Before we get into the roundup, I asked you last week to e-mail me with any questions you might have regarding recruiting, since we're getting into a bit of a dull period. One reader took me up on the offer.
I'm a '64 grad so I've been away from E. Lansing for a long time but I still follow our Green and White on a daily basis via the Internet. Question: We've done very well finding talented star players but not so well finding the guys who have to slug it out every play on the lines. When will we get some recruits who can start as red-shirt sophomores and play for three years? Young men who really put the hurt on the other team and are lucky enough not to get injured. I know we've had a couple on defense but no one on the offensive line. The offensive line has done a good job in protecting the QB but we need people to blow holes for the backs that are as slow as me. (That's slow)
First off, it's nice to see that TOC readers aren't just recent graduates or children of the internet age. As a 1964 grad, you've seen the best of MSU football.
As for the offensive line recruits, it certainly has been tough sledding for Mark Dantonio and coaching staff. Simply put: MSU has not recruited well on the offensive line, which is discouraging with the recent success on the field. But there has been bad luck, as well. Most of the good offensive limen that do come to MSU have been sidelined for various reasons. Shaw Lane Spartans had a solid look at this last September. I'll highlight the highly-recruited players.
Arthur Ray Jr. committed to MSU's 2007 class as a three-star prospect on the rise, but was diagnosed with cancer. He made his game debut last season, hopes to contribute this fall and apply for more eligibility. In 2009, four-star recruit David Barrent switched his commitment from MSU to Iowa. He took a medical DQ in spring 2011 due to back issues. Nate Klatt was a four-star recruit but hasn't done much. Blake Treadwell crossed Grand River Avenue from East Lansing High School to MSU, but has spent time on both sides of the line and is fighting for a starting spot this year. Skyler Burkland (four stars) seemed to be the only highly-rated OL guy to make an early impact, but he was injured in the third game of last season.
MSU had another top prospect in Texas OL Caleb Benenoch for 2013, but he decommitted from MSU. Dantonio has done a great job recruiting skill players on offense and most positions on defense, but offensive line remains the one position he struggles with. And with Michigan and Ohio State taking all the few talented OL in the Midwest, it definitely is a concern moving forward.
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Roundup with a possible commitment after the jump
Salmon: 'Ready to go green' (247) - Three-star Florida defensive tackle Devyn Salmon tells Spartan Tailgate that he's ready to commit to MSU. Mark Dantonio is on vacation right now, but Salmon is expecting a call when he returns on July 23. Whether or not Dantonio will accept that commitment is another story. MSU was already burned earlier this year, as Benenoch committed to MSU before visiting and eventually backed out. It certainly is a tough situation. From Spartan Tailgate's Q&A with Salmon.
ST: What if coach Dantonio tells you he wants you to visit before you commit?
DS: I would be very hurt and disappointed if he told me I had to wait until September.
ST: How do you know you're ready to commit to a program that you have never visited?
DS: I've been on the internet doing my research, checking everything out in detail. I can tell they have a lot of positive things going on there. Some of the players that are committed there have reached and welcomed me into their family. I just want to be a Spartan and commit so I can be part of that.
MSU OL target may soon visit again (247) - Three-star Cass Tech OT Dennis Finley has added Wisconsin to his favorites after a visit to Madison. MSU, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio State stand out to him. Finley's sister is an MSU student, and he's planning on visiting her within the next two weeks. He'll check in with the MSU coaches while he's there.
Florida OT interested in Spartans? (Rivals) - Three-star Orlando OT Shawn Curtis has been hearing from and visited MSU, but doesn't have an offer. Curtis listed Mississippi State, NC State, Syracuse and Iowa State among his favorites right now, but said an MSU offer would put them in his top five.
3-star Calif. DB planning officials (247) - California safety Brandon Arnold picked up an MSU offer a few months ago and has been high on the Spartans. MSU, Cal and Oregon are his leaders right now. He's planning on visiting MSU and Cal, but is waiting for an Oregon offer before a visit there.
"When I'm planning my official visits I know Michigan State is a school that I want to visit," Arnold said. "I want to make sure that I get a chance to check them out. I've never been there before, I want to see what it's like. A lot of good things are happening at Michigan State right now. The school itself, you can't go wrong with them cause they have a great education to offer you.
MSU targeting several top-tier DEs (247) - MSU is looking for one or two defensive ends in the 2013 class, so Spartan Tailgate takes look at several MSU DE targets and where the Spartans stand.
Snodgrass talks early favorites (Scout) - 2014 Ohio receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass has MSU, Notre Dame and Ohio State as his early favorites. He gave a rare look into his thinking by saying the lack of a spread offense hurts his opinion of MSU.
"I've been up to Michigan State a couple of times for their spring game and camp," said Snodgrass. "I just love the atmosphere there as everyone is very positive and everyone cares about everyone up there. They are more of a Power-I offense and I think I'm looking more for a spread offense. But I really like them."