Michigan State has made a living with athletic, physical linebackers in recent years and with two in the fold, the Spartans have their sights on adding one or two more in 2014.
One of the top players on the Spartans board is Lee's Summit (Mo.) outside linebacker Jimmie Swain, who got an MSU offer about a month ago.
"I was really excited," Swain said. "(Michigan State) was one of my top schools I wanted hear from going into the process. I didn't know it was coming, so I was excited. I had been in contact (with MSU), but I had no idea they were planning on offering me so early."
Swain, who transferred from Olathe North (Mo.) prior to his junior year, likes what the Spartans offer defensively.
"(They are) very successful defensively, one of the top-ranked defenses in the country," Swain said. "I am still getting more information on the academic side. As far as football goes, I like that they have a very successful defense."
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound recruit stressed that while football opportunities and relationships are important to him, the academic side is huge in his recruitment.
"Obviously, the opportunity for success as an individual but also as a team. I want to go to bowl games and see the team be successful and win conference titles and national titles," Swain said.
"I also want go to get a good degree that carries weight when it comes to getting a job. I am going to major in business management and I want a degree that will stand out on a resume when I got to apply for jobs.
"Then, obviously, good chemistry with the players and also good player-coach relationships. I want coaches that I can be able to talk about things outside of football with."
Swain's primary recruiter, Brad Salem, stopped by Lee's Summit on Monday, the first time the pair had met. Swain said Salem was "very sincere with everything he said about MSU and left a very good impression."
Swain said with his hectic school, football and work schedule, it will be a challenge to get up to East Lansing, and said he might not be able to until it is an official visit.
He added that he knows he won't commit to a school until he has visited it and seen what the campus and facilities are like. He plans on waiting until during his senior senior to make a decision, at the earliest.
-- One of the in-state players Michigan State is evaluating in the class of 2014 is Kyle Rachwal.
Rachwal, who plays for HYPE based in Dearborn Heights, took part in the HYPE Football Showcase in Canton last weekend.
"The showcase was really good," Rachwal said. "I felt like I performed pretty well. My coach said I would have been the offensive MVP, but they didn't want to give it a kid a from HYPE so they didn't look like they were playing favorites."
The highlight of the showcase for Rachwal came on a one-handed catch down the field as he bowled over his defender.
In addition to taking part in the showcase, Rachwal also recently visited Michigan State for the spring game -- his second visit to East Lansing.
"The game was good," he said. "I had a good time with Coach Bollman. We talked for 15 to 20 minutes before the game.
"I was impressed with how good everyone was in the game. Then I saw the weight room again and all the facilities. I saw the players' lounge for the first time with TVs and pool tables and everything. The training room also was really nice."
Rachwal has offers from Eastern Michigan and Houston, while EMU, Michigan and Central Michigan visited him last week. Michigan State secondary coach Harlon Barnett visited Rachwal on Tuesday.
Rachwal doesn't have another visit planned to MSU before camp in June and said he is just focused on "finishing school strong and training harder for camps."
-- Izzo is a name that any Spartan fan or student knows without hesitation, but the latest tight end to get an MSU offer isn't related to the legendary MSU coach.
Pope John XXII (Sparta, NJ) prospect Ryan Izzo received an offer from Michigan State on Tuesday.
"It was surprising," Izzo said. "Coach (Narduzzi) came through my school and all the coaches there had seen my film and they weren't sure if they were going to offer yet, but after seeing my workout they decided to offer me. It was an amazing feeling."
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Izzo enjoyed his first encounter with Narduzzi, too.
"He was a really cool guy," Izzo said. "Excited and down to Earth, talked to me a lot about MSU and the tradition there and Coach Izzo, too."
Apart from what Narduzzi had to tell him about Michigan State, Izzo isn't very familiar with the Spartans.
"I don't know much (about MSU), but I am going to start looking more now," he said. "I do know it is rich with tradition, mostly with basketball, but football has been coming on lately."
Izzo, who said his biggest weapon is being a versatile tight end, is looking for a well-rounded school as his destination.
"Obviously, how they use a tight end in their offense. A strong relationship with the coaches and good academics, and that my family is behind me with my decision."
Izzo now has 10 offers, including Virginia Tech, Rutgers and Iowa. He plans on visiting Michigan State for a one-day camp on June 16.
-- MSU coach Mike Tressel paid a visit to Columbus Bishop Ready offensive tackle Brady Taylor during the spring evaluation period and the Spartans plan to visit again to see Taylor work out.
An offer could come at that point. Taylor has picked up offers from Illinois, Indiana and Eastern Michigan during the spring, adding to a list that already included Kentucky and much of the MAC.
Pat Narduzzi, Spartans hit East Coast hard on recruiting trail (Detroit News) - Scout.com's Allen Trieu breaks down what has become apparent -- MSU is trying to get into the deep prospect pool in New Jersey.
New Offers (4/26/13-5/2/13)
Wide receiver Shelby Walker, Houston, Texas (Lamar)
Athlete Juwann Winfree, Englewood, N.J. (Dwight Morrow)
Safety John Bonney, Houston, Texas (Lamar)
Tight end Mavin Saunders, Houston, Texas (The Kinkaid School)
Defensive tackle Antoine White, Millville, N.J. (Millville Senior)
Tight end Ryan Izzo, Sparta, N.J. (Pope John XXIII)
Linebacker Greg Miclisse, Palm Bay, Fla. (Bayside)
Defensive end Terry Beckner, Jr., East Saint Louis, Ill. (East St Louis)
Linebacker Sherrod Pittman, Jacksonville, Fla. (First Coast)