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.
It took about 10 minutes for El-Julian Jordan to pick up his first offer.
Northwood (Mich.) University came to watch the Central High (Detroit) class of 2018 quarterback work out in June, and coach Leonard Haynes was quick to stop the workout and tell Jordan he wanted him. Jordan and Matt Riddle, his personal trainer, think his potential is much higher than Division II, though.
“He has an NFL arm talent right now, and I mean that in every sense of the way,” Riddle told Land of 10. “He has legit NFL arm talent. I don’t want to mince any words.”
Now some FBS eyes are on him, too, including those of the Michigan State coaching staff.
Riddle said Jordan is “kind of like a machine” and compared him to Peyton Manning. Jordan prefers to look to guys like Cam Newton and Jameis Winston as role models on the field.
It’s high praise, and Riddle admits he may be biased. Just look at this 82-yard throw from Jordan posted earlier this month.
As highly as Riddle thinks of his prodigy, why hasn’t Jordan picked up any bigger offers? The answer involves a lot of things out of his control.
He grew up in the “King Zone,” a rough Detroit neighborhood near Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School. Living with a single mother, Jordan didn’t have the resources to attend camps and combines where players get noticed. Northwood remains the only school to have seen him work out in person.
Jordan met Riddle this spring and decided to transfer to Detroit Central. Working with Riddle over the summer, he’s grown into a much more polished player.
“Now, he’s a product that we can get out there,” Riddle said.
Having known Michigan State director of college advancement and performance Curtis Blackwell since third grade, Jordan has long been hearing from Michigan State. He estimates he’s taken about 15 visits, the latest coming Saturday against Wisconsin.
“I was always a Michigan State fan,” Jordan told Land of 10. “I like the school. It’s a good school. I’ve been liking Michigan State since I was little.”
Now he’s hearing from Blackwell, co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner, quarterbacks coach Brad Salem and receivers coach Terrence Samuel. And that’s just from Michigan State. Arizona has an area recruiter who has inquired, and Wake Forest has shown interest as well.
Jordan, who has a 3.3 GPA, has been working to boost that to a 3.5 and potentially a 3.8, while looking for a 25 on his ACT. That would allow more schools to be able to offer him.
A rough childhood has made it difficult for Jordan to break into the recruiting scene, but Riddle believes he’ll be a late bloomer in a big way.
“He’s a great kid,” Riddle said. “He’s extremely intelligent. He kind of gets profiled a little bit. A lot of people think he’s a dual threat, but he’s really more along the lines of a pocket passer.”
Other quarterbacks on the radar
The search for a class of 2018 quarterback has been in full swing. Kevin Doyle, a 3-star from Malvern Prep (Pa.), visited for the Wisconsin game last weekend and told Land of 10, “How could I not like Michigan State?” The Spartans appear to be in great position with him.
At Michigan State’s Oct. 8 game against BYU, 3-star in-state QB Theo Day from Divine Child High in Dearborn will be in attendance, per 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. Day holds offers from Central Michigan, Kentucky and Toledo. A week later vs. Northwestern, Tadas Tatarunas of Mentor (Ohio) will be at Spartan Stadium, he told Land of 10. Michigan State has pursued Tatarunas the hardest of any school to this point.
MSU could also jump into the mix for another pro-style quarterback, 4-star Artur Sitkowski. The Old Bridge (N.J.) junior told 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow that offers from Michigan State and Florida State would “shake things up,” citing Michigan State’s ability to develop players.
Sitkowski is the most highly touted of the quarterbacks mentioned, while only Doyle has been offered. In the past, Michigan State has done well to zero in on quarterbacks it knows will fit its system, regardless of star rating, and developed them into stars. The staff seems to have found that crop in this class.
Wade-Perry: Michigan State off the table
Most likely. But Florida State showed up on 3-star defensive tackle Dalyn Wade-Perry’s top six after missing out on his top eight, so who knows?
Michigan State, after making it onto Wade-Perry’s June list, was cut from contention in his latest grouping, released Tuesday. Florida State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Stanford and UCLA are still in the running for the senior from Pope John XXIII High in New Jersey.
NEW TOP 6 ALERT ? pic.twitter.com/tDwtopm0z3
— DWP☁️ (@DalynWP) September 27, 2016
The Spartans have defensive line commitments from Jacub Panasiuk, Lashawn Paulino-Bell and Donovan Winter. All three are likely to play on the outside. With Wade-Perry off the table, their top target appears to be another defensive end: Deron Irving-Bey. The Flint Southwestern (Mich.) stud has long liked Michigan State, but Michigan is making a push.
Land of 10 will visit Irving-Bey on Friday to get a gauge of his recruitment.
Michigan State targets, Michigan visitors
A couple of offensive linemen that Michigan State offered in 2015 will visit Michigan this weekend.
Jedrick Wills, a 6-foot-5, 318-pound 4-star tackle from Lexington (Ky.) Lafayette, will make Ann Arbor his first official visit. Alabama, Notre Dame and hometown team Kentucky stay high on his list, as well.
— Jedrick Wills II® (@JWills73) September 26, 2016
Michigan State made his top 10 list, but he looks like a tough get. Interest in Wills has blown up; he has about any offer wants. Cesar Ruiz, a 4-star IMG Academy (Fla.) senior and the top center in the nation, is in a similar spot and will visit Michigan as well this weekend.
— S A U C Y ™ (@_OverCees) September 28, 2016
Ruiz has a teammate in TE Jack Camper who is committed to Michigan State, and another in WR KJ Hamler who is seriously considering the Spartans. But Ruiz has been trending toward the Wolverines and would be an unlikely grab for MSU.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.