With just more than a month until National Signing Day, uncertainty surrounds Michigan State’s recruiting class.
Not necessarily for the 17 current commits. None have given any sort of indication lately of intentions to look elsewhere. To the MSU coaching staff’s credit, it has done well to express to its commits that it believes 2016 was an anomaly and won’t be repeated.
But what about those who haven’t yet committed? Mark Dantonio spoke earlier this month about his intentions to add at least four more scholarship players. As of Tuesday morning, no more have made a public commitment.
So with this uncertainty, any prediction seems a bit bold. That said, these three very real possibilities should be considered.
1. Multiple players will commit to Michigan State who have not yet been offered
Longtime targets keep dropping off the board, and not too many have come as a surprise. On Monday, it was 3-star Woodland (Stockbridge, Ga.) cornerback Yusuf Corker, who surprised some by picking Kentucky over Tennessee. Michigan State had been a finalist but hadn’t drawn much buzz leading up to the decision.
Last-ditch efforts have been in order lately as the Spartans have offered fast-rising seniors like Koby Cumberlander and Emmanuel Flowers, who saw their stock rise following impressive senior seasons. That strategy will likely continue as the staff continues to seek out and schedule visits with lesser known 2017 prospects whose senior film has impressed.
2. Jan. 20-22 will be the biggest remaining weekend for commitments
It’s still early to suggest when Michigan State will add its inevitable late commits. Will it happen on one of several remaining opportunities for weekend-long official visits, or will the flurry occur just prior to signing day? That might become a little clearer once more visits have been scheduled.
For now, the third weekend of the month is shaping up to be a crucial one. Targets like running back DeWayne Murray, athlete Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and outside linebacker L.J. Cummings have been in talks with the Spartans about getting out for that weekend. Certainly the potential that they commit depends on visits scheduled for the following weekend. But targets with slimmer offer lists may be enticed by the chance to commit on the spot.
3. The Spartans will not fall in the Big Ten recruiting rankings
For all the disappointment in the last few months of recruiting, Michigan State has stayed pretty steady in the No. 5 spot of 247Sports’ rankings. Typically, when teams rack up the commitments in the summer, they drop as the higher-rated prospects commit to schools like Michigan or Ohio State. It hasn’t yet happened to Michigan State.
And it very well might not. The only teams within striking distance right now are Rutgers and Nebraska. Rutgers already has 20 commits and likely won’t add enough more to pass MSU. Nebraska might, but if the Spartans fulfill their intentions of potentially getting to 23-24 commits, they could stave off the Huskers.
Sure, these ratings are largely arbitrary and don’t determine future success. But finishing a respectable fifth would show that Michigan State did not allow a 3-9 season to lead to disaster on the recruiting trail.