Recruiting is still the “dead period” until July 24, which means college coaches may not have face-to-face contact with high school student-athletes or their parents, and may not visit them. Only written letters/emails or phone calls are permitted during this time.
So, with limited activity going on in the recruiting ranks for the Michigan State Spartans, this may be a good time to recap the current 2019 class and list off some of MSU’s top remaining targets.
Michigan State currently has 15 verbal commitments in the 2019 class, which is shaping up to be a strong one. The group includes one five-star, one four-star and 13 three-stars. Dwan Mathis, a four-star quarterback, flipped his commitment from the Spartans to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Jordan Huff, a three-star athlete, recently decommited from the Spartans as well and re-opened his recruiting, according to Rivals.
Offensive players: 8
Defensive players: 5
States: Michigan (8), Ohio (4), Illinois (2), Indiana (1),
Recruits (stars and rankings based off of 247Sports Composite):
Devontae Dobbs, OT, Belleville (MI), five-star
Julian Barnett, CB, Belleville (MI), four-star
Michael Fletcher, DE, Flint Carman-Ainsworth (MI), three star
Spencer Brown, OT, Walled Lake Western (MI), three-star
Adam Berghorst, DE, Zeeland East (MI), three-star
Luke Fulton, OLB, Cardinal Mooney (OH), three-star
Jase Bowen, WR, Central Catholic (OH), three-star
Tre Mosely, WR, West Bloomfield (MI), three-star
Nick Samac, OG, Mentor (OH), three-star
Marcel Lewis, ILB, Chippewa Valley (MI), three-star
Anthony Williams Jr., RB, Bolingbrook (IL), three-star
Damon Kaylor, OT, Huntington North (IN), three-star
Brandon Wright, RB, Euclid (OH), three-star
Alante Brown, ATH, Simeon (IL), three-star
Tate Hallock, ATH, Forest Hills Central (MI), three-star
Thoughts/Overview: The cream of the crop comes from Belleville, which is becoming a nice pipeline school for MSU. Dobbs, the No. 3 tackle in the country and No. 13 player overall, pretty much had his pick of any school he wanted. He is the highest recruit Michigan State has landed since Charles Rogers in 2000. Barnett, the No. 7 cornerback in the nation, also had an insane offer sheet, which included Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State and Auburn. With Mathis’ flip, strong-side defensive end Michael Fletcher is the next highest-rated recruit, as a high three-star.
The rest of the group (all three-star players) are a mix of highly-touted recruits, underrated players and perhaps diamonds in the rough. The class already has four offensive line commits. Spencer Brown was the first player to commit in 2019, and was a four-star at the time. Brown and Dobbs could be future bookend tackles for the Spartans, but Damon Kaylor and Nick Samac are lower-rated linemen who may be on the rise.
Other offensive players include two running backs, a position the Spartans really needed in 2019, in Williams and Wright. The Spartans also have two athletic wide receivers in Bowen and Mosley.
On the defensive side of the ball, MSU has locked in two highly-touted commits at the defensive end spot with Fletcher and Berghorst. The two linebackers in Fulton and Lewis provide both an outside and an inside option for the future, as well as depth. And, as mentioned, Barnett is the crown jewel on that side of the ball.
In terms of athletes, Alante Brown plays quarterback in high school, but is expected to play wide receiver for MSU. Hallock is a legacy player. His dad played for the Spartans and his brother currently is on the roster. He can play wide receiver, defensive back and return kicks.
Overall, this is extremely talented and promising group for Mark Dantonio and Michigan State. MSU continues to land talented in-state prospects, and Ohio continues to be a pipeline state for the Spartans. Despite the two recent decommitments, MSU still currently ranks 20th in the nation and fourth in the Big Ten.
A few remaining targets to watch:
Jaren Mangham, ATH, Cass Tech (MI), four-star
Mangham is listed as an “athlete,” who can play either running back or linebacker. MSU was likely recruiting him as a tailback, so the recent commitments of Williams and Wright could hinder Mangham’s decision to go green, and Colorado is currently favored to land him. With that said, Mangham has MSU in his final nine schools, so the Spartans are in the mix.
Darius Robinson, DE, Canton (MI), three-star
Robinson, who stands 6-feet-6-inches tall and weighs 250 pounds, would add to MSU’s already impressive 2019 defensive line commits. But will the commitments of Fletcher and Berghorst play a role in his selection? Not according to 247Sports, which sees a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction to MSU. We’ll find out Sept. 13, as Michigan State is one of seven finalists.
Khyheem Waleed, WR, Casteel (AZ), three-star
Waleed took a visit up to MSU right before the dead period and was very impressed. He told 247Sports that “Michigan State is definitely high up there” for him, and that the coaching staff “left a great impression.” He would be the first commit from out West, and is the No. 79 wide receiver in the class.
J.D. Duplain, OG, Strongsville (OH), three-star
Could the Spartans add another offensive lineman to the class? Duplain has been high on MSU since the school offered him in May. Not only are the Spartans in his top-three, but he also said in June that MSU was “at the top of his list.” He could possibly play defensive line for the Spartans as well. The Crystal Ball is currently favoring Indiana, however. Boston College is also in the mix, and Clemson may offer soon.
Isaiah Gibson, DT, Springfield (OH), three-star
The Spartans are yet to get a commitment from an interior defensive lineman, and Gibson may be the one. He listed MSU in his top-five, but the Spartans are playing a bit of catchup to Wisconsin and Kentucky. Minnesota and Purdue also made his final list. Gibson is the No. 51 defensive tackle in the 2019 class.
Of course there are other players who may commit to Michigan State soon, but definitely keep an eye on the five mentioned above. MSU is yet to land a commit in the 2020 class.
For more information about a few of the 2019 commits (and several of the 2018 signees), read our exclusive feature stories in the Commitment Spotlight Series: