Welcome Aboard: Matthew Ramondo and Shilique Calhoun

We've got a couple of football commitments to catch up on, one from yesterday and one from last week.  We'll recap the commitment from last week first, Shilique Calhoun.

Calhoun is a 6'5", 225 lb. defensive end from Middletown, New Jersey.  Here's a rundown of his recruiting rankings:

RIVALS: 3 stars, 5.5 Rivals Rating, #21st overall in New Jersey

SCOUT: 3 stars, #35 Tight End

ESPN: 3 stars, 77 grade, #68 Defensive End

Calhoun was offered by most Big East and some ACC schools, such as Rutgers, Pittsburgh, North Carolina State, Connecticut, and Boston College to name a few.  Calhoun recalled a particular moment in a game last season that helped solidify his decision:

Calhoun said the way Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi reacted when one of the Spartans' defensive backs made a key play in the first half also helped make his decision. Narduzzi was the MSU coach who did the recruiting of Calhoun.

"He ran onto the field and congratulated the kid and got a penalty," Calhoun said. "That showed me the coaches were part of the team."

I don't recall that happening this season, but at least the Duzer didn't trip anyone on the other team.  At that weight it looks like he'll need a redshirt year - 225 pounds at defensive end won't quite cut it in the Big Ten.  With junior Tyler Hoover and sophomore William Gholston most likely to start at the ends though, he can afford to take one.  It also sounds like football wasn't his first love as a child.

"It's very hard to find a kid with his size and his athletic ability," Trezza said of the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Calhoun. "He wasn't a football player his entire life. He enjoyed it a bit but it wasn't his sport. Basketball was his sport.

At 6'5" it sounds like he'll be easily able to pack on pounds once his focus is on football.  There's a lot of upside here and no urgency to play immediately - it's a good pick-up for MSU.

Next up is 6'4", 280 pound defensive tackle Matthew Ramondo.  Once again, let's take a look at the Guru rankings:

RIVALS: 3 stars, 5.6 Rivals Ranking, #46 DT, #2 in Rocky Mountain States

SCOUT: 3 stars, #96 DT

ESPN: 3 stars, 77 grade, #58 DT

Those numbers are very similar to Calhoun's except for Ramondo's size.  They're effectively the same height (trying to get accurate measurements from recruiting sites is a fool's effort at best), but Ramondo has 50 more pounds on Calhoun.  Ramondo was offered by MSU last summer but committed to Arizona State.  His commitment hit a tipping point last weekend though.

Ramondo told SpartanMag.com that he started having second thoughts about going to ASU during the visit, and especially while attending a basketball game on campus last Saturday. He said he went home, discussed it with his parents and decided he really wanted to go to Michigan State.

Needless to say, the Sun Devils weren't happy.  

Couple Ramondo's size with a small but not great lack of depth at defensive tackle (five currently on scholarship) means there might be an opportunity for a freshman to sneak into the two deep if injuries happen, be it Ramondo, Mark Scarpinato, or Damon Knox (if he moves to tackle).  I'd bet on Ramondo to get the first crack at a possible spot on the depth chart.  Beware though - my guess is based solely on math, more specifically that 280 lbs. > 260 lbs (Scarpinato's weight).

With signing day approaching and the Spartans having 4-5 more scholarships to hand out, expect a few more of these posts in the next few days.

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