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.
Foster Loyer didn’t talk a whole lot with the staff at Michigan State Madness last week.
“Obviously they were pretty busy that night,” the 3-star Clarkston (Mich.) junior point guard explained, “so everything was real brief.”
Loyer did exchange pleasantries with Coach Tom Izzo and the staff, but most of his time on the night of Oct. 14 was spent sitting front row with a handful of recruits for all the action. Still, the relationship he’s cultivated with the Michigan State coaches made this year’s event even more endearing than 2015 Madness, which he also visited.
“Just getting to know them better and better made the experience up at Midnight Madness just a little more involved,” Loyer told Land of 10. “This year was cool just because it was very formal. The guys came out in tuxedos. I thought that was pretty nice. I thought the games this year were very good. It was really up-and-down and very exciting to watch.”
Loyer pointed out the play of senior Eron Harris and incoming freshman Miles Bridges as eye-catching. He also enjoyed watching freshman point guard Cassius Winston, against whom Loyer played as a freshman in the 2015 Michigan state quarterfinals.
Loyer has a history with the Michigan State coaches, as well. He moved to Clarkston in seventh grade and started playing for Dan Fife once in high school. Fife’s son Dane works as an assistant coach for Michigan State.
Before seventh grade, Loyer said he moved somewhere around eight or nine times — too many to count. His father John coached for several colleges before getting assistant jobs with the Portland Trail Blazers, the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets.
Eventually the family settled in Michigan when John landed a job with the Pistons, for whom he worked from 2011-14 (including a brief run as Detroit’s interim head coach). He now works as a scout for the Los Angeles Clippers. Through all this, Foster Loyer would go to games and hang around his dad’s teams.
“From the time being a little kid, I’ve been at every home game,” he said. “I’ve always been a ball boy. I’ve been down on the court, gotten to know the guys real well in the locker room, out rebounding for them, things like that.”
Loyer pointed out former Michigan State forward Zach Randolph (who played for the Blazers) as one player he got to know pretty well and Andre Miller (who played for the Sixers) as someone who inspired him as a player.
And of course, Loyer credits being in the gym with his father with helping him to become the first team all-state player he is. As someone who plays below the rim like Miller, Loyer prides himself on doing the intangibles his role model has become so famous for.
“I’m a pass-first point guard,” he said. “I can create shots and opportunities for my teammates. I’m also a pretty good shooter. I have no problem knocking down the open shot or creating a shot for myself. So just kind of being a good all-around point guard, doing whatever it takes for my team to win.”
And he has done an awful lot of winning lately. He has led Clarkston to a 43-4 record since entering high school and led his 16U All Ohio Red team to a Nike EYBL Peach Jam title in July, averaging 17.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals.
Along with Michigan State, Loyer’s play has also drawn the attention of Davidson, Nebraska, Oakland, Purdue, Stanford and Texas. Of those, Davidson, Oakland and Purdue have offered.
The coaching connection and proximity presumably gives Michigan State a bit of an advantage in Loyer’s recruitment. However, with no reason to limit his choices, the junior turned down any suggestion of having a favorite.
“At this moment, I would say no,” he said about any one team being in the recruiting lead. “I’m just trying to keep my options open. I would like to narrow it down coming up in the future, but I don’t necessarily have a timetable set as of now.”
How’s football recruiting going?
Is anyone a little concerned about Michigan State football’s 2017 recruiting class? Thought so.
At this point, the Spartans are ranked No. 8 in the Big Ten. Yes, eighth. That would be the Spartans’ lowest-ranked class since 2008, a group that signed right after Dantonio’s first season at the helm.
First off, whether this matters won’t truly be seen for a few years. Though, while it may be unfair to look at a single player’s ranking or rating in a vacuum, when a class ranks this low, it’s understandably a bit concerning. Heck, Rutgers is No. 7.
Secondly, things will change as this class closes out, and Michigan State has a big chance to greatly improve this class. A bunch of 4-star targets remain on the board, and should the Spartans land a few while holding onto this current class, things could turn out much better than they look right now.
Next week’s home game against Michigan will surely play a big part. The Spartans need to put on a good showing and prove to in-state prospects that they can still hang with the Wolverines.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.