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Updated unofficial scholarship tracker
The dominoes continue to tumble.
This surely won’t be as tumultuous an offseason for Michigan State as the last one, but it will have its fair share of shakeups. It has to. The Spartans left San Diego and the Holiday Bowl several spots above the scholarship limit of 85 for the 2018 season in our unofficial tracker, and since then there have been several moves.
The latest came Monday, when former Michigan State star Andre Rison announced on 92.1 FM that his son, wide receiver Hunter, would transfer because of inadequate playing time. Hunter Rison was the Spartans’ fourth-leading receiver as a freshman in 2017.
In response, we’ve updated our unofficial scholarship tracker to reflect the change. By our count, 89 scholarship players remain on the roster, including the 20 recruits who signed on Dec. 20.
|Fr. (Total: 33)||So. (21)||Jr. (17)||Sr. (18)|
|QB (Total: 3)||Theo Day, Rocky Lombardi||Brian Lewerke|
|RB/FB (7)||Weston Bridges, Elijah Collins, La’Darius Jefferson||Connor Heyward||Madre London, Collin Lucas, LJ Scott|
|WR (9)||Ja’Vez Alexander, C.J. Hayes, Julian Major||Cam Chambers, Laress Nelson, Cody White||Trishton Jackson, Darrell Stewart||Felton Davis|
|TE (6)||Jack Camper, Trenton Gillison||Noah Davis, Matt Dotson||Chase Gianacakos, Matt Sokol|
|OL (14)||Matt Carrick, Dimitri Douglas, Jacob Isaia, Mustafa Khaleefah, James Ohonba||Matt Allen, AJ Arcuri, Luke Campbell, Kevin Jarvis, Jordan Reid||Cole Chewins, Tyler Higby, Noah Listermann||David Beedle|
|DL (16)||Parks Gissinger, Lashawn Paulino-Bell, Jacob Slade, Zach Slade, DeAri Todd||Mufi Hill-Hunt, Naquan Jones, Jacub Panasiuk, Brandon Randle||Justice Alexander, Mike Panasiuk, Kyonta Stallworth, Kenny Willekes, Raequan Williams||Dillon Alexander, Gerald Owens|
|LB (10)||Jeslord Boateng, Noah Harvey, Chase Kline, Darien Tipps-Clemons, Edward Warinner||Antjuan Simmons||Joe Bachie, Tyriq Thompson||Byron Bullough, Andrew Dowell|
|DB (20)||Shakur Brown, Michael Dowell, Emmanuel Flowers, Kalon Gervin, Xavier Henderson, Chris Jackson, Davion Williams||Austin Andrews, Dominique Long, Tre Person, Josiah Scott||Josh Butler, David Dowell, Justin Layne||T.J. Harrell, Grayson Miller, Matt Morrissey, Tyson Smith, Jalen Watts-Jackson, Khari Willis|
|Special Teams (4)||Cole Hahn (K)||Matt Coghlin (K)||Collin Caflisch (LS)||Jake Hartbarger (P)|
This number could shift depending on the status of some players previously announced as being on scholarship. But it appears more movement will be needed, and Michigan State’s 2018 class is not even complete. The Spartans are looking to add “a couple more” recruits to the class, per coach Mark Dantonio.
And who will those recruits be? That remains unclear, but one will likely be a wide receiver and another a defensive lineman. We have updates on Michigan State’s recruitment of both positions.
Two players have separated from the rest when it comes to Michigan State’s recruiting targets at wide receiver. One, Jalen Nailor, told Land of 10 that he plans to officially visit MSU this weekend. Should he eventually commit, the 3-star senior in the 247Sports composite would join his Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) teammate, Spartans signee Jacob Isaia.
The other wide receiver is Tommy Bush, who would be a jewel of the class if Michigan State could reel him in. The 4-star Samuel Clemens (Schertz, Texas) wideout was identified and offered by the Spartans nearly a year ago. It didn’t take long after for 10, then 20, then 30 more programs to offer as he exploded on the national scene.
Bush spoke to Zach Abolverdi of SEC Country, a Land of 10 partner in the DieHards network, and gave some answers that Michigan State will find encouraging. He put the Spartans on a short list of schools remaining on his radar.
“My top schools are Georgia, Michigan State, Baylor and that’s really about it,” Bush said. “We’re still talking to other schools that are interested in me, but those are the ones that we’re strongly considering as of right now.”
Bush continues to get other interest, and Florida is one of the teams fighting for an official visit. He and his family are considering several spots for his final two visits, but he said he may not even get to them because he wants to commit “a couple weeks” before signing day on Feb. 7.
It doesn’t help that Michigan State’s main two opponents in the race are the SEC champion and a team from Bush’s home state. But the Spartans can take solace in the knowledge that it might be only those two.
“Florida does have a shot,” Bush said, “but there’s obviously other schools that we’ve been talking to longer. It kind of sucks because it’s so late in the game.”
This continues to be the highest priority for Michigan State to finish out the class. Several recruits who have long held offers are on the list, and now there’s a new expected visitor who doesn’t yet have one.
Habakkuk Baldonado, a native of Italy who plays defensive end at Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International, told Land of 10 he intends to travel for an official visit to Michigan State on Jan. 19. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound standout does not have a rating or ranking in the 247Sports composite.
Baldonado holds offers from Central Florida, UConn and several others. He does not yet hold an offer from Michigan State or any other Power 5 school, but he said Spartans offensive line coach Mark Staten has been in “good contact” with him.
In seven games as a senior, Baldonado posted eye-popping numbers of 83 tackles, 45 tackles for loss, and 30.5 sacks, per MaxPreps.
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