Get A Great Look At Michigan State Coach Mel Tucker's Recruiting Style

Jeff Dullack

As the Mel Tucker era in East Lansing begins, one of the first tasks at hand will be to hit the recruiting trail, an area that the 48-year head coach has made a name for himself throughout his 23-year career in the coaching ranks.

In his time as an assistant, which includes stops at LSU, Ohio State, Alabama, and Georgia, Tucker proved to be one of the nation’s top recruiters and was listed in 247 Sports’ annual list of top 25 recruiters three straight years from 2016-2018 when he served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia and defensive backs coach at Alabama (2015).

Michigan State Athletic Director Bill Beekman said that one of the criteria the search committee had for the program’s next head coach was someone who is an experienced recruiter and has had success in recruiting, particularly in the Midwest, something that Tucker has plenty of.

“The criteria we established for this search was very clear at the start,” he said. “We were looking first and foremost for a person of character, a person with a passion for MSU. Someone with head coaching experience, a track record of coaching success, a strong recruiter, especially in the Midwest, someone with Big Ten experience, and someone who is a gifted teacher.”

Although Tucker spent just one year as head coach at Colorado, the impact he made in recruiting was noticeable. Colorado’s 2020 recruiting class checked in as the No. 35 ranked class in the country, 18 spots better than the class the Buffaloes put together in 2018 (53rd) and a nine-spot improvement from 2019 (44th).

The No. 35 ranking for the 2020 class was just two spots behind where Michigan State’s 2020 class ranks.

Tucker was also able to make an impact on the recruiting scene in the state of Michigan as he helped bring in Jaren Mangham (Detroit Cass Tech) and Marvin Ham (Belleville) as a part of his 2019 class. Mangham was one of the most coveted recruits out of the state of Michigan in 2019 as he fielded 49 offers, including one from Michigan State. Ham held 11 offers before picking Colorado.

Before accepting the head coaching position at Colorado, Tucker was named one of the top 25 recruiters in the country in 2018 by 247 Sports, checking in at No. 14. According to 247, Tucker played a key role in the recruitment of 5-star defensive back Tyson Campbell, 5-star linebacker Adam Anderson and a handful of other high-level recruits in the 2018 class.

Tucker was ranked as the No. 18 recruiter by 247 in 2016 when he was defensive backs coach at Alabama before transitioning to Georgia as defensive coordinator and ranked as the No. 20 recruiter in 2017.

Now that he is at Michigan State, Tucker told reporters on Wednesday that he has no intention of wasting any time when it comes to recruiting and identifying which players to try to recruit to East Lansing.

“We want to hit the ground running,” he said. “Time is of the essence, we’re not going to waste any time. We are going to be efficient, we are going to be effective in everything that we do. We are going to recruit. We are going to identify the players that we feel like can help us and then we are going to target them. We are going to recruit them with the intent of signing those guys.”

Michigan State recently extended offers to Allen (TX) 4-star wide receivers Blaine Green and Bryson Green, which are reportedly the first two offers the Spartans have extended under Tucker.

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Comments (2)

Recruiting for OSU, Bama, LSU and Georgia is one thing. Being at MSU and trying to recruit against OSU, ND, Michigan, Penn State is another thing. Even Saban left MSU because he couldn’t compete against Michigan. So good luck to Coach Tucker and time will tell what he is able to do.

No. 1-2
H-Town Spartan
H-Town Spartan

I have said this for awhile, but MSU doesn't need to necessarily beat OSU, ND, Michigan, and Penn State in recruiting, but they do need to be close. They can compete with those schools if they are in the top 25 in recruiting, but #43 won't cut it!