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Raheem Blackshear took another step forward in his recruitment with an offer from Rutgers on Wednesday, but he still awaits another.
“It feels good,” he told Land of 10 before adding, “I’m kind of waiting for Michigan State.”
The Spartans have been in contact with the 3-star Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood receiver since the end of his senior season. He’s spoken largely with wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel and running backs coach Dave Warner.
Oh, and then there’s that third school. The 5-foot-10 Blackshear remains verbally committed to Temple, the school to which he pledged in July. But since former Owls coach Matt Rhule and much of his staff headed to Baylor in early December, the meaning of that commitment has changed.
“Things opened up, yes,” he said. “Right now, I’m still verbally committed, but I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.”
Since the hiring of former Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins at Temple, Blackshear said he hasn’t gotten to know the new staff very well. He speaks with coaches there on occasion.
Blackshear does have a little bit of that future sorted out, though. He’ll take his official visit to Temple starting Jan. 13, then Michigan State the following weekend and Rutgers after that.
“I’m going to look to see how the coaches are, how they’re close together and how organized they are,” Blackshear said of his visits. “I’m definitely going to look into the (academic) advisers, the studies and stuff like that, too.”
Blackshear said the Spartans see him in an R.J. Shelton-type role: primarily a slot receiver who can be used in jet sweeps and as a return specialist.
He doesn’t have a timetable for his decision, saying that as he takes his visits, he’ll figure out what’s best for him and see if his family feels the same. Michigan State will have a great chance should it offer.
“My impression of it is good,” Blackshear said of MSU. “I think I’d be a good fit for the school, and it would be a good fit for me. I’d get a good education and a good football program. I like the school.”
Big weekend for official visits coming up
Look for Michigan State to get as many of its remaining commits on campus as it can over the weekend of Jan. 13.
At least three players with 3-star ratings or better from 247Sports will be on campus that weekend. Four-star TE Matt Dotson said he would take his official visit that weekend. Three-star OG Jordan Reid said the same. And on Tuesday, 3-star DE Donovan Winter told Land of 10 that he would be on campus that weekend, as well.
Winter indicated that the weekend should be a big one for MSU pledges.
“I know a whole bunch of guys are going down and gonna be taking their official on Jan. 13 for sure,” Winter said.
Much of the class still has not taken official visits: Dotson, Reid and Winter; linemen Matt Carrick, Kevin Jarvis and Jacub Panasiuk; QB Rocky Lombardi; WR Cody White; safety Dominique Long; RB Weston Bridges; and LB Darien Clemons.
Four-star RB and Michigan State target Cordarrian Richardson brought up that weekend as a potential visit date as well, which would give the commits a big opportunity to hang out with and try to sway him.
Spartans offer Arizona DT commit
Michigan State’s options for an interior defensive lineman in the 2017 class became slimmer after 4-star in-state target Deron Irving-Bey chose Michigan in mid-December.
The Spartans have since responded by offering a defensive tackle currently committed to former Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez. On Wednesday night, 3-star Arizona DT Austin Faoliu announced an offer.
— Austin Faoliu (@Faoliu_10) December 29, 2016
Michigan State is the fourth team to offer Faoliu since his commitment in September, along with Arizona State, Illinois and Texas-San Antonio. Faoliu attends Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, a traditional power in Southern California.
Faoliu ranks as the No. 83 defensive tackle in the nation, per the 247Sports composite. The Spartans desperately need to add depth at a spot where it has lost a lot, most recently star Malik McDowell to the NFL Draft.