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.
Hunter Echols had wanted a Michigan State offer for quite some time.
He watched three-time first team All-Big Ten defensive end Shilique Calhoun, who racked up 26 sacks over his last three seasons with Michigan State. Calhoun is now with the Oakland Raiders, and Echols, a 4-star DE, likes his potential of filling that spot.
“That really made me know I can see myself playing there at Michigan State, just being in that position right there — not wearing No. 89, though,” Echols told Land of 10. “Probably wearing No. 9 or something swaggy.”
Then when he went on a visit to Michigan over the summer, the 6-foot-3 1/2, 231-pound Cathedral (Calif.) High senior was a little surprised to see so much green in what was supposed to be maize and blue territory. He knew then he wanted to get to East Lansing to see what the fan base is like there.
He’s one step closer. On his 17th birthday, Nov. 1, he heard from defensive line coach Ron Burton, who presented him with an offer. Echols might be committed to USC and formerly committed to UCLA, but his interest was too high not to get involved.
— HUNTER (@hunter_tyb) November 2, 2016
“I really wanted Michigan State (to offer) a long time ago because I knew how well I could fit into the defense,” he said. “I think I can see myself playing there, playing in a big rivalry game like against Michigan. I would love to play in a big game like that, just so much intensity.”
In fact, Echols made sure to watch when the two teams faced off on Oct. 29. Another sack-less performance from the Michigan State defense showed part of what makes the Spartans an appealing landing spot.
“I can see how Michigan State really needs some help with some pass rushers to get after the quarterback,” he said. “That really sparks my interest when he tells me I can come in and play early, because they need pass rushers, they need somebody who can just go get after the quarterback. What’s really going to make my decision is me just going up there for a visit.”
And though nothing has been finalized, Echols plans to make the trip from Los Angeles to East Lansing for the weekend of Michigan State’s Nov. 19 game against Ohio State. It will “for sure” be an official visit — according to him, his first.
Whatever he saw while visiting Michigan, he hopes it’s taken up a notch that weekend.
“I just want to see how crazy the fan base is,” Echols said, “because if I see all this green in Ann Arbor, just imagine when I go out there and see all that green and all those fans.”
He’ll also get a chance to build his relationship with Burton. They’ve already bonded over the California connection, as Burton played his final NFL season for the Los Angeles Raiders in 1990.
Echols is also looking at taking potential visits to Arizona State, Miami and Oregon State, but nothing has been planned. He intends to visit USC last, at which point he’ll know where the others stand.
“(I’m) just exploring to see if other places fit me just as good as USC,” he said, “and then going from there.”
Indiana sophomores to visit for Rutgers game
— Addison Batton (@Abatt65) November 8, 2016
Both are offensive guards for Avon. Bowles stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 290 pounds, while Batton is 6-3 and 280. Neither has picked up any offers, but both have been hearing from multiple coaches around the Big Ten.
“I’m sure it will be great,” Bowles told Land of 10 about the upcoming visit.
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.
- Maine South (Ill.) offensive guard Kevin Jarvis led an offensive line that paved the way for 240 rushing yards on 48 plays in a 42-27 playoff win over Barrington.
- Walled Lake (Mich.) Western wide receiver Cody White did it all, with four catches for 53 yards, a rushing touchdown and an interception. His Warriors took down Pinckney to advance.
- West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley quarterback Rocky Lombardi completed 16 of 29 passes for 85 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Valley’s season ended in a 14-10 upset at the hands of Ankeny Centennial.
- Copley (Ohio) running back Weston Bridges posted 28 rushing and 83 receiving yards before an injury knocked him out of the game. Copley’s season ended with a 29-25 loss.
- IMG Academy (Fla.) defensive end (and future tight end) Jack Camper had two tackles and a fumble recovery in a 43-0 win over Chaminade-Madonna.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.