I swear this feels like a game day. So let’s do one of these “The Good, The Bad, The Random” things, eh?
It was an eventful day as MSU received 18 letters of intent today with hopefully a few more coming in February. Let’s take a look at the day for MSU.
Mark Dantonio said it himself – this offensive linemen corps might be his best haul in his tenure at MSU. And how could you argue it, really? It starts with coveted 5-star Devontae Dobbs, who could play right away for MSU. Then you look at Ohio boys JD Duplain and Nick Samac, who Dantonio mentioned could play on either side of the ball. You also powerful 3-star Spencer Brown, who Dantonio mentioned also helped recruit others to MSU. And capping it off with 6-foot-6, 315 pound tackle Damon Kaylor? Now that’s a nice offensive line unit.
4-star Julian Barnett was also mentioned to get early playing time for the Spartans, whether that be at cornerback or wide receiver. With how athletic the No. 62-ranked prospect in the nation is, we know that’s not coach speak — he really could have an impact from day one.
Dantonio was also fond of his linebacker and defensive end unit coming in. We tend to agree too, starting with physical Ohio linebacker Luke Fulton and Chippewa Valley product Marcel Lewis. Adding giant defensive ends Michael Fletcher and Adam Berghorst into the mix — along with late 3-star DL flip Maverick Hansen — and Dantonio has himself a nice front seven unit coming to East Lansing.
The skill players also have a wide variety of skillsets too. Tre Mosley has been tabbed as one of the more underrate, physical receivers of this class. Receiver Jase Bowen can play just about any speed position on the field. Running back Brandon Wright is a bigger-bodied running back who can punish hopeful tacklers and running back Anthony Williams is a guy who’s great at catching out of the backfield.
And, folks, we hope you like punting highlights. If Australian punters who can boot it 60-plus yards are your thing, you might enjoy Jack Bouwmeester.
It wasn’t a flawless day — it rarely is for any program on signing day — as MSU did lose out on a running back commit to Rutgers in Aaron Young. Yeah, it doesn’t sound great. Like the three-toothed kid stealing your prom date the morning of the dance.
However, Young’s older brother plays for Rutgers and, let’s not kid ourselves, there’s probably a great opportunity for playing time in New Jersey too. MSU has no shortage of running backs with up to eight being on next year’s roster. Sure, Young’s blistering speed would have been great, but don’t let this one flip take away from an otherwise quality recruiting class.
Mark Dantonio also had the opportunity to speak on Justin Layne leaving for the NFL and was asked if he was disappointed in his decision to skip the Redbox Bowl. Dantonio went the route of saying that he is, in fact, disappointed and added “my philosophy is you finish.” He also added a “doesn’t mean I’m right and they’re wrong,” but also didn’t add a “we wish him the best of luck” or anything that could have smoothed over the sour grapes tone.
Listen, if that’s your philosophy, so be it. But let’s step back here and look at this — a surefire NFL Draft pick is skipping the Redbox Bowl to avoid injury. Not the Rose Bowl. The f’ing Redbox Bowl. On a day like signing day where it’s joyous and many eyes are on your program, why on earth would you say anything that suggests your not cool with a player doing what he can to realize his NFL dreams? Mark, I love you, but maybe let’s choose words a little more wisely.
MSU also didn’t receive the letter of intent for 3-star wide receiver Alante Brown, but he insists he is still all MSU and will sign in February. Only time will tell if that’s indeed true or not.
My two cents, if you care, is this: This is a solid, vintage Mark Dantonio class. The cold-hard truth is this — MSU will probably never be in the top 15 in the nation for class rankings. Not with Ohio State, Michigan and a now-relevant Penn State surrounding you.
Dantonio went out and brought in a class that’s physical and players that each bring something different to the table. And, more importantly, many of them can play multiple positions on each side of the ball.
Please don’t freak out at the rankings (if you don’t already know this by now). The 2010 and the 2011 classes that built the Rose Bowl foundation were ranked 22nd and 32nd, respectively. The following two years that had players that built the College Football Playoff foundation weren’t ranked in the top 30 either.
This is a quality class, and they’re not done building it yet.
Let’s take a peak around the Big Ten. MSU is ranked No. 7 in the conference by 247Sports, just behind Wisconsin and ahead of Minnesota. Rounding out the top five is Purdue at No. 5, Nebraska at No. 4, Ohio State at No. 3, Penn State at No. 2 and Michigan at No. 1.
Who knows, one day they might even come close at finishing at No. 1 in something on the field too!
Watch this if you haven’t yet.
This is one of the greatest signing days you will ever see. Hanahan’s Cooper Dawson picks Syracuse- but does it by first telling close friend Kingsley Feinman. Kingsley announces the decision- Dawson adds that Kingsley taught him the only disability is a bad attitude. @ABCNews4 pic.twitter.com/3OGJzJmlXg— Scott Eisberg (@SEisbergWCIV) December 19, 2018
Former Iowa State, Michigan State and Ohio State commit Dwan Mathis flipped to Georgia. Place your bets on what Group of Five school he will be transferring to after his sophomore season.
And hey, we get actual live sports back on Friday! MSU basketball is back in action against Oakland at 7 p.m. on Big Ten Network. It’s been a rough go for the Golden Grizzlies as they’ve started the season on a 4-8 record and have lost four of their last five.