Happy Crootin’ Season, gang.
Wednesday will be a big day for MSU and all programs around the nation as early signing day will let football teams start officially building their 2019 roster.
The Spartans will head into the early signing period with the No. 27-ranked class in the nation. So, really, a pretty standard class for Mark Dantonio and the Spartans.
All star ratings below are based off the 247Sports Composite scoring, which combines various major recruiting publications rankings into one. Throughout signing day, we will be updating the status of each player as their Letters of Intent come pouring in.
Recruiting at Michigan State isn’t about glitz and glamour. Recruitment is straightforward and genuine. What you see is what you get. At least, that’s what Mark Dantonio says. They don’t play games at State, he adds. It’s simple. Prospects either like them or they don’t. Each player that Dantonio thoughtfully picked wants to be a Spartan.
“I just want people who are going to come here and over achieve,” said Dantonio. “You want to feel good about the type of players you’re coaching so they had to measure up in that aspect.”
5-star OG Devontae Dobbs: SIGNED
The crown jewel of the Spartans class. Dobbs – the No. 26 recruit in the nation – had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Penn State and just about every other team. Per 247Sports, this is MSU’s No. 4-ranked recruit of all time, right behind Charles Rogers, Jeff Smoker and William Gholston. Dobbs has a chance to be an impact on either side of the ball immediately, and now that his shoulder is 100 percent (more on his injury comeback from the Detroit News here), he truly could be a force from day one.
Dantonio: “He became a Spartan early on in the process and never wavered, but an outstanding football player and I think he’ll have an opportunity to play very early in his career.”
4-star CB Julian Barnett: SIGNED
As a high school teammate of Dobbs at Belleville, Barnett knows all about being in the spotlight. The No. 62-ranked recruit holds offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and all sorts of other top-flight schools and will join a talented secondary at MSU that he can find action in next season. Or, should MSU need help in the receiving corps, Barnett could also see action on the offensive side of the ball right off the bat. His versatility will leave him with plenty of options to succeed.
Barnett was also the first one to get his Letter of Intent over to East Lansing on this very busy day.
Dantonio: “Plays multiple positions…has potential to be a contributor…very excited about Julian and what he’s doing.”
3-star LB Luke Fulton: SIGNED
Rated as a 4-star by 247Sports, Fulton has potential to be another steal at an Ohioan linebacker just like Chris Frey, Shane Jones and Joe Bachie. Fulton is rated as the consensus No. 22 inside linebacker prospect in the country and the No. 14-ranked player in Ohio.
Dantonio: “High impact player, really what we’re looking for in a player at linebacker...will be a big thumper-type of guy for us.”
3-star DE Michael Fletcher: SIGNED
Another player that’s rated a 4-star by 247Sports, Fletcher adds his 6-foot-5 frame and athleticism to the class. The No. 30-ranked defensive end prospect also held offers from Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Dantonio: “Number one defensive end in the state of Michigan…very excited that they’re all coming to Michigan State…always been a pleasure to talk to.”
3-star OT Spencer Brown: SIGNED
By committing July of 2017, Brown was one of the members that got this class started on the right note. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound lineman is rated as the consensus No. 38 offensive tackle prospect in the country.
Dantonio: “Big athletic player with power…we’re very very excited about him as well.”
3-star WR Tre Mosley: SIGNED
Coming off a 1,000 receiving yard senior season at West Bloomfield, the 6-foot-2 receiver has been heralded as one of the more underrated members of this class. As the No. 74-ranked wide receiver prospect, Mosley picked MSU over Oregon, Michigan-Ann Arbor and others.
Dantonio: “Big time play maker with outstanding pass-catching ability, outstanding route runner…another guy I believe is going to get the ball very very quickly here…he has a college skill level throw.”
3-star WR Jase Bowen: SIGNED
The speedy receiver has shades of RJ Shelton, being a multi-purpose guy that can help MSU in a variety of ways that includes the kickoff and punt return game. The No. 81-ranked receiver will also be helping out on the diamond too as he will also play baseball for the Spartans.
Dantonio: “Very athletic, dynamic playmaker, played multiple positions…extremely excited about him being a Spartan.”
3-star DE Adam Berghorst: SIGNED
Coming in at a towering 6-foot-7, the Zeeland, Mich. product certainly has potential to be the next great force coming off the edge on the Spartans defensive line. And, just like Bowen, the No. 46-ranked defensive end prospect will also play baseball for the Spartans.
Dantonio: “Very long and athletic player. Very active player. He uses his hands very well, pass-rush guy…was one of the guys we felt like we needed to get at State.”
3-star OG Nick Samac: SIGNED
Coming in at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, Samac is the consensus No. 48-ranked guard prospect in the nation. However, 247Sports has him rated as the No. 27 guard prospect. The fact that Ohio State made a run at him over the summer has to have MSU feeling good about the player they are getting.
Dantonio: “Good feet, good balance, ability to run…plays with great toughness and power.”
3-star OG J.D. Duplain: SIGNED
And, once again, here’s another offensive line prospect the Buckeyes made a run at late in the game. However, the No. 49-ranked guard prospect stayed firm on the Spartans to make this a solid class with Dobbs, Brown, Samac and Duplain manning the trenches.
Dantonio: “We see the possibility as an offensive lineman certainly… but we’ll work with him on defense initially to see how he moves on that side of the ball. I think he has a huge upside, very highly recruited player as well.”
3-star RB Brandon Wright: SIGNED
The 6-foot-2, 200 pound running back makes his commitment a lightning-and-thunder feel with Young’s commitment as well. While he’s ranked as the No. 51 prospect, Wright’s stock has risen sharply since the end of his senior season.
Dantonio: “Big body, physical running back…very active player and I think he will have certainly a great future here and he will have his moments.”
3-star RB Anthony Williams Jr.: SIGNED
Williams rounds out the trio of running backs in this class. The 6-foot prospect who comes in as the No. 54-ranked prospect uses his combination of strength and shiftiness to create plays out of the backfield.
Dantonio: “Very explosive…very impressive athlete…I think he can do a lot of different things for us.”
3-star WR Alante Brown: Unsigned (with update)
While Brown played quarterback in high school for Simeon in Chicago, Brown will most likely come in as a wide receiver. The versatile athlete has seen his stock rise as well, recently earning a 4-star rating by 247Sports.
Update: Brown will not be signing today but insists he is still all MSU.
3-star Michigan State WR Alante Brown says he will be signing with MSU, just not today, and he's "120 %" committed.— Matt Wenzel (@mwenzel2) December 19, 2018
3-star LB Marcel Lewis: SIGNED
The physical linebacker out of Clinton Township is fresh off a Division 1 state championship and being named as the Detroit Free Press’ Dream Team defensive captain. The No. 39-ranked inside linebacker recruit in the nation has to have the MSU defensive staff feeling good about their linebacker haul lately.
Dantonio: “Excellent linebacker play making skills. When you watch his highlight film he’s a guy that can really get into the ground, very explosive guy.”
3-star ATH Tate Hallock: SIGNED
The younger brother of redshirt freshman linebacker Tanner Hallock, Tate has voiced in the past that he wants to play safety for MSU. With his 6-foot-3 frame, the possibilities around the field will give him opportunity to impact the Spartans.
Dantonio: “Outstanding athlete…great ball skills, extremely tough…the more you watch Tate the more you see the dynamic player he is…he’s going to excel at a very high level.”
3-star QB Payton Thorne: SIGNED
The No. 24-ranked dual threat quarterback recruit is the latest commit before signing day, flipping him from Western Michigan. Thorne’s highlight reel features an impressive array of plays, from 50-yard bombs in the bread basket to good pocket vision for such a young player.
Dantonio: “Really makes all the throws when you see him…he’s a play maker, three sport athlete, great leadership qualities…I think he’s got very good football awareness and sense.”
3-star OT Damon Kaylor: SIGNED
Rounding out the offensive line class comes in impressive fashion with the 6-foot-6, 315 pound tackle coming to East Lansing. As the lone recruit out of Indiana in this class, Kaylor comes in as the No. 95-ranked offensive tackle prospect in the country.
Dantonio: “Powerful guy…light on his feet, big strong guy, will be an outstanding guy as well I believe.”
3-star P Jack Bouwmeester: SIGNED
Coming in from Australia is the No. 6-ranked punter in the nation – or world, really. For more information on his, this story on the Detroit News has some good insight.
For more on the 2019 recruiting class, check out exclusive feature pieces from The Only Colors’ Commitment Spotlight Series.
Dantonio: “He’s got a unique skill set that was just too good to pass on…very explosive, athletic, can basically put it anywhere on the field.”
3-star DT Maverick Hansen: SIGNED
Hansen flipped from CMU on Wednesday morning after being committed to the Chips since early July. The towering 6-foot-5, 270 pound Farmington Harrison product is the lone defensive tackle commit of the class and the second one in the last two (Deshaun Mallory).
Dantonio: “Maverick was a guy that was on our radar…every time I continue to go back and watch him I see a guy that’s a high motor guy…I just felt like he was one of those type of guys we were going to bring.”
LS Jude Pedrozo
Dantonio: “Will compete for playing time I believe if he’s as good as we’ve seen coming out of high school. Very excited about him.”
K/P Evan Morris
Dantonio: “Extremely good kicker especially for kickoff…very impressed with him.”
Last Minute Flip
3-star RB Aaron Young: Flipped to Rutgers
With his older brother at Rutgers and the potential for more playing time, Young flipped at the last minute and is with Rutgers now. Young is coming off a senior season where he averaged 9.8 yards per carry and threw up 34 touchdowns.