Michigan St introduces 8 early enrollees in recruiting class

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Mark Dantonio took a look back at Michigan State's loss to Alabama, patiently listing for a room full of reporters many of the things that went wrong.

Then it was time to move on with the offseason.

''I think that you've got to have closure,'' Dantonio said.

Michigan State didn't have a formal end-of-season news conference in the immediate aftermath of its 38-0 loss to Alabama in the national semifinals, so Dantonio went back through that game in plenty of detail Friday. The Spartans also got a jump on national signing day, announcing eight early enrollees who are part of the 2016 recruiting class.

Linebacker Joe Bachie, wide receivers Cam Chambers and Donnie Corley, quarterback Messiah deWeaver, defensive end Mifi Hunt, offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa, safety Kenny Lyke and long snapper Bradley Robinson are all joining the Michigan State program.

Michigan State enjoyed a banner season in 2015, winning the Big Ten and advancing to college football's playoff. The Spartans finished on a sour note, however, when they were blown out by the Crimson Tide.

Dantonio said he may not have been as sharp as he could have been on game day.

''From my perspective, I felt a little out of sorts. I don't know if that's lack of composure, or just out of sorts,'' the Michigan State coach said. ''I thought we went into the game, and I thought our football team was confident that we would play, but we needed to have some things happen early in the process.''

The Spartans were behind 10-0 at halftime, and Alabama took total control by adding three touchdowns in the third quarter.

Now Michigan State will try to defend its conference title and make another run at a national championship. That won't be easy in 2016, when the Spartans must replace quarterback Connor Cook and several other key players.

Dantonio was happy to welcome the eight early enrollees Friday, and Michigan State obviously expects to announce more new recruits on signing day next month. Dantonio said arriving early on campus gives incoming freshman a chance to start adjusting academically and socially.

''With that's going to come some bumps in the road, some problems that they're going to have to navigate through,'' Dantonio said. ''But at the end of the day, they're going to be much further ahead than a normal freshman when they come in in July.''

Lyke, who is from Illinois, said leaving high school early requires some advance planning in terms of academic work.

''I took two English courses (this past semester) and two history courses,'' Lyke said. ''Spring ball obviously will be a big thing for me. Try to perform, gain some weight and see what happens.''

---

AP College Football site: collegefootball.ap.org

---

Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.