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.
4-star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis set to visit MSU
The Monday edition of this notebook covered how Michigan State Madness once again looks to be an event rich with visitors from Indiana.
Last year the Spartans’ celebration of the start of the college basketball season brought a La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) trio of then-Michigan State commit Jaren Jackson Jr. and former targets Brian Bowen and Tyger Campbell. This time around it will bring another talented threesome.
Not only do 3-star Ben Davis (Indianapolis) wing/Michigan State commit Aaron Henry and 5-star Fort Wayne (Ind.) North Side junior wing Keion Brooks plan to be at the Breslin Center on Friday, but so does 4-star Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) forward Trayce Jackson-Davis.
“Yeah, I’m going as well,” Jackson-Davis confirmed to Land of 10.
The 6-foot-8 junior last visited Michigan State on Sept. 9 for its football game against Western Michigan, at which point he landed an offer from the Spartans. Butler, Clemson, Indiana, Iowa, Purdue and Xavier have also offered the nation’s No. 49 player.
Assuming Henry eventually signs his letter of intent, Michigan State will have landed a recruit from Indiana in each of its last two classes. Brooks and/or Jackson-Davis could make it three in a row.
But the Spartans have to battle some of the same programs for both, namely Indiana. The Hoosiers have offered both players, as have Purdue and Xavier.
Michigan State has not yet landed a commitment in the 2019 class. But all five of its 2018 commits plan to be at the Breslin Center on Friday: Henry, Marcus Bingham Jr., Gabe Brown, Thomas Kithier and Foster Loyer.
Mark Dantonio addresses former target, Indiana RB Morgan Ellison
Can it be called a recruiting miss? Had Morgan Ellison gone anywhere else, including Michigan State, maybe he wouldn’t be panning out nearly as quickly as he has.
But Spartans coach Mark Dantonio has had no problem taking lighthearted jabs at co-defensive coordinator Mike Tressel, who recruited Ellison, about the freshman running back’s hot start this season.
“I keep getting on Coach Tressel about it,” Dantonio said with a laugh. ” ‘Hey, what about this guy here from Pickerington (Ohio)?’ ”
Ellison broke a leg as a sophomore and broke the other as a junior before breaking out as a senior for Pickerington Central. He rushed for 1,841 yards and 29 touchdowns in his last high school season.
Michigan State and Tressel took a close look, as they had offered and have since picked up commitments from a pair of Ellison’s high school teammates — 4-star juniors Xavier Henderson and Trenton Gillison. But the Spartans did not offer Ellison.
Ellison originally committed to Ohio before making a late switch to sign with the Hoosiers. He’s rushed for 426 yards and 3 touchdowns through six games.
Michigan State has done just fine for itself, though. The Spartans landed a late running back commitment in Connor Heyward, who hasn’t been called upon much on offense but had a big game on special teams Saturday against Minnesota.
More DL targets set to visit
Michigan State isn’t taking any chances. The Spartans need to land another defensive lineman in the 2018 class, so they’re bringing in as many visitors as it takes.
Three-star Huffman (Birmingham, Ala.) defensive tackle Allen Love had previously planned to visit Michigan State for its game against Notre Dame but had to reschedule. On Monday, 247Sports’ Sean Scherer reported that the Ole Miss commit will visit Michigan State in November.
And according to Rivals’ Adam Friedman, the Spartans continue to pursue 3-star Heritage (Raleigh, N.C.) senior defensive end Joseph Boletepeli. The 6-4 standout told Friedman that he plans to officially visit Michigan State this weekend.
The Spartans have three defensive linemen committed to their 2018 class: Parks Gissinger, Jacob Slade and Zach Slade. They have 18 recruits total committed to the class.
In focus: Michigan State commitment highlights
Every week we run down a few of the most impressive plays from future Michigan State players. We already showed you a few on Sunday, including a 44-yard touchdown from Xavier Henderson and a game-saving sack from Dublin (Ohio) Coffman linebacker Jeslord Boateng.
Today we have five more, from a superb pass to twin sacks.
1. Four-star Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child quarterback Theo Day had plenty of highlights Friday, but maybe none better than this pinpoint toss.
2. Olentangy (Lewis Center, Ohio) defensive end Zach Slade got loose for a punishing sack like he has so often this season.
3. His twin brother, Jacob Slade, did the same.
4. Saline (Mich.) offensive lineman Dimitri Douglas was terrific in pass protection on this play and finished it off by putting the defender on the turf.
5. Chardon (Ohio) linebacker Chase Kline burst through the line nearly untouched for a crushing tackle for loss.
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