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.
Basketball recruits, your month of privacy is over.
The NCAA-sanctioned “quiet period” wrapped up at midnight on Sept. 9, and coaches wasted no time getting out on the road, either watching players work out or meeting them and their families in-home.
Mark Gottfried, Greg McDermott, Mike Brey, Matt Painter, Mark Turgeon, John Beilein & MSU's staff minus Izzo will be at La Lumiere today.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) September 9, 2016
Evan Daniels of Scout reported that Michigan State’s assistants would be visiting La Lumiere School (Ind.) on the first day they could. They were undoubtedly checking out Brian Bowen, a 5-star small wing and the No. 17 player in the 2017 class.
Michigan, also in contention for Bowen, was represented by head coach John Beilein, per Daniels. Bowen originally hails from Saginaw, Mich., so it makes sense that the state’s two biggest programs are after him.
Twenty of the nation’s top 25 players in the class remain uncommitted, making the next few months a crucial time for the top programs that are pursuing them. This is when Michigan State, still without a 2017 commit, makes its presence felt.
Xavier Tillman, a 4-star forward from Grand Rapids Christian (Mich.), could be the one who lifts the lid off. Tanya Powell-May has been serving double duty as his mother and hype woman, counting down the days until Tillman announces his decision on Sept. 30.
— Tanya Powell-May (@tanyabball) September 9, 2016
Michigan State is getting in all the time it can with Tillman before that day comes. Head coach Tom Izzo and his staff came to see him on Sunday, sandwiched between visits from Marquette and Purdue. Tillman will decide among those three schools.
The 6-foot-8 big man takes his official visit this weekend. He won’t have the hype of a football game to look forward to, but the coaches will surely pull out all the stops.
It will be hard to bet against the Spartans in this race, given Izzo’s history of reeling in local stars. But Marquette’s Steve Wojciechowski has done a marvelous job recruiting early in his tenure, and Purdue’s Matt Painter knows how to bring in big man talent. Just look at Caleb Swanigan, who decommitted from Michigan State and chose the Boilermakers instead.
A Paul Bunyan conundrum
The Twitter profile of 4-star defensive lineman Deron Irving-Bey starts by saying, “If i become a monster, it’s all y’all fault.”
He’s approaching that level in the state of Michigan. The 6-foot-5 Southwestern Commencement Academy (Mich.) star is looking like a beast on the field, as evidenced by his invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and his profile with Michigan and Michigan State is growing as well.
Initially considered a Spartans lean, writes Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, Irving-Bey now finds himself split between the two following a visit to Ann Arbor.
“I don’t know who to choose right now,” he told Wiltfong.
A commitment from Irving-Bey would prove massive for the Spartans defensive line. He has the ability to be a force all along it and might not be limited to the end spot.
Right Square in the middle of things
Irving-Bey wasn’t the only Spartans target who left a recent Michigan visit with much to consider. DeAndre Square, a 4-star safety from Cass Tech (Mich.), told Landof10.com’s Brandon Justice the game against Central Florida was great.
“Michigan State still leads — for now,” he told Justice. Pretty ominous for a recruitment update, but this isn’t an M. Night Shyamalan script.
The process is approaching a crucial point for Square, a 2018 prospect. On Monday, LSU and Arizona followed up Michigan State in offering him. Michigan has not yet offered, and neither has Penn State, which Square has called his “dream school,” per Sean Fitz of 247Sports. Now’s his chance to catch the attention of these schools.
It’s safe to say things are going to be shaken up as the season continues for Square. Sure, Michigan State will have a good shot with him, as evidenced by his saying they lead, but it’s probably too early to put much stock in favorites.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.