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.
DeAndre Square felt pretty satisfied after his Cass Tech (Mich.) squad took down Martin Luther King Jr. High 41-20 in Friday’s Detroit Public School League championship game.
“It feels good,” the 4-star junior linebacker told Land of 10 at Ford Field. “Back to back, like how it’s supposed to be.”
The Technicians also beat King 31-18 on Oct. 1, thus avenging a pair of losses to the Crusaders in 2015. Cass Tech (9-0) is a favorite to take the state championship.
And Michigan State offensive line commit Jordan Reid hopes the Spartans are a favorite to land Square, his teammate. Reid spoke to Land of 10 earlier this month about actively recruiting Square, and Square shared his side of things Friday.
“He’s basically just saying it’s a good school,” Square said. “Don’t let all these other schools get in your head. Focus on what’s really important.”
Square said he doesn’t have any favorites, but Michigan State and Wisconsin are among those recruiting him the hardest. He recently visited Wisconsin for its game against Ohio State and left impressed by the atmosphere.
He had hoped to see the same at Michigan State for its game against Michigan on Saturday, but Cass Tech’s playoff opener against Dearborn Fordson is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST on Saturday. Michigan State kicks off at noon.
The Spartans’ recent struggles have not gone unnoticed by Square, whom MSU is recruiting to play strong-side linebacker. But his interest is undeterred.
“They’re saying I could be a part of a great class, something special,” Square said. “To me, I see them as being in a rebuilding stage. They lost key players last year. They still have a couple key players to go. It’s not worrying me at all.”
Square just wants to be assured that things are headed in the right direction. Regardless of a program’s current performance, he wants the staff to have clear goals and a path toward achieving them.
Square’s teammate, 4-star sophomore Kalon Gervin, also spoke of heavy interest from Michigan State. Gervin visited on Oct. 8 for the BYU game and spent his time on the field talking with coach Mark Dantonio. Like Square, he has been offered.
“He was talking to me the whole time during pregame — real cool,” Gervin said of Dantonio. “We went out to the middle of the field. I talked to him for a while. He was just cracking jokes and stuff like that.”
Gervin said he would play cornerback at Michigan State. He remembered Dantonio telling him about the defensive back situation: “You can come in and fix it.” Most of their chats have been casual, but Gervin senses that he’s being prioritized.
“They’re recruiting me real hard,” he said.
Right now, West Virginia has the edge with Gervin. He’s visited twice and feels it offers “the whole package,” citing the education and undefeated record.
Ambry Thomas update
On the losing side of things stood King senior cornerback Ambry Thomas on Friday, but he could keep his head high after scoring his team’s three touchdowns.
Of course, talk quickly turned to recruitment for Thomas, a close friend of Cass Tech 5-star WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and 4-star S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, who also happens to be Thomas’ cousin.
Thomas told Land of 10 he has built a good relationship with Dantonio. The other coaches he noted were Florida’s Jim McElwain and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh (who attended Friday’s game).
“It means a lot,” Thomas said of Harbaugh. “A head coach that I know of never came out to see one of my high school games.”
Questions have been posed to Thomas, Kelly-Powell and Peoples-Jones of whether the three plan to choose the same school. Peoples-Jones said decisions will be made individually.
“He’s got to make his best decision for him,” he said of Thomas. “I’ve got to make my best decision for me.”
Kelly-Powell and Thomas have entertained the idea more openly, and Kelly-Powell has often been seen wearing Michigan gloves and socks for games, prompting discussion that the two of them would commit to the Wolverines.
But when asked Friday whether they constitute a package deal, Thomas toned down the idea.
“He’s starting to feel other schools,” he said of Kelly-Powell. “I’m starting to feel other schools. We’re going to talk it over a little more.”
MSU commitment stat tracker
The season’s not going so well for Michigan State. How about for the players who will be coming in next season? Let’s take a look.
- Walled Lake (Mich.) Western receiver Cody White helped his team claim its fourth straight league title with three touchdowns. He scored on grabs of 36, 14 and 12 yards on Friday.
- Archbishop Moeller (Ohio) TE Matt Dotson opened the scoring Friday with a 6-yard touchdown reception, but his squad fell to Lakewood St. Edward in a heartbreaker.
- West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley QB Rocky Lombardi, in his return from injury, completed 4 of 7 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown in a 49-0 rout of Marshalltown.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.