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.
As soon as the recruiting dead period ended on Sept. 1, Christian Turner started hearing from Michigan State.
The 3-star Buford (Ga.) junior running back was contacted by Javon Ringer, a former MSU running back who rushed for more than 4,000 yards in his career. Ringer is now a recruiting intern for the Spartans.
Turner, in turn, planned to get up to East Lansing for a game as soon as he had the chance. He knew which one he wanted to see: Michigan vs. Michigan State.
“That was the game that I really wanted to come for because it was a big rivalry game,” Turner told Land of 10. “I probably planned it a month or two before the visit actually started.”
Michigan State this weekend ?? #GoGreen
— Christian Turner (@_ChrisTurner28) October 25, 2016
Turner couldn’t make the trip up until Saturday morning. He was busy helping Buford to a 35-10 win the night before, snapping Boganville’s six-game winning streak. He rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
But once he got to East Lansing, he made the face-to-face connections he’d hoped to. He spoke with Ringer, and then with running backs coach Dave Warner.
“They said they liked my film, my physicality,” Turner said. “They were talking about some plays in my highlights.”
They discussed with Turner what Michigan State looks for in a running back and about their intentions of getting to know him better as a person.
And the atmosphere? Although the Spartans lost 32-23, Spartan Stadium gave Turner what he wanted to see.
“To me, I like that the crowd was in it the whole game,” he said. “You see some games when a team is losing towards the fourth quarter and everybody starts leaving. You see the stadium getting empty. But everybody was there from beginning to end, just supporting their team. I thought that was a great experience.”
Throughout the game, he got to sit with linebacker commit Darien Clemons, where they discussed Clemons’ reasons for choosing Michigan State. The Piqua (Ohio) senior told Turner about how they stood by him after his ACL injury, and he mentioned how he loved the campus as well.
So Turner went and explored campus. He wasn’t up against the clock. He hung out with his two cousins who attend Michigan State before heading over to Rochester to stay the night with his uncle.
Turner has yet to receive an offer, but the explanation was clear: The coaches want to get to know him better first. So he’ll keep in contact, building that relationship until the offer comes.
“I think that’s great,” he said. “Other coaches from other teams, they just throw out offers, but I think it’s nice that they actually like to get to know the player and have a bond with them before just having an offer. It shows that they really want you on the team if they want to get to know you that much.”
Turner already holds offers from Louisville, Miami, N.C. State and Vanderbilt. He’ll visit N.C. State on Saturday for its game against Florida State, which will likely be his last this season.
With potential destinations in mind, he shared what he wants in a school.
“(I’m looking for) a great program, coaches that I can connect with, a family-type feel kind of like I have at my high school right now,” Turner said, “just a place where I’ll feel like it’s home because I’ll be so far away.”
Tennessee commit talks Michigan State
It’s looking like the Spartans will have a good shot to add to their class of 2017 linebacking corps.
Three-star Tennessee commit Jaquan Henderson, who took an official visit to Michigan State over the weekend, spoke with The Spartan Beat’s Rico Beard on Thursday. He told Beard that the Vols and Spartans are “neck-to-neck.”
“I feel like they’re even,” he said, “and it’s going to come down to finding me to decide which school I will attend.”
Right now, the Spartans have one commitment at linebacker commitment. It comes from Darien Clemons. But they are trying to add to that, having recently offered 3-star prospects Zane Zandier and Thomas Johnston.
2017 class snapshot
Every Friday leading up to National Signing Day, we’ll give you an update on where Michigan State’s 2017 class stands and any changes in the last week.
Where Michigan State ranks
Michigan State’s 2017 class is currently No. 28 in the nation and No. 7 in the Big Ten, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Kevin Jarvis: 4-star guard from Park Ridge, Ill.; No. 15 OG in 2017
Matt Dotson: 4-star tight end from Cincinnati; No. 9 TE in 2017
Hunter Rison: 4-star wide receiver from Ann Arbor, Mich.; No. 45 receiver in 2017
Breakdown by position
Running backs: 1
Tight end: 2
Offensive line: 4
Defensive line: 3
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.