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Emmanuel Flowers has never visited Michigan State and still has plenty to learn.
The Ruben S. Ayala (Chino, Calif.) cornerback starting hearing from the Spartans after his season and picked up an offer on Dec. 14. Since then, he’s gotten to know the program better.
“I’ve heard a lot about them,” the 6-foot-1 Flowers said. “I’ve heard mostly about their DB corps. I know they have a lot of elite DBs, like Justin Layne.”
Like Layne, who was recruited as a wide receiver and saw action at cornerback as a true freshman, Flowers can play both ways. He got his start as a tight end/defensive end, then moved to receiver, then eventually cornerback.
Rated a 2-star recruit by the 247Sports composite (though a 3-star on Rivals and Scout), Flowers’ ability to play on both sides of the ball stands out to Michigan State. It’s a big reason why the Spartans offered, why co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett visited Flowers last Thursday and why they plan to bring Flowers in for an official visit on Friday.
“They love my length,” Flowers said. “They love my aggressiveness. And they know I know how to play man. That’s mostly what they’ve said, and they’re excited to see me. They know I’m versatile and can play both ways.”
Having started playing cornerback as a sophomore, Flowers credits his improvement largely to Rhare Breed Training. There, he said, his technique, hip and knee movement improved dramatically.
Flowers has seen recruiting interest quickly rise. He’ll visit UCLA (which also offered in December) on Jan. 27 and has heard from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Colorado, San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah and Wyoming, among others.
But is he surprised at all this late interest? Not a chance.
“I’ve seen it coming the whole way because I’ve had faith, faith in God,” Flowers said. “He’s been driving me through this whole process, so I already knew blessings were to come.”
Flowers wants to take what he learned from Rhare Breed and pay it forward by starting his own training facility once he’s done playing football. So when he goes on his official visits, he wants to get a taste of the business program.
At Michigan State, he wants to “see how they run things, how their program’s set up” before he makes his decision. And he wants to get a sense that it can help him reach his ultimate goal.
“I want a school that really knows what they’re talking about at my position so I can be transformed so I can play in the NFL,” Flowers said. “That’s my main goal. I’m trying to get to the NFL, so whatever school can take me there — that’s a big decision.”
Michigan State will have a good chance at landing Flowers, who plans to announce his decision on or near National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
For now, until he gets on campus, Flowers stays in touch with Michigan State linebacker commit Darien Clemons as well as Barnett, who continues to share his pitch.
“He’s been telling me that they’re a family, and I know that’s been getting me more interested,” Flowers said of Barnett. “And he’s been telling me that I can go both ways eventually. If I get comfortable playing there as a DB, I can actually play some receiver, too.”
New offer extended
Just because the Michigan State coaches stayed busy over the weekend hosting official visitors it didn’t keep them from working the phones.
On Sunday, 4-star Stockbridge (Ga.) defensive end Brenton Cox announced a Michigan State offer. It added to a list that includes Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Nebraska and Tennessee.
— Brenton™ (@Brenton_cox) January 15, 2017
Michigan State has been active recruiting in Stockbridge, a southern suburb of Atlanta. The Spartans hosted 3-star cornerback Yusuf Corker, now committed to Kentucky, on an official visit and have pursued 3-star Virginia Tech running back commit Jalen Holston. Both live in Stockbridge.
Speaking of 2018 defensive ends, Michigan State got good news regarding 4-star target Dorian Hardy, who included MSU in his top 12.
— Dorian Hardy (@dtheillest1) January 13, 2017
Hardy included some difficult programs to top, including College Football Playoff competitors Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State.
Basketball commitment stat tracker
Five-star Michigan State commit Jaren Jackson Jr., who was named a McDonald’s All-American on Sunday night, did not play last week as La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) gears up for the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
But the Spartans’ other three commits hit the floor multiple times. Here’s how they performed.
- 2017 Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian big man Xavier Tillman helped his Eagles remain undefeated with back-to-back double-doubles. He posted 13 points and 10 rebounds in a 71-49 win over Wayland Union on Tuesday, then 16 and 11 in a 71-35 destruction of South Christian on Friday. GRC has won its six games by an average of 27.3 points.
- 2017 Macomb (Mich.) Dakota forward Thomas Kithier looks to be back at full health after a minor knee injury. He put up 20 points and 10 rebounds Friday in a 79-37 win over Utica Eisenhower, then 27 and 6 while helping Dakota beat Flint Beecher the next day.
- 2017 Clarkston (Mich.) point guard Foster Loyer can’t stop scoring. He dropped 20 points Thursday against Hazel Park and another 28 Friday at Western International. He led Clarkston to wins in both games as the Wolves remain undefeated on the year.