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Spartans WR targets ponder visits, await potential offers
Michigan State is putting together one heck of a receiving corps. Seven Spartans wide receivers have caught passes in 2017, including three freshmen. Coach Mark Dantonio’s team doesn’t even have a scholarship senior at the position.
Even without any receivers departing after the season, Michigan State plans to bolster the position in its 2018 class. It already has a pair of commitments from 3-star prospects in the 247Sports composite: Penn Hills (Pittsburgh) senior Julian Major and Sandusky (Ohio) projected quarterback convert Javez Alexander.
The Spartans hope to land another, though. On Thursday, wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel showed just how much he wants 4-star Samuel Clemens (Schertz, Texas) wideout Tommy Bush by traveling all the way to the Texas-Mexico border for Bush’s road game against Laredo.
“I really appreciated the visit,” Bush said.
But it will take more than that to reel in Bush, especially with an offer list that includes a number of powerhouse programs. Michigan State needs to get him on campus for one of his five official visits.
The distance makes it difficult. Bush’s lone bye week comes the weekend of Oct. 7, and Scout reports he will use it to take an official visit to Nebraska. That doesn’t mean he’ll wait until after the season to take the others; he just has to pick his spots. Right now, Michigan State’s game on Nov. 4 stands out.
“I’m looking possibly at the Penn State game at the moment,” Bush said.
Getting him in for that game would be massive, particularly because it would be a showdown with what currently is the No. 4 team in the nation. Bush also holds a Penn State offer, but mutual interest appears to have died down.
After Samuel visited Bush on Thursday, he made his way to Ohio to see another 6-foot-5 prospect, Kory Taylor, play on Friday. The Hilliard Bradley wideout led his team to a 21-7 rivalry game win over Hilliard Darby with Samuel in attendance.
Taylor caught 12 passes for 96 yards in the game, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The best one had to be a leaping grab on which he managed to keep a foot inbounds, as shown in the highlight below.
Taylor does not yet have a Michigan State offer, but he told Land of 10 that Samuel asked him to call on Monday night. Some good news might just be in store for the nation’s No. 142 receiver, who visited Louisville over the weekend.
Regardless of whether an offer comes, Taylor plans to be in East Lansing on Saturday for Michigan State’s game against Notre Dame.
4-star prospects land MSU offers
Did we mention 2018 wide receivers? Well, Michigan State made its desire for a long, tall prospect at the position even more evident on Saturday night when it offered 4-star North Canyon (Phoenix) wideout Solomon Enis.
— Solomon (@SolomonEnis) September 17, 2017
Enis, who stands 6-4, ranks 47th among 2018 receivers and second overall among prospects in Arizona. He has put together an incredibly well-rounded senior season. Per MaxPreps, he has thrown for 39 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns, caught 12 balls for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns, and amassed 112 punt return yards and 82 kick return yards. He’s also recorded 29 tackles (one of which was a sack), forced a fumble, defended a pass and blocked a field goal. He has five regular-season games to go.
The son of former Penn State All-American and NFL first-round draft pick Curtis Enis, Enis already holds an offer from the Nittany Lions. Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA and USC also have jumped into the running.
The Spartans also offered a top 2019 prospect in 3-star Heritage (Wake Forest, N.C.) linebacker Drake Thomas. The 6-1, 225-pound junior shared the news Friday night.
— Drake Thomas (@DrakeT32) September 16, 2017
The offer came after Thomas recorded 6 tackles, forced his second fumble of the season and returned an interception 22 yards in a blowout win. He has 40 tackles through five games, according to MaxPreps.
Thomas has a daunting list of offers that includes Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and nearby Wake Forest. He ranks 10th among inside linebackers in his class.
Michigan State has already offered his teammate, 3-star senior defensive lineman Joseph Boletepeli. The 247Sports Crystal Ball projects for him to stay home and sign with North Carolina State.
In focus: Michigan State commit highlights
It’s time for our latest installment of commit highlights. Some commits have made their highlights private; others haven’t posted. But looking at what is available, here are the top highlights of the weekend from future Michigan State football players.
2. Olentangy (Lewis Center, Ohio) defensive end Zachary Slade pounced on a loose ball right as the offense was about to recover it, pushing it into the path of a teammate who returned it for a touchdown.
3. Chardon (Ohio) linebacker Chase Kline showed some volleyball skills by elevating and ferociously blocking an attempted pass into the turf.
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