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Spartan Pupdate is reading the whole letter

The Spartans have been checking in on a couple of top recruits in the nation, and an under-the-radar prospect from Grand Rapids.

Wide receiver Jamil Kamara
Wide receiver Jamil Kamara

Crazy recruiting letters and tactics often surface around the Internet, but the way Michigan State offered a Georgia safety recruit was unique in its own right.

Locust Grove's Cortez McDowell received an MSU offer in January, but almost didn't realize it.

"My mom and I were going through the mail and she handed me a card," McDowell told me. "It said Michigan State and I opened it up, read it and it was from Coach (Dave) Warner. I only read the first couple lines and thought it was just a standard letter, and didn't look below the big Spartan head in the middle. I handed it back to my mom, she read it and said you got a scholarship offer.

"So, I read it again and at the bottom it said you officially have an offer from MSU."

McDowell says he talks with Warner every other week and Warner came down to see him early in the spring evaluation. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound safety was visited by MSU secondary coach Harlon Barnett on Wednesday.

"I like him, it was my first time meeting him," McDowell said. "He just really knows his stuff and he has coached with some of the best in college football and is coaching with one of the best right now."

McDowell said he has paid attention to the Michigan State defense in the past couple years, and has come away impressed with what he has seen.

"I watched them play in the Capitol One Bowl against Georgia," McDowell said. "I always watch the Michigan-Michigan State game and I saw them once last year. I like them defensively and like to fly around and hit. That is a big impression for me."

McDowell said he is going to find a date where he and his parents can come up to East Lansing and visit. He also is looking to visit Ohio State, Florida State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Miami.

McDowell currently holds 23 offers and said he plans to narrow it down this summer and make a decision at the end of the summer.

-- Michigan State has had recent success with bigger, downfield wide receivers and the Spartans are hard in pursuit of a player who fits that mold from Virginia.

Bishop Sullivan Catholic wide receiver Jamil Kamara received an offer from Michigan State during a visit in the spring evaluation period.

"The receivers coach (Terry Samuel) came down to see me," Kamara said. "We had a good conversation. He seemed like a good coach and had a lot of good things to say and really knew what he was talking about.

"He said I played like a former MSU receiver B.J. Cunningham. He said he likened my game to him and likes how I play overall."

The 6-foot-2, 211-pound prospect said he is going to give Samuel a call soon and talks with him often on Facebook. He also has a connection to a current Spartan receiver -- one he intends to get in touch with.

"My dad coached Kyle Kerrick, (at Coatesville, Pa.)," he said. "So I know him a little bit and worked out with him sometimes when I was up there. I'll have to get in touch with him soon."

Kamara is looking for a school where he can play early in his career in an offense that will air the ball out, feel at home for four years and also a good school academically -- things he sees from Michigan State.

"MSU has great academics and the football will always be good," Kamara said. "They definitely like to throw the ball a lot, but they run it plenty and have a good balance.

"I am very interested in MSU. I need to get up there and see how it works there and how everything feels."

Kamara said he is looking to make a visit up to East Lansing in the summer or for a game in the fall.

He named MSU, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Miami, NC State and Florida as some of his top schools. He plans to make a decision at the Army All-American game.

-- Forest Hills Central running back/wide receiver Zach Walker has been up to MSU many times before, but this year has provided different opportunities for the standout.

Walker, who said he attends a couple MSU games each year, visited for the spring game in April.

"It was a great game," Walker told me. "Everyone loved to be there and loved football. I have never seen so many fans for a spring game before, either. It was just an amazing atmosphere and a really great campus."

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete is headed back to East Lansing for the invite-only, one-day camp on June 16.

Walker was visited by Coach Mark Staten in the spring, who he has stayed in touch with.

"He came in to FHC and we had a quick talk," Walker said. "he also called me once and we had a good conversation. He told me that I need to come out and perform well at the camp. He also said that I looked really athletic and play a lot of positions, which they like."

The rising senior had 14 touchdowns last fall -- six receiving and eight rushing -- while racking up, 1,080 yards of total offense.

While he doesn't have any scholarship offers yet, Walker's message for college coaches is clear.

"I would say that I can do anything you want me to," he said. "If given the opportunity, I would excel consistently. I'm a competitor and I'm going to win. When I'm on the field, I'm very athletic and I am going to win."

He said interest has been picking up from Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan of late, and he plans to came at WMU, Missouri, Northwestern and Michigan, in addition to MSU.

He took a spring break trip for visits and made stops at Missouri, Illinois, Georgia Tech and Auburn.

New Offers (5/17/13-5/23/13)


Defensive end Justin Jones, Austell, Ga. (South Cobb)

Defensive end Melvin Keihn, Baltimore, Md. (Gilman)

Defensive end Victor Evans, Dallas, Texas (Skyline)

Defensive end Justus Reed, Clearwater, Fla. (Clearwater Central Catholic)

Linebacker Juwaun Brown, Tampa, Fla. (Jefferson)

Linebacker Deshon Cooper, Decatur, Ga. (Columbia)

Cornerback Anthony Davis, Monroeville, Pa. (Gateway)

Cornerback Stepheny Durham, Jacksonville, Fla. (Atlantic Coast)

Offensive lineman Terronne Prescod, Decatur, Ga. (Columbia)

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph, West Palm Beach, Fla. (Cardinal Newman)

Wide receiver Jauan Wesley, Harvey, Ill. (Thornton Township)

Athlete J.J. Pinckney, Sylvania, Ohio (Sylvania Southview)


Linebacker Anthony Wheeler, Dallas, Texas (Skyline)

Center James Daniels, Warren, Ohio (Warren G Harding)

Wide receiver Stanley Morgan, New Orleans, La. (St. Augustine)

Athlete Kai Locksley, Baltimore, Md. (Gilman)