Hey, football (actual football - I'll be dead in the cold ground before I call soccer football) news! Paul Lang, a tight end from Pittsburgh, committed to Michigan State becoming recruit #6 for the 2011 Michigan State football recruiting class. Here's how the recruiting services rank him:
ESPN: Grade of 68, 2*
Before you go OMG 2*, keep in mind that he's unranked on Rivals and ESPN has him rated as a defensive end, so those rankings can and will be reevaluated. Rivals has him at 6'5" and 230 lbs. He runs a 4.8 40, benches 300 lbs. and has a vertical jump of 31 inches - all pretty impressive for a big dude. He plays basketball as well; he said it was his first love in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in March:
"Some schools like me as a tight end, but some schools still aren't sure," Lang said. "Right now, I'm keeping all my options open. Obivously, I'm getting looked at more for football, but I love basketball. We'll see what happens."
He did pretty well for himself in the gym, as he was the second-leading scorer for Mt. Lebanon, which was ranked 23rd in the nation at one point by USA Today. This was in Lang's second year as a captain, which means he was voted a captain as a sophomore. Sound familiar? This does sound sudden, but he became enamored with MSU during camp last week, as he told Matt Dorsey in the Detroit Free Press:
Pittsburgh Mt. Lebanon tight end Paul Lang was also in East Lansing for camp. He received his MSU offer before the camp. At the camp, Lang showed impressive blocking and pass-receiving skills. "Overall, I really liked the school," Lang said. "Michigan State is a really big school and the facilities are awesome. I really liked all of the coaches I met, they were all happy to have me there."
In short, about everything I could find about Lang raves about his basketball skills and there's nary a peep about his football acumen. That's not necessarily bad however - most likely his physical skills project much better to football than basketball (think Dion Sims), and he's just starting to blossom as a tight end. The coaches have done well so far offering the right players (all of the 2011 recruits are at least mid-three stars on Rivals), so I believe Lang will be a solid tight end in the years to come. This probably closes out tight end recruiting for the 2011 class, unless a Sims-like talent appears on the radar.