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.
East Lansing, Mich., is the place to be this weekend.
At 8:30 p.m. ET Friday, the doors open on Michigan State Madness, marking the start of MSU men’s basketball season. The following afternoon, Michigan State football kicks off at 3:30 p.m. against Northwestern at Spartan Stadium.
And all weekend long, homecoming festivities will keep the campus hopping. That’s why recruits are visiting in droves.
But before breaking down those who will be in attendance, let’s point out the top prospect who reportedly won’t.
Trent cancels official visit
Five-star guard Gary Trent Jr. will no longer take his official visit to Michigan State this weekend, per Spartan Magazine’s Paul Konyndyk.
Gary Trent not taking official visit to Michigan State this weekend, sources indicated that he could re-schedule for weekend of Oct. 28.
— Paul Konyndyk (@Pkonyndyk) October 14, 2016
Michigan State Madness attendees
Though Trent’s absence slightly diminishes the significance of this weekend for recruiting, plenty of talent will still be on hand.
Brian Bowen, 5-star wing
The La Lumiere (Ind.) senior star’s plans have reportedly changed several times, but the latest from MLive’s Brendan Quinn has Bowen on tap to attend, along with his 4-star teammate, Tyger Campbell.
Bowen, the No. 17 player in the country, has 6-foot-7 length combined with guard skills that make him a nightmare for defenders. He recently cut his list to Michigan State, Arizona, Creighton, N.C. State, Texas and UCLA.
Brandon Johns, 4-star forward
Why wouldn’t he come along? The East Lansing High junior, whose coach confirmed his plans to Land of 10, only has to travel about a mile. His team has made it a tradition to attend.
247Sports reports offers from Michigan State, Alabama and Iowa for Johns. His height (6-7) and potential lead one to wonder why that list isn’t longer. Despite Johns’ proximity to MSU, he has never indicated he is a lock to commit there. The Spartans want him, though.
Xavier Tillman, 4-star forward
The recent Michigan State commit will be on campus Friday, his mother confirmed to Land of 10.
Having Tillman around will be huge for recruiting, as players always want to build camaraderie with future teammates. Spending time with the coaches and players isn’t always enough. It’s important to know the players in your class.
That makes the presence of 5-star MSU commit Jaren Jackson Jr. very important as well, and as Quinn also reported, Jackson will be at the Breslin Center.
Also joining Tillman will be 2018 point guard Duane Washington Jr., Tillman’s teammate at Grand Rapids Christian. Washington has reported offers from Central Michigan, Oakland and Western Michigan, among others.
Talen Horton-Tucker, 2018 guard
The Simeon (Ill.) junior is scheduled to make his second trip this fall from Chicago to East Lansing, having first visited for the football season opener against Furman.
Horton-Tucker is unrated by 247Sports, but he likely won’t be for long, as he is considered one of the top Illinois prospects in his class. At 6-5, he has a combination of strength and skills that drew a comparison to Charles Barkley from one source.
On the gridiron
Of course, there will be some key football visitors as well. That list is headlined by 5-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who shared his plan Thursday.
Peoples-Jones, the No. 1 receiver in the nation, will be accompanied by his Cass Tech (Mich.) teammate, Michigan State offensive line commit Jordan Reid. Reid’s presence will be huge in terms of the importance of showing around Peoples-Jones and introducing him to the right people.
And because of the hullabaloo surrounding Michigan State’s quarterback position, let’s discuss two important visitors this weekend. First is Mentor (Ohio) junior Tadas Tatarunas. The 6-4 pro-style quarterback has yet to receive his first offer, but he told Land of 10 in September that the Spartans have been recruiting him the most aggressively.
Second is Mariano Valenti from in-state Brother Rice, who confirmed to Land of 10 that he will attend. Though just a sophomore and not yet 16 years old, Valenti already has offers from Central Michigan and Toledo.
One of the most important prospects who will be on campus is 3-star 2018 interior lineman Blaine Scott from Sciotoville (Ohio). He comes off a visit to Ohio State last weekend where, fortunately for the Spartans, he did not report an offer. Should the Buckeyes offer him, they would likely have a big advantage.
Here’s hoping this visit goes more smoothly than his last one, when he and his mother hit a deer in East Lansing.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.