartans.
My Final 2 ‼️ pic.twitter.com/STqniTt1ek
— Kenny 🤴🏽 Bastida . (@kingbastida) June 5, 2017
Bastida ranks as the No. 3 linebacker in Florida. Michigan State currently has one LB commitment in 2018: 3-star Olentangy Liberty (Powell, Ohio) junior Edward Warinner.
Spartans’ latest to offer Georgia sophomore
The state of Georgia hasn’t just been a top priority for Michigan State in the 2018 class. The Spartans have also been looking even further into the future there with offers to freshmen and sophomores.
On Monday, the Spartans offered Derrick McLendon, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound Tucker (Ga.) junior. He describes himself as an athlete and projects as a defensive end at the next level.
— 15.reasons (@DMAC1513) June 5, 2017
McLendon has put together a daunting offer list that includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee.