Dantonio and Narduzzi Focus in on Promising DE


With seniors Brandon Long and Dwayne Holmes graduating, Defensive End has become a primary focus for the Spartans 2009 recruiting efforts and one prospect who would fill the void left by those two nicely is Michael Buchanan of Homewood Flossmoor High School (IL).


The 6’6”, 220-pound Buchanan has been thought to have a strong lean towards his home state school Illinois for a long time, but with the his main recruiter, former Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Mike Locksley departing from Illinois to fill the Head Coaching vacancy at the University of New Mexico, the athletic DE is seemingly ready to look around.


Buchanan’s list of schools has been narrowed down to four; MSU, Illinois, Purdue and Vanderbilt. Buchanan has paid official visits to all of the schools still in the running for his service except MSU but that will change shortly as he is slated to visit the weekend on January 16th. The official visit to East Lansing will be his final one, giving the Spartans an advantage by virtue of being the last school he will see before making his decision.


Spartan Nation spoke with a Division I head coach once involved in Buchanan’s recruitment and break down the strengths and weaknesses of his game.


“(Buchanan) has great lateral foot movement, and a very strong punch move. But his best attribute is his speed off the edge, he’s exceptionally fast for his size,” said the Coach “His biggest weakness is that he uses brute strength too often. He won’t be able to overpower lineman at the next level like he can in high school.”


On the defensive line, having a variety of moves is key in order for the player not to become predictable in his efforts to get to the Quarterback and in turn become ineffective. If Buchanan can develop another move to go along with his already exceptional punch move, he could be a terror for offensive tackles all over the country in the very near future. That future is so near, in fact, that the same Division I coach said “Regardless of where he goes, he’s probably going to see reps immediately.”


“As good as he looks on film he may actually be underrated,” said the Coach “with a great defensive coaching staff like Michigan State has he could be even better than advertised.”


Buchanan is undoubtedly one of the remaining unsigned players the Spartans covet the most and the staff will be hoping he will choose to play football on the banks of the Red Cedar.


Stay tuned to Spartannation.com for updates on Buchanan and others as National Signing day, February 4th, draws near! Hondo and I will have another Spartan Nation Tonight episode up on SpartanNation.com this weekend. If you didn't check out the one from this previous weekend make sure you do so you can have the latest recruiting update.