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Michigan State football Recruiting Updates: Wide Receivers

Three-star hometown product Andrel Anthony Jr. lists the Spartans in his top-four, while MSU seems to be out of the running for four-star Louisiana prospect Keon Coleman

Courtney Hawkins
Current Michigan State wide receivers coach Courtney Hawkins during his playing days.

Recruiting for the Michigan State Spartans2021 class exploded in April, when Mel Tucker’s first group at the helm went from zero prospects to 10 by the end of the month. However, recruiting has come to a standstill for the Spartans, as there have been just two verbal commitments since then in three-star safety Michael Gravely Jr. (May 7) and punter Mark Vassett (May 8). Michigan State also recently lost the commitment of three-star cornerback Gabe Nealy, who was seemingly leading the charge of recruiting fellow 2021 players.

Of course, this is an odd time for recruiting. There are no on-campus visits currently allowed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which obviously hinders the staff’s ability to lock in more recruits. Courtney Hawkins, the former MSU standout wide receiver from 1988 through 1991, takes over as newly-hired wide receivers coach. MSU is yet to land a player at the wide receiver position in the 2021 class, but Hawkins and company have their eyes on a few prospects.

There is both some recent good news and recent bad news in terms of recruiting wide outs. Let’s start with the good vibes.

Things are heating up with one of Michigan State’s priority targets, as three-star wide receiver Andrel Anthony, Jr. recently included MSU in his top-four schools. MSU was joined by Michigan, Penn State and Notre Dame. Anthony plays right in the Spartans’ backyard at East Lansing High School, and it is important for the program to keep him in his hometown.

Anthony ranks as the No. 89 wide receiver prospect in the 2021 class, per the 247Sports Composite, as well as the No. 12 player overall in the state of Michigan, and No. 531 overall in the national rankings. Currently his 247Sports “Crystal Ball Predictions” all lean toward the Spartans.

The bad news, however, is that four-star Opelousas Catholic School (Louisiana) has seemingly eliminated the Spartans from contention. Coleman is the No. 46 wide receiver in the 2021 class, No. 9 player in Louisiana and No. 258 prospect in the country, per 247Sports.

He recently included Michigan State in his top-six, along with Florida State, Mississippi State, Kansas, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

However, on Monday, Coleman trimmed his list to three schools, and MSU did not make the cut. Things can always change, but his decision is currently coming down to Oklahoma, South Carolina and Kansas. Coleman was also a target for Tom Izzo and the basketball team.

Coleman did tweet out this excellent graphic after his latest announcement, however. MSU does not appear to be giving up on his recruitment, and he still may have some interest in the Spartans. It is not likely Coleman comes to East Lansing at this point, though.

Other wide receiver prospects to monitor:

  • Simeon Price, three-star, West Florida Tech (Pensacola, Florida), recently included MSU in his top-10.
  • Umari Hatcher, three-star, Freedom High School (Woodbridge, Virginia)
  • Jace Williams, three-star, Catholic Central High School (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  • TJ Huggins, three-star, Killian High School (Miami, Florida), plans to announce top-five schools soon.