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. Any recruiting questions? Comment below or direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to get them answered.
Don’t get your hopes too high over the re-emergence of Tyree Johnson.
The Michigan State staff may have stayed in consistent contact since offering the St. John’s College High (Washington, D.C.) 3-star defensive end, but advancements in his MSU recruitment had gone largely unnoticed.
Johnson did not respond to multiple interview requests about the Spartans’ interest. After all, he has been committed to Texas A&M since August. Michigan State, in desperate need of more defensive linemen, offered in October.
On Friday, Johnson finally addressed his recruitment in depth at the Under Armour All-American Game media day. SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk was there to catch it all.
Johnson has filled all three January weekends during which he can take official visits. He’ll be at Michigan State from Jan. 13-15, Texas A&M from Jan. 20-22 and Auburn from Jan. 27-28.
“I want to see where everything stands one last time,” Johnson said Monday.
Does Michigan State stand a chance? Not likely. Johnson will take visits because he wants to make sure he can fairly evaluate all his options. But when it comes to his final decision, he said he’s “99.9 percent” committed to Texas A&M.
What about Becton?
Yes, another lineman has publicly put Michigan State on the radar late in his recruitment as well.
Highland Springs (Va.) 3-star offensive tackle Mekhi Becton shared a top five Sunday that included Michigan State along with Louisville, Michigan, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Becton did not visit Michigan State during the season and had not shown much outward interest since including the Spartans in his top 10 in August. What should be made of this? Probably not a lot more than that MSU continues to recruit him.
Michigan has already gotten an official visit from Becton. As for what he’ll do with three potential January weekends, he said he’s not sure. He’s still trying to decide which schools he wants to officially visit.
Michigan State might derive an advantage from Becton’s familiarity with Virginia, where he’s visited several times. That might lead him to opt for a visit to MSU, which he doesn’t know as well.
Becton told Land of 10 he might wait until signing day on Feb. 1 to announce his decision. That leaves Michigan State time to make a late push, but the Spartans have a lot of ground to cover.
On Bowen’s decision delay
Hey, wasn’t Brian Bowen supposed to make a decision by Thursday?
Well, the 5-star La Lumiere (Ind.) wing did make a casual statement two weeks before on ESPN2 that he would look to come to a decision within the following two weeks. Don’t hold your breath, though.
Latest on La Lumiere (IN) uncommitted five-star Brian Bowen: Expect no announcement this week. Possibly January, if not February right now.
— Chip Miller (@BLUEChip_Miller) December 27, 2016
What does this mean for Michigan State? On one side of things, it gives the Spartans a chance to potentially get Bowen, a Michigan native, back on campus yet again. He’s visited MSU far more than any other school.
Alternatively, with Michigan State serving as a longtime apparent favorite, this delay could be telling about his decision process. Maybe his other options in Arizona, Creighton and Texas have given him much more to think about than he expected.
Or — and this is very possible in today’s recruiting climate — he could just be taking his time to devise a creative way to announce his decision. In that case, we’re all winners. Who doesn’t love a good commitment video?
Regardless, the wait has to be stressful for Michigan State fans. A lot will be riding on Bowen’s decision, especially considering that the Spartans might lose freshman standout Miles Bridges to the NBA draft after the season.
In focus: Michigan State commitment highlights
These can’t be quite as extensive for basketball as with football. Far fewer hoops commits exist, for starters, and those who do don’t readily post their highlights like football prospects.
So this week, we’ll focus on one player: Bowen’s teammate, 5-star forward Jaren Jackson Jr. He had a standout performance in three games at the Chick-Fil-A Classic in South Carolina, where top-ranked La Lumiere finished 3-0.
1. You’ll likely see a lot more of this going forward. Jackson has the handles to go coast-to-coast and more than enough height (6-foot-10) to finish above the rim. You won’t see many players his size pulling off moves like this.
— Jordan Divens (@HSHoopsElite) December 22, 2016
2. Jackson has gobbled up rebounds so far this high school season. Here, he stays patient as defenders leave their feet and rises for a jam once they’re on their way down.
Jaren Jackson Jr. with the great put back dunk! pic.twitter.com/sdcjqD40ZD
— The Saber (@RNESaber) December 22, 2016
3. Now, I’m NOT saying Jackson has anything on Kevin Durant, but when you see a guy this size crossing someone up beyond the arc and finishing at the rim, doesn’t it look a little Durant-esque?
#2 La Lumiere (IN) leads Hamilton Heights (TN) 52-37 w/ 8 minutes left and Jaren Jackson Jr is doing his thing out there! pic.twitter.com/SSMPfXBw84
— Jordan Divens (@HSHoopsElite) December 23, 2016