Michigan State just scored a massive commencement with Signing Day inching closer.
It came Saturday as Antjuan Simmons announced his pledge to the Spartans. It cannot be overstated how big this get if for Michigan State, who keeps the elite in-state talent from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame among many others.
Simmons, a 6-1, 215-pound senior at Ann Arbor Pioneer High, had previously committed to Ohio State before reopening his recruitment last month. Simmons picked Michigan State while holding offers from Washington, Wisconsin, Oregon, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas A&M, Penn State, Ole Miss, and North Carolina in addition to the Irish, Wolverines and Buckeyes.
Those were the schools viewed as the biggest threat to steal Simmons away, but the Spartans held on to secure his services. Simmons is ranked eighth in the state and the nation's 20th outside linebacker prospect via 247 Sports. ESPN ranks him 295th overall in the 2017 class.
Simmons has actually been a star at running back in high school, rushing for 1,112 yards on 148 carries for 18 touchdowns this past season. At linebacker, he racked up 65 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and one forced fumble.
Simmons is just the second player to commit to the Spartans since their 2016 season began, and he becomes pledge No. 18 in this class. only four-star offensive linemen Matt Dotson and Kevin Jarvis are higher-ranked commitments in 2017., according to 247 composite, which measures all of the major recruiting rankings.
Here are some highlights of the newest Spartan in action: