DT Devyn Salmon, Plant City HS (Fla.) - (6-foot-1, 285 pounds)
Ratings: Rivals (3 stars) Scout (2 stars), 247 (2 stars), ESPN (3 stars)
Other notable offers: West Virginia, Missouri, Virginia
MSU finally got a defensive lineman for 2013 with commit No. 11 in Florida defensive tackle Devyn Salmon. It was a rare commitment for Mark Dantonio without a visit, although Salmon is going to visit for the Notre Dame game. Texas OL Caleb Benenoch committed to MSU without visiting earlier this year and later decommitted, but Salmon emphasized to 247 that his recruiting is now over.
"I'm done with the recruiting process; I'm done with camps and I'm not taking anymore visits," he said emphatically. "I'm committed so it's over with. Schools might call, but I'm a Spartan and I don't want to be anywhere else.
"I've already ordered a hat and I'm about to order a shirt and some shorts. I'm excited to go back to [high] school and represent Michigan State."
MSU would like more defensive linemen in the class, but Salmon is a good start.
More on Salmon after the jump
Salmon appears to have some pretty quick feet. I hate to compare him to an NFL Draft pick, but he seems to get a Jerel Worthy-like jump on the snap. I don't know much about Florida high school football, so I don't know how good the competition is where he plays, but Salmon did record 90 tackles and two sacks as a junior. That's a lot of tackles for a… tackle.
As for that speed, Rivals says Salmon runs a 4.85 40-yard dash, which is pretty good for a 285-pound guy. (ESS EE SEE SPEED).
Based on that tape, it appears he needs to get better with his pad level and use more leverage. He's not going to be able to speed past interior offensive linemen in the Big Ten. He'll need to play more like a tackle and be more of a gap-filler than a rusher. But that speed will be helpful.
He's not highly-rated, but got serious interest from some pretty good BCS schools among his 18 offers, and his skills appear to give him a high ceiling. In March, SB Nation said his stock was quickly rising.
Plant City is the same high school as current MSU junior tight end/defensive end Denzel Drone. Earlier this month, Salmon told Rivals that he speaks with Drone every week. A week ago, Salmon said he was ready to commit to MSU and was just waiting for Mark Dantonio to get back from a vacation. As for why he wanted to commit before visiting? From 247:
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.
Although MSU didn't yet have any linemen, he might have wanted to make sure he got one of the few spots available.
Dantonio broke the mold again by accepting the commitment before the campus visit. With the season coming up and a visit planned for the third week, perhaps Dantonio doesn't expect much to change before then.
However, like Benenoch, Salmon is a position of need. MSU will probably take two or three defensive linemen in the class. That will certainly be the focus, as the Spartans are only expected to finish with a class around 15 players or so.
Salmon's commitment also is another sign of the inroads MSU has been making in Florida. MSU had two from the Sunshine State last year and, while Salmon is the only one in this class, MSU remains in on a few prospects from Florida for 2013.