LB Deon Drake, Cass Tech HS (Detroit) - (6-foot-1, 215 pounds)
Ratings: Rivals (NR), Scout (NR), 247 (4 stars), ESPN (NR, top-300)
Other notable offers: Notre Dame, Iowa, Nebraska
The day after Mark Dantonio kept looking for better questions from the media, MSU picked up its third commitment for the class of 2014 in Cass Tech linebacker Deon Drake, who had visited the day before for the Eastern Michigan game.
As with most 2014 prospects, he's not rated in most of the databases, but he'll likely be four stars in the others, if that matters to you. 247 has him as the No. 6 inside linebacker.
As I said with Bullough, I'm not going to get too detailed on a kid who still has 1.5 years of high school football left and take too much stock in sophomore tape. But if the above highlights are any indication, Drake appears to have a lot of speed, which would be one reason he also plays running back. Looks to me like he'd fit in Denicos Allen's role, and the two have similar builds in high school.
As has been talked about plenty, Cass Tech has been a Michigan pipeline. But over the last few weeks, Mark Dantonio has secured the first MSU commitments from the school in more than a decade — the first being 2013 OL Dennis Finley. It's worth noting neither had U-M offers, but Cass Tech still sent plenty to places like Iowa. Getting that stigma off MSU is a good thing, no matter what.
Comments by Drake to 247 show that.
"We were just saying that it was good that we both committed to Michigan State and it'll be good to see each other on the sideline on the same team," Drake said. "Others have been saying, ‘Well, ya'll two are trying to start a new trend since everybody (was) going to Michigan. Now everybody's going to Michigan State.'"
"Some of the players felt that Michigan State doesn't really want kids from (Cass Tech)," Drake said. "But just me receiving the offer as a sophomore and playing my first game as a junior when I had already received an offer, it changed their perspective a bit."
The linebacking corps depth for the future continues to increase. MSU has two LB commits fot 2013, and if Byron Bullough plays linebacker — as many suspect — that would be two more for 2014. MSU is hoping for a few linebackers in that class. It has easily been the best-recruited position for Dantonio in his time at MSU.
While MSU's 2013 class is low in the rankings, but is considered underrated by many, the 2014 class is off to a fantastic start.