On the banks of the Red Cedar, recruiting never stops. We’re here every step of the way to keep you moving along with it.
Michigan State’s trip to Maryland keeps looking more and more impactful in hindsight.
The Oct. 22 loss to the Terrapins sticks out, but a recruiting trip finishes second in significance. While there, Michigan State recruiting operations coordinator Butler Benton and defensive line coach Ron Burton headed over to the St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) High School campus.
Almost immediately after, the offer reports started flowing, and 2019 running backs Keilan Robinson and Joachim Bangda shared the news of their offers on the Friday before the MSU game. Three-star senior DE Tyree Johnson, a Texas A&M commit, did so on Oct. 27.
And the latest, 3-star senior defensive end Kofi Wardlow, announced his Spartans offer Tuesday night. “Happy and humbled,” he told Land of 10 about the feeling of getting that call from Burton.
— KWarlord (@KofiWardlow) November 2, 2016
Wardlow said the offer came after the staff watched his film and loved his length (he’s 6-foot-3 1/2) and his speed off the edge.
As of Wednesday, Wardlow does not have any visit plans to Michigan State, but he added the Spartans to a list of schools in consideration alongside Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Army. Rutgers may also join the fray after offering him Wednesday.
“I really don’t know,” he said. “It could be soon. It could be later. It really just depends on who shows me they want me.”
Another QB offer
The Spartans continue to target top out-of-state 2018 talent at quarterback. The latest is 4-star Harrison (Ga.) junior Justin Fields, who announced an offer Sunday.
— Justin Fields (@justnfields) October 31, 2016
There seems to be more of an emphasis on recruiting dual-threat quarterbacks in this class than usual with Michigan State. Fields represents the latest target.
The Spartans will have to make quick work, though. Fields may be just a sophomore, but he has said he plans to make a decision soon, and several schools, seemingly led by Tennessee, have made strong pitches.
2019 QB recaps visit
Oak Park (Mich.) quarterback Dwan Mathis has visited Michigan State before and says it “feels like home.”
Saturday’s visit, though, marked the next step forward. Mathis is still in search of an offer — not a big deal, as he’s just a sophomore — but he likes the relationship with MSU that was furthered on his visit.
“It went pretty good,” he told Land of 10 of the trip. “(This was the) first time I got on the field during pregame, and I talked to (quarterbacks coach Brad) Salem. Also, he told that college football is hard, and there’s no other way to describe it, from class to weightlifting and team meetings. All of that.”
And what was Mathis’ response to hearing that? Is he ready to put in that kind of work?
“Yes, I’ve always dreamed of playing college football,” he said. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to play, so of course I’m up for the challenge.”
Rison talks silent commits
Four-star Michigan State receiver commit Hunter Rison, who took his official visit over the weekend, went on The Spartan Beat radio show with Rico Beard Tuesday to talk some recruiting.
Rison said that on his visit he hung out with other official visitors, which included 3-star cornerback Ameer Speed, 3-star linebacker Jaquan Henderson (a Tennessee commit) and 4-star cornerback Ambry Thomas.
Asked about his pitch to get them to join him at MSU, Rison told Beard, “I don’t sell it.” He said he lets recruits come to their own conclusions, which usually revolve around the strong family atmosphere.
Rison also took the opportunity to tease some recruiting news. He indicated that the Spartans have two silent commits, though he understandably declined to name them.
“I’m telling you right now, we’ve got two already,” he said. When pressed to offer a hint, he simply added, “You’re gon’ be happy.”
He could potentially be referring to any two of last weekend’s official visitors, or possibly 4-star receiver KJ Hamler. On the prospect of landing his IMG Academy (Fla.) teammate Hamler, tight end commit Jack Camper told Land of 10, “I feel really good about it.”
Rison said he will be at Michigan State’s game against Rutgers on Nov. 12, giving him another opportunity to woo a big recruit. Three-star defensive end Jordan Wright said Tuesday that he’ll take an official visit to that game.
Trent details official visits on own terms
First off, it should be noted: Any and all Land of 10 interview requests have gone unanswered by 5-star guard Gary Trent Jr.
Trent is talking. He’s just not letting reporters tell his story. Instead, he’s doing a monthly blog at USA Today High School Sports about his recruiting process. On Wednesday, it chronicled his official visits to UCLA, Duke and Michigan State.
The blog shed some light on what stands out to Trent about each school. With UCLA, it was the “beautiful” campus and the great weather. He also seemed to bond with freshman point guard Lonzo Ball.
At Duke, it’s the opportunity to play alongside one of his best friends, 5-star forward Wendell Carter. The two have long been vocal about wanting to play together, but Trent said that ultimately, “… we need the decision to be what’s best for us first.”
And at Michigan State, which Trent visited over the weekend, he raved about what he saw in the gym, writing, “The energy at practice was the most intense that I’ve seen at any university.” That has to make fans feel good.
Trent said it’s “possible” he could sign during the early period, which starts Nov. 9, but he’s uncertain. He will weigh his options with his father, a former forward for the Trail Blazers, Raptors, Mavericks and Timberwolves.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.