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National Early Signing Day Recap — Michigan State Class of 2020

NCAA Football: Illinois at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The early signing period for the 2020 class was yesterday, and the Michigan State Spartans have signed nearly all of their verbal commits so far, with just running back Jordon Simmons left to go — he is expected to sign in February. Early Signing Day takes most of the suspense out of the Feb. 5 deadline, but instead makes for a fun Mid-December day.

Here is a recap of all of MSU’s signees and a little bit of information on each to help you get to know the future Spartans better (star-rating based on 247Sports Composite):

Tommy Guajardo, three-star, tight end, Dearborn (Michigan)

The second verbal commit of the 2020 class, Guajardo has nice size at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, but is also known for his athleticism, which Mark Dantonio praised. He is the No. 34 tight end prospect in the country. He was also named to the MLive Metro Detroit Dream Team for offense as an honorable mention.

Devin Hightower, three-star, outside linebacker, Archbishop Hoban (Ohio)

Keeping the Ohio-to-East Lansing pipeline strong, Hightower is another solid signing from the Buckeye State. The No. 49 outside linebacker prospect in the nation, Hightower had offers from Michigan, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Iowa, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and a plethora of others. He was also the Division II Defensive Player of the Year in Ohio.

Cole DeMarzo, three-star, outside linebacker/safety, Hilton Head (South Carolina)

An under-the-radar prospect who projects as an outside linebacker at MSU, but has experience at safety as well. In fact, he was named to South Carolina’s Class 4A first-team as a defensive back. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he will likely need to add weight to play linebacker.

Simeon Barrow Jr., three-star, defensive lineman, Grovetown (Georgia)

Originally thought of as a weak-side defensive end, Barrow is now being listed as a defensive tackle for the Spartans. A talented, defender, Barrow had an impressive offers list, which included West Virginia, Virginia, Tech, Missouri, Tennessee, UCF and many others. He was also named Region 3-6A Player of the Year in Georgia.

Jeff Pietrowski, three-star, defensive end, St. Edward (Ohio)

Pietrowski comes to Michigan State from St. Edward in Lakewood, Ohio, which is the same school that produced the Dowell brothers. He committed to MSU in June, over schools such as Purdue, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Boston College and many others. Named to the OPSWA All-Ohio Division 1 first-team and was’s Defensive player of the Year.

Ian Stewart, three-star, wide receiver, Carlson (Michigan)

Prototypical size at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Stewart provides a big target and wide catch radius for MSU quarterbacks. He played all over the field at Carlson, including receiver, quarterback and running back. He held additional offers from Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Louisville, Kentucky, Minnesota and many others. A finalist for Michigan Mr. Football, and a first-team All-Downriver League member.

Bonus: More info on Stewart

Dallas Fincher, three-star, offensive lineman, East Kentwood (Michigan)

Fincher was the first commit of the 2020 class, doing so back in February of 2019. He is the second highest-rated recruit for MSU in the 247 Composite rankings (.08809) and is the 26th-ranked offensive guard in the 2020 class. His impressive offers list included Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Miami (FL.), Kentucky, Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia and many others. He was selected to the MLive Grand Rapids Dream Team and Associated Press Division 1-2 All-State first-team.

Angelo Grose, three-star, cornerback, Mansfield (Ohio)

Grose is the only cornerback in the class and is currently ranked as the No. 53 player nationally at the position. Dantonio said Grose reminds him of a certain other MSU cornerback from Ohio named Josiah Scott — both are small guys at about 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, but are tough and competitive. Grose was named runner-up for Ohio Mr. Football and chosen the OPSWA Division 3 Defensive Player of the Year.

Cal Haladay, three-star, inside linebacker, Southern Columbia (Pennsylvania)

Haladay earned multiple All-State honors in Pennsylvania and is the all-time leading tackler in Southern Columbia High School history. He is ranked as the No. 32 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 7 player in Pennsylvania, per the Composite rankings. Held additional offers from Michigan, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Army and others.

Kyle King, three-star, defensive end, New Palestine (Indiana)

King was named Defensive Lineman of the Year and first-team All State by the Indiana Football Coaches Association after recording 67 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two blocked punts as a senior. He also led New Palestine to back-to-back state titles. King is one of five defensive linemen in MSU’s 2020 class.

Montorie Foster, three-star, wide receiver, St. Edward (Ohio)

Another St. Edward product, Dantonio actually said he heard of Foster through Will Dowell, father of Andrew, David and Michael. Foster flew under-the-radar as a recruit, as he only played one year of high school football, but still earned All-State honors this season. He is also a talented basketball player, and has good size at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds.

Ricky White, three-star, Marietta (Georgia)

White went off as a senior at Marietta — he had a ridiculous 97 catches for 1,319 yards and 16 touchdowns, while helping lead his school to a Class 7A state title. He’s earned first-team All-region honors in Georgia during his high school career. At 6-foo-1, 162 pounds, White is a big-play receiver who also makes an impact in the return game.

Avery Dunn, three-star, defensive end, Shake Heights (Ohio)

Dunn has good height at 6-feet-4-inches tall, but will likely need to add weight to his 215-pound frame to be a defensive end at the college level. He was a menace at the high school level, recording 79 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 10 sacks as a senior alone. He was the Greater Cleveland Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Terry Lockett Jr., three-star, wide receiver, Minnehaha Academy (Minnesota)

The most recent recruit to verbally commit, Lockett earned all kinds of All-State recognition in Minnesota after scoring 14 touchdowns as a seniot. The Spartans bring in a ton of talent at the wide receiver position in the 2020 group and Lockett is the highest-rated recruit of the bunch. He was also the No. 1 wide receiver prospect, and No. 3 player overall, in Minnesota.

Jack Olsen, three-star, kicker, Wheaton Warrenville South (Illinois)

Olsen is ranked as the No. 3 kicker in the entire 2020 class. Dantonio said that Olsen will have the opportunity to compete for immediate playing time. He made 10 field goals and made all 42 of his extra point attempts as a senior, which earned him a spot in the 2020 All-American Bowl.

Darius Snow, three-star, defensive back, Hebron (Texas)

The crown jewel of the class, Snow is ranked as a four-star by 247 Sports itself (three-star Composite). MSU currently lists him as a “DB,” but he will likely play safety in East Lansing. He can also play linebacker if needed. A legacy Spartan, his dad Eric and uncle Percy are Spartan legends. Had offers from several NCAA powerhouses, including Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, LSU, and Notre Dame.

Bonus: More info on Snow

Justin Stevens, offensive tackle, Clarkson Football North (Canada)

Originally hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, Stevens is a developmental prospect with a ton of potential at 6-foot-5, 292 pounds. He has only been playing football for a couples of years, and just started playing offensive line within the past year or so. Dantonio loves his athleticism, size and strength.

Chris Mayfield, defensive end, Hilliard Bradley (Ohio)

Yet another defensive end, Mayfield is a bit of a question mark as he missed his senior season with a knee injury. His talent is undeniable, though, as he is still ranked amongst the best players in Ohio and was named to the Ohio Capital Conference-Cardinal Division first-team as a junior. Mayfield is a good basketball player as well.

Noah Kim, three-star, quarterback, Westfield (Virginia)

The much needed quarterback in the class, Kim de-committed from Virginia tech to join the Spartans instead. He had an incredible 41-2 career record as a starter in high school. His arm strength and ability to move in the pocket and throw on the run particularly impressed Dantonio. Earned a ton of accolades in Virginia and led his team to the state semifinals as a senior.

Expected early enrollees:

  • Darius Snow
  • Devin Hightower
  • Angelo Grose
  • Cal Haladay
  • Kyle King
  • Justin Stevens
  • Jack Olsen

The class currently sits at 19 signed players. Dantonio says he expects it to finish with 21 to 25 players, including Simmons.

In full disclosure, I wanted to have this post done yesterday, but I’ve been sick this week and playing catch up. Better (a day) late than never, right? This was a time-consuming project, y’all.