Rayshaun Benny, a 2021 four-star defensive tackle out of Oak Park, Michigan, has committed to Michigan State.
Benny, listed at 6-foot-5-inch, 275 pounds, is considered to be the No. 15 defensive tackle, No, 6 player in the state of Michigan and No. 188 recruit overall in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. He is easily the highest-rated recruit for Michigan State in the 2021 cycle, with an overall Composite rating of 0.9217. He joins offensive guard Geno VanDeMark as the only Composite four-star recruits in the class (although, running back Audric Estime was formerly a four-star, and quite frankly still should be).
Rivals.com is also high on Benny, rating him as a four-star recruit, but currently lists him as an offensive tackle. Rivals lists Benny as the No. 90 overall recruit in the nation, while ranking him fifth in the state of Michigan and 16th at his position. It is important to note that Benny was initially offered by the Spartans as an offensive tackle, and Michigan State offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic is listed as his lead recruiter, but the belief is that he will play on the defensive side of the ball in East Lansing.
He announced the decision via CBS Sports HQ:
Benny had scholarship offers from just about every Power Five program you could think of, with nearly 40 offers overall. In addition to Michigan State, schools such as Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Kentucky, Florida State, Miami (FL)., Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and many others were vying for Benny’s on-field services.
Benny had missed several games of his senior year due to an injury, but has since returned to help lead Oak Park to two consecutive playoff wins.
“It was just the family oriented part that was big for me,” Benny said of his choice to join Michigan State. “They were there when I needed them.”
In October, the four-star prospect unveiled his top-four choices of Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State and Kentucky. Michigan was long-considered to be leading his recruitment, while Kentucky and Penn State made a push, but it was Mel Tucker and company who ultimately landed Benny.
Allen Trieu, 247Sports Midwest Region recruiting analyst, recently had this to say about Benny:
“A two-way player for his career at Oak Park, Benny was recruited heavily on both sides of the ball, but expressed a desire to play defense. At 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, he can be an inside-outside combo player who can move between the three- and five-techniques. Benny had originally set a decision date of Oct. 25, but chose to delay as he was about to take the field for the final game of Oak Park’s regular season and his first of this season as he had missed the other games with an injury.”
This is the second commitment in as many days for the Spartans, as offensive lineman Kristian Phillips, out of Conyers, Georgia, kicked off the 2022 class for Michigan State with his announcement last night.
In more under-the-radar recruiting news, the Spartans also landed an offensive tackle from the junior college ranks. Brandon Baldwin, who has a massive frame at 6-feet-7-inches tall, and 315-pounds, pledged to Michigan State today. Baldwin played at Independence Community College in Kansas, but is formerly from the Southfield, Michigan area. He is rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports, but is not rated in the Composite rankings. Baldwin is part of the 2021 class.