— Reggie Rankin (@ReggieRankin) June 22, 2015
(Note: from what I understand Josh Langford does not have a twitter account, but there are two fake accounts out there)
After taking an official visit last week, Josh Langford commits to the Michigan State Spartans. Langford is ranked #10 by Scout, #13 by ESPN, #15 by 247Sports, and #17 by Rivals. Until that visit, many did not have Langford having a particularly strong interest with MSU due to being out of Izzo's typical recruiting region. It's early but Langford's commitment puts MSU to #2 in the 2016 class rankings per 247Sports. If his rankings hold steady he'll be the highest ranked MSU recruit since at least Gary Harris and may even go back to Shannon Brown. With Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes, and potentially Eron Harris leaving after next season, he could help give the backcourt a needed scoring punch. At 6-foot-6 and 200 lbs, Langford has great size for shooting guard and is a complete scorer being able to both drive the ball and shoot well. Unfortunately he played for an Adidas team so I'm unable to find his AAU stats but his high school stats from his 2013 HS season are: 23.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals (Update: averaged 24.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game last season). At 247Sports he's listed as a combo guard but I'm guessing at 6-foot-6 that he won't be a primary point but instead might be a play-making wing at some points in the Denzel Valentine mold.
Some quotes from this scout article:
"I just feel like the family atmosphere is something that is unreal," Langford told Scout. "They were more real than any other schools have been. I did a lot of praying and talking God and just felt like it was the best fit for me as a basketball player and as a young man."
"I believe in God and he leads you to the right things I feel like he led me to Michigan State," Langford said. I did a lot of praying and I just felt like it was right place for me to go. They had been recruiting me since my freshman year that helps as well."
Langford said he hit it off with Izzo.
"It’s a great relationship," he said. "I felt like he was already my coach. The relationship is great. We talk a lot on the phone and we’ve talked forever."
His playing style reminds me a little of a couple not particularly well-known guards in Tennessee's Josh Richardson and Jordan McRae from the last 2 years or Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. and Caris LeVert as a sophomore (they were All-B1G players, don't be unhappy with that comparison). While there are very few 2017 mock drafts out there, Langford may project as a one-and-done due to his size at the position and solid form on his jump shot. It would surprise me quite a bit if he was at MSU for four years.
Remaining 2016 targets and look at the roster
As I said before, Langford fills a void left by Denzel Valentine as a playmaking and scoring wing and he would have a very good chance of starting from day 1 at either the 2 or 3 spot. Eron Harris is currently not on any 2016 draft boards, but the coaching staff and team has been very high on him including Dane Fife saying that he has D'Angelo Russell-like talent (a little too much praise for my taste but good to hear) and he may be gone after next year too. While Alvin Ellis, Javon Bess, Matt McQuaid, and Kyle Ahrens may have develop a lot in the next two years, none of them are currently big-time scorers and they likely won't be in that role next season.
Going off of Josh's recruiting roundup from last week, MSU's main two remaining targets for the 2016 class are Cassius Winston and Miles Bridges both from Michigan. Winston fills the largest need at point guard while Bridges is from Flint and would be a big loss considering where he's from and what kind of connections he has with MSU. If MSU can get these two recruits, the Spartans could have a extremely different looking team in 2016-17 with up to 4 freshmen being in the rotation. 2015 target Jamal Murray announces on Tuesday June 23 and looks to be headed to Oregon or Kentucky. Big man transfer Paschal Chukwu from Providence is currently on a visit to Michigan State. In an (unlikely) scenario, MSU could grab one of these two players and still get Bridges and Winston with a scholarship becoming available due to either Harris or Murray declaring early for the NBA.