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.
Tijaun Mason is blowing up a little later than expected.
The 3-star Trezevant (Tenn.) defensive end had two offers when he made his decision in June: North Carolina State and the school to which he committed, Purdue. A few months later, with his team advancing to the second round of the Tennessee state playoffs, the 6-foot-6, 205-pound senior is hearing from a lot more than those two.
Arkansas, Rutgers and Toledo have stepped in to court the Purdue commit since the Boilermakers fired their coach, Darrell Hazell. N.C. State has continued to pursue him. And Michigan State has jumped into the mix as well.
“They’ve been texting me saying they want me,” Mason told Land of 10, citing recruiting operations coordinator Butler Benton, director of college advancement and performance Curtis Blackwell and coach Mark Dantonio as those who have been in touch.
Mason also shared a graphic he got from Blackwell for his birthday on Oct. 26. The sudden interest has been taken in stride.
— T1_40Cal (@TheMonster_40) October 26, 2016
“I don’t know,” Mason said when asked why the Spartans have shown interest. “I was on campus last year. They didn’t pay me no attention.”
He’ll be back on campus this weekend for a Michigan State official visit. He’ll see the game against Rutgers, the facilities and the campus. But it’s all stuff Mason has seen before, so he’s not expecting any surprises. It will be on the staff to impress him.
Michigan State has offered a lot of defensive ends lately: 3-star recruits Tyree Johnson, Bobby Roundtree and Kofi Wardlow, as well as 4-star recruit Hunter Echols. Mason has picked up the interest but not the offer, and he’s not sweating it.
“They offer everybody besides me,” he said. “I’m the underdog. I’m cool in my doghouse.”
What’s led to this increased interest so late in Mason’s high school career? If you ask him, his play has merited it for a while but is finally getting the accolades.
“I took my anger out on people last year and now people starting to notice,” he said. “I just sit back and chill.”
Evaluating Michigan State’s signing day additions
Michigan State men’s basketball might be without a pair of big men, Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter, because of knee injuries, but it gained a pair for next year on the first day of the early signing period.
Five-star forward Jaren Jackson Jr. signed his national letter of intent Wednesday, and 4-star forward Xavier Tillman followed shortly afterward. The two played together for the Spiece Indy Heat and offer much different playing styles on the floor.
Tom Izzo spoke of Jackson’s ability to play the three, four and five spots because of his length and versatility. At 6-foot-11, he can defend in the post and block shots with ease while also handling and shooting the ball out on the perimeter.
Tillman, on the other hand, has the strength to body up just about anyone. He’s gotten considerably more mobile over the past year, and he’ll likely lose more weight before he gets to Michigan State. The 6-foot-8 post presence has a soft touch around the rim and a knack for getting in the right spots to score.
This could be a duo that provides an inside-out game to rival any other in the country. Tillman can bully people, while Jackson is an extreme mismatch out on the perimeter.
Spartans’ lone RB commit to undergo MRI
Michigan State running back commit Weston Bridges will be getting some important news.
Bridges suffered a knee injury Friday in a playoff loss for his Copley (Ohio) team, just a day before celebrating his birthday. He told 247Sports’ Sean Scherer that he will undergo an MRI on Thursday to assess the extent of the injury.
At this point, the Spartans do not have any other running back commits. Bridges is used to carrying a heavy load. He rushed for 1,651 yards and 29 touchdowns this season.
Brother Rice WR/DB to visit MSU
Add Dwayne Thompson to the visitor list.
The Brother Rice (Mich.) junior tweeted Wednesday that he plans to visit Michigan State for the game Saturday against Rutgers. He previously visited Michigan State in February and has been to Michigan as well.
Looking forward to the visit in East Lansing ✅
— DTII (@DwayneT_182) November 9, 2016
Thompson does not yet hold any offers but has picked up considerable interest from MAC schools.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.