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.
Second first day of school this year? Check.
With the football season done, 3-star tight end Matt Harmon made the move he’d been thinking about, transferring just over 35 miles from Oscar A. Carlson (Mich.) High School to Ypsilanti High.
He’d been living with his mother south of Detroit and wanted to head northwest to spend more time with his father before he heads off to college. Incidentally, the move puts the 6-foot-5 junior even closer to Michigan State, one of the schools that has been recruiting him the hardest.
Harmon and his now former Carlson teammate, 3-star athlete Jaylan Franklin, both started picking up interest from the Spartans as sophomores and have seen their visit numbers move into double digits. Harmon was back in East Lansing on Saturday for MSU’s game against Michigan.
“It was like every other visit,” Harmon told Land of 10, “but this one, it felt like the atmosphere was nice that day just because it was going up against Michigan.”
Harmon has built a strong relationship with what he calls an “amazing” coaching staff, particularly director of college advancement and performance Curtis Blackwell and running backs coach Dave Warner.
And he’s got a current player in his ear, too. Michigan State senior offensive lineman Kodi Kieler graduated from Carlson in 2012 and has been in contact with Harmon, letting him know what MSU has to offer.
“He just says it’s a good place,” Harmon said. “We talk about the year. It’s slow, but they still go out and fight every game.”
Harmon hears from Michigan State that he would fit in well as a tight end because of his tremendous size combined with his speed and hands. He’s working on bringing in an offer, which he knows won’t come easy.
“They usually just say it takes time,” he said of the staff. “They want to make sure the students are doing what they’re doing altogether, like classroom stuff. I’ve just been waiting patiently, keep working.”
Wherever he goes, Harmon has several criteria that need to be met: supportive coaching staff, winning history, support for the future and, of course, it has to meet his academic standards. Already more prepared than a lot of prospective college athletes, he knows he wants to major in sports medicine and minor in communications.
So while he’d love to play alongside Franklin, they haven’t discussed it extensively, as academics take precedence. If different places offer better fits, to different places they’ll go.
“We’re just looking for what kind of colleges are supporting our intended majors for each other,” Harmon said. “We’ve thought about it. It’d be nice to play together, but we haven’t really sat down and talked about it.”
But if that Michigan State offer comes, who knows? It’s Franklin’s favorite, and Harmon will visit yet again for the Rutgers game, right before he heads to both Cincinnati and Kentucky the weekend after.
“It would be big,” Harmon said of a Spartans offer. “It would be really big.”
Trent to announce decision Thursday
As usual, an attempt to reach Gary Trent Jr. went unanswered.
But an ESPN press release shared that the 5-star guard will make his commitment known Thursday on an ESPNU segment set to air at 6 p.m. EST.
Trent, ranked the No. 11 prospect in the 2017 class and the No. 2 off-guard, completed the last of his three official visits when he made a trip to Michigan State from Oct. 28-30. He recapped the visit in a blog post for USA Today High School Sports.
The early signing period for national letters of intent starts Wednesday and wraps up the following Wednesday, Nov. 16. Questions regarding whether Trent will sign or just verbally commit did not receive a response.
Trent will decide among Michigan State, Duke and UCLA. Duke has long been considered the favorite because it offers him the chance to play alongside one of his best friends, 5-star forward Wendell Carter. However, Michigan State appears to have gained ground because of the impression left when Trent watched the Spartans practice on his visit.
I would anticipate this decision to come down to Duke or Michigan State.
In focus: Michigan State commitment highlights
You don’t have to be done with 2016 to look forward to 2017. Check out some highlights from these senior Spartans commits.
Not too many are still playing, but you can still see a few in playoff action. And their best highlights come from the side of the ball you won’t likely see them on in East Lansing.
1. It sure looks like 4-star Maine South (Ill.) offensive lineman Kevin Jarvis used a lineman to tackle a running back.
2. Walled Lake (Mich.) Western wide receiver Cody White had his obligatory touchdown, but he also took one away from an opponent.
3. You’ll have to wait a year longer to see 4-star Pickerington (Ohio) Central junior Xavier Henderson, but the defensive back commit found himself wide open for a 73-yard touchdown grab here.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.