OT Dennis Finley, Cass Tech HS (Detroit) - (6-foot-6, 285 pounds)
Ratings: Rivals (3 stars), Scout (3 stars), 247 (3 stars), ESPN (4 stars)
Other notable offers: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois
For the second time, MSU has picked up its first offensive lineman for the class of 2013. This time, I don't expect him to decommit. Cass Tech offensive tackle Dennis Finley and MSU have been at the top of each other's lists for a while, and Finley finally made his decision this weekend, becoming commit No. 13 for MSU.
Offensive line is a major need for MSU in this class, so Finley is a big pickup from that perspective. Finley was listed as having an Ohio State offer, but the Buckeyes didn't appear to have much, or any room for more offensive lineman. Finley's sister is an MSU student and a cousin is a graduate, so he's very familiar with the school and campus.
Also, it appears the Cass Tech streak could be over. The last Cass Tech player to play for MSU? Roderick Maples in the class of 2000. The school has become known as a U-M pipeline, but the Wolverines have been full on offensive linemen for a while. Mark Dantonio has been able to recruit pretty well in Detroit with top prospects William Gholston and Lawrence Thomas, and finally getting a Cass Tech player will help the program's perception.
Much like fellow weekend commit Demetrius Cooper, Finley's stock rose sharply over the summer after a great performance in June's Sound Mind-Sound Body camp in Detroit, where he finally earned an MSU offer.
He didn't start until his junior year at Cass Tech, but the physical tools are there to be a great offensive tackle. Scout's Allen Trieu is very high on Finley.
The growth and learning curve of Finley has been remarkable to watch. He was very raw when I first saw him as far as technique and aggressiveness. Now, he's not only much better technically, but this quiet kid has developed into a vocal leader on the team and has shown he can get mean on the field. He has a great frame. You almost can't build them any better as a tackle prospect. Long arms, good athleticism, and his footwork is much improved. He needs to keep working on his technique, continue to improve his pad level as a run blocker, but he's made great strides and he's a hard worker, so he never stops improving.
Looking at the tape above, Trieu's got a good take. The footwork can be better, as well as his initial burst, but he has the skills and speed to pull effectively. Again, it was his first year as a starter, so the ceiling is still high with those physical tools.
His final four schools were MSU, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Illinois for some time. In the end, the coaching staff and location were big reasons he chose MSU, according to 247.
"I just felt real comfortable with the MSU coaches," Finley said. "They have been honest with me and I have built a good relationship with all of them. Michigan State is close to home and my family and friends can come watch me."
MSU is now at 13 commitments for the class of 2013, meaning there are probably just two or three spots remaining. The hope is to get another offensive lineman, but Finley was an important pickup.