Football 'Crootin Roundup is looking to the future

Dave Reginek

As the 2013 class is wrapped up, MSU has set its sights on 2014 and 2015.

With the 2013 class all but signed, sealed and delivered -- signing day is next Wednesday -- the focus of the Michigan State staff has moved to future classes.

Coaches are traveling across the nation, meeting with prospects and handing out offers -- and this week was big for offers.

The Spartans made a big splash, as Dantonio and other coaches stopped by Cass Tech and offered not one, but THREE sophomores.

The headliner was quarterback Jayru Campbell, and running back Mikey Weber and defensive end/offensive lineman Joshua Alabi also received offers.

2014

Spartans make big impression (Scout) - Ohio athlete Vayante Copeland, one of the latest 2014 recruits to receive an MSU offer, has been hearing from Dantonio himself -- a sign he is a high-priority recruit. Copeland projects as either a running back or defensive back.

Cage: 'MSU definitely stands out' (247) - Winton Woods (Cincinnati) defensive tackle Daniel Cage certainly has the make up of a Plan A recruit for the Spartans in 2014. When you rack up 32 sacks in two seasons, it only makes sense.

Spartans stop in to see Ohio QB (Rivals) - MSU has offered three quarterbacks for 2014 already, and Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline Chris Durkin is another possibility -- if the other three don't end up green.

West hearing from several (Scout) - Ohio defensive back Darius West is from the same school as current MSU quarterback Tyler O'Connor (Lima Catholic Central) and has a growing offer list. MSU is interested and I would be surprised if he doesn't ultimately land an offer.

2015

Alabi: 'I love Michigan State' (247) - Need I say more? I cannot recall a reaction to an MSU offer quite like Joshua Alabi's. And, even better, he watched Will Gholston intently last year and tried to model what he did after Gholston. Oh, and family members that went to MSU? I think you get it.

Dantonio offers Campbell (247) - Cass Tech QB Jayru Campbell has won two state titles in two years as a starter ... not bad. He also has early Notre Dame and Alabama offers. Props to him for the shoutout to the Michigan State journalism program. I like this kid.

Q & A

(Note: Submit your questions every Thursday via Twitter to me -- @SpartansOrDie -- and I will answer a few here.)

Why does the recruiting cycle tend to be getting longer and longer? - @Jim_McEvoy

Well, despite the fact that kids are committing earlier and schools are offering earlier, I think what is making the cycle the longest is the media coverage. it used to be -- a while ago -- no one knew who the new recruits were until they stepped on campus, now you know who they are in the eighth grade. With the increased coverage and camps and all the hoopla, it keeps the players' names and everything around in our heads longer.

As for why schools are offering earlier, it seems to be a competitive advantage. Coaches are looking to get ahead in any way possible, and in recruiting, that means being the first to a player and finding the next star.

Also, is MSU's increased 2014 recruiting presence in response to UM/OSU/etc getting more and more early commits? - @Jim_McEvoy

In part, yes. It certainly is a response to try and compete better with the big boys on the block. Reality is, MSU has to take any advantage it can get -- and early offers resonate with kids well. Players often mention a school having been there from the beginning (I believe that was big with Gerald Holmes).

The way the 2014 class is picking up traction and offers are going out also is because the 2014 class will be bigger than the 2013 one, so MSU is looking to make it count. The early numbers ballpark the class at 20, but 2013's was supposed to be between 13-15 and wound up at 18. So, the Spartans staff surely is looking to knock it out of the park with 20-22 commits.

We all know the Spartans need (offensive line) help in 2014. Who are top prospects and what are the Spartans chances? - @SeanGearyMSU

Jamarco Jones, Kyle Trout, Nick Richardson and Brian Allen top the Spartans board. In order of who is most likely to end up in East Lansing: Allen, Richardson, Trout, Jones.

I would be surprised if Allen didn't end up at MSU, at this point. Richardson is at No. 2 because he is an Ohio kid without an Ohio State offer -- who doesn't seem like he will get one anytime soon. Trout would have been in the second spot, but he did just receive an Ohio State offer. The good news for MSU is he didn't commit on the spot and still hasn't a week later, but Ohio State surely jumped MSU on his list. Jones wants to visit MSU again, but I get the feeling he is headed to Columbus.

Other names to know: Nathaniel Devers, Connor Hayes, Ka'John Armstrong, Chris Bukowski and Austin Labus. All but Devers are in-state kids.

New Offers (1/25/13-1/31/13)

2014

Running back Shai McKenzie, Washington, Penn (Washington Hs)

Running back Vayante Copeland, Dayton, Ohio (Thurgood Marshall)

Cornerback Kyle Gibson, Seffner, Fla. (Armwood)

2015

Quarterback Jayru Campbell, Cass Tech

Running back Mikey Weber, Cass Tech

Offensive/defensive lineman Joshua Alabi, Cass Tech

Cornerback Brian Cole, Saginaw Heritage

Athlete Jacques Patrick, Orlando, Fla. (Timber Creek)

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