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 through our daily notebook. Any recruiting questions? Comment below or direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to get them answered.
Are you strapped in?
We’re one week away from the last live recruiting period for the 2017 class. From Jan. 13 until National Signing Day on Feb. 1, college coaches will endure sleepless nights spent attracting top talent, while recruits will take their final visits in hopes of finding that feeling of home away from home.
Sure, uncommitted prospects will determine this class, but Michigan State first needs to make sure it locks in its current commits. Three (Jack Camper, Hunter Rison and Josiah Scott) have enrolled. Three more (Connor Heyward, Lashawn Paulino-Bell and Mustafa Khaleefah) have taken their official visits as well.
That leaves 11 more who will take their visits in January, and the majority will do so Jan. 13-15. Why is that important? Because the Spartans will be hosting top targets like 4-star running back Cordarrian Richardson and 4-star wide receiver Oliver Martin, and having the commits there serves as a valuable recruiting tool.
So far, Land of 10 has confirmed Jan. 13 visit plans with seven commits: Darien Clemons, Matt Dotson, Kevin Jarvis, Rocky Lombardi, Jordan Reid, Cody White and Donovan Winter.
While multiple sources told Land of 10 that they expected all remaining commits who have not officially visited Michigan State to do so next weekend, plans have changed — as they often do. Offensive lineman Matt Carrick said his visit was pushed back to Jan. 20-22 because of a wrestling tournament.
Running back Weston Bridges, safety Dominique Long and defensive lineman Jacub Panasiuk remain, and a tweet from Scott saying “see you next week” indicated indicated that Bridges will arrive on campus Jan. 13 as well.
— Josiah Scott (@JosiahScott7) January 5, 2017
Michigan State has missed on a lot of top targets and may continue to do so in the wake of a 3-9 season. But if it keeps its current commitments solid, that’s a big win in recruiting.
DT target’s offer list swells
Michigan State won’t just be battling Arizona for 3-star Wildcats defensive tackle commit Austin Faoliu.
Since the Spartans offered the Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) senior on Dec. 28, Faoliu has since picked up offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Texas, TCU and Virginia. The latest came from the Longhorns on Friday.
— Austin Faoliu (@Faoliu_10) January 6, 2017
Faoliu said he’s been familiar with Michigan State for many years and told Land of 10 he plans to visit. However, he had not set a date as of last week, and now there certainly will be a lot of teams vying to get him on campus this month.
Echols essentially closes recruitment
If there was any doubt, Hunter Echols eliminated it. He will sign with the USC Trojans.
— HUNTER (@hunter_tyb) January 6, 2017
The 4-star Cathedral (Los Angeles) defensive end has been committed to USC since August, but after receiving a Michigan State offer in November, he spoke glowingly about the Spartans to Land of 10.
He had planned to visit MSU for its Nov. 19 game against Ohio State but ultimately cancelled. Now, it does not look like he’ll be making the trip to East Lansing.
Defensive end targets like Koby Cumberlander, Victor Dimukeje and Bobby Roundtree remain strong possibilities.
Speaking of Cumberlander…
The Roswell (Ga.) defensive end, who called Michigan State his “dream school” when he picked up an offer in December, spoke about it with The Spartan Beat’s Rico Beard.
“I literally cried,” he told Beard. “It was pure tears of joy. I’ve been a Michigan State fan since I was 7 years old.”
Cumberlander said his parents have held a high opinion of the Spartans since his uncle, Kevin Willis, played basketball there. Willis would go on to play one of the longest careers in NBA history from 1984-2007.
Cumberlander has since picked up an offer from Virginia Tech as well, but it will be tough to beat his dream school.