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Michigan State must finish out the final month of the current football recruiting cycle strong if it hopes to avenge a 3-9 season.
On that journey, several targets have emerged as very likely candidates to fill the 4-7 spots remaining on the Spartans’ wish list. So, what did they have to say about MSU before they get up on campus?
Speedy athlete gets offer he craved
Raheem Blackshear didn’t expect an offer Friday night.
So when he got a call from Mark Dantonio that evening, he expected Michigan State’s head coach just wanted to introduce himself. The Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood wide receiver — a 3-star prospect according to 247Sports — got much more than that in his first chat with Dantonio.
“He told me how impressive my senior highlight tape was, how every coach loved me, stuff like that,” Blackshear told Land of 10. “He just told me, ‘I’m going to offer you a scholarship.’ Everything he heard was good, (that) I’m a good kid and all that, so he offered me a scholarship.”
The offer is a timely one. Over the next three weekends, Blackshear will officially visit Temple (to which he is committed) on Jan. 13, Michigan State on Jan. 20 and Rutgers on Jan. 27. The Spartans became the last of the three programs to offer.
“I was very excited,” Blackshear said of his reaction. “(Dantonio) told me he can’t wait to get me down there.”
When Blackshear travels to East Lansing, it will be his first time on campus. He’ll have the chance to meet Dantonio, assistant coaches Dave Warner and Terrence Samuel (who have recruited him), Michigan State players and offensive line commit Matt Carrick, who will also be visiting that weekend.
And although he’s committed to Temple, that experience won’t be all too different. He hasn’t met the staff in person since the Owls hired head coach Geoff Collins last month.
“I just want to see what kind of people they are to be around if I go to that school for the next 4-5 years,” Blackshear said of his visits.
Now he’s got all the offers he’s looking for, and says no one program has an edge. “Everyone’s still even,” he explained.
Blackshear does not know when or to where he will commit. He said it all depends on the feelings he gets on each visit and the opinions of his family. He said quite assuredly, however, that he could see himself coming to a decision while on a campus.
“If I feel like the visit is right for me,” he said, “I will commit at the visit.”
But before that …
Another late offer will be visiting Michigan State one weekend before Blackshear, on Jan. 13. And there might be an even higher chance that he commits to the Spartans.
Two-star Roswell (Ga.) defensive end Koby Cumberlander, as has been widely documented, cried when he picked up an offer from the Spartans on Dec. 18.
But did you know that the emotions spilled over to his uncle, Kevin Willis, a Michigan State alumnus who put together one of the longest careers in NBA history?
“He bleeds green and white,” Cumberlander told Land of 10 about Willis. “He actually cried when he heard about me getting the offer because he always believed that I would play there.”
Cumberlander already knows 3-star Michigan State athlete commit Connor Heyward, as Roswell knocked off Heyward’s Peachtree Ridge squad 29-12 in the Atlanta state playoffs this year.
Now, he’s getting to know the rest of the commits as well before he gets up on campus for his Jan. 13 visit. There, he’ll be able to spend time with about half of the current class.
“I’ve talked to them in a group chat,” Cumberlander said. “They are cool people. I can’t wait to actually meet them in person once I get up to the school.”