The Michigan State staff has been working hard on the recruiting trails for the 2011 class. They usually like to get a long look at each prospect and have them on campus a couple of times before they will extend an offer. However, the following 9 prospects are some of the top recruits in the nation and Spartannation has confirmed that these 9 prospects already have scholarship offers from Michigan State. (in alphabetical order)
DeAnthony Arnett â€“ WR â€“ Saginaw, MI â€“ 6â€™0, 170lbs â€“ Arnett reminds a lot of people of a former Spartan great from Saginaw, Charles Rogers. Arnett is a little undersized at 6â€™0 and only 170 but displays good strength when battling for a jump ball and breaking away from tackles. Arnett has very good, strong hands and great leaping ability which makes every ball thrown in his direction catchable. Arnett has outstanding speed which he combines with his smooth route running ability and field awareness to consistently find himself creating separation from the defenders and making big plays. Arnett currently holds 5 BCS offers and that number will skyrocket after he attends some summer camps.
Jadeveon Clowney â€“ DE â€“ Rock Hill, SC â€“ 6â€™5, 225lbs â€“ The first thing that sticks out when you watch Clowney is his speed. His 40 time has been clocked in the 4.5â€™s, and he is constantly in the backfield before the offensive tackle can even put an arm out. There was multiple times this past season when he was hitting the quarterback on the QBâ€™s 3rd step of a 3 step drop which is extremely rare. When he gets in the backfield he makes the quarterback pay with bone crushing hits. He also displays very good strength. One play that sticks out in my mind is when the offensive tackle was holding him so he couldnâ€™t get away so Clowney pushed the tackle into the running back and wrapped them both up and tackled them both at the same time. Opposing offenses tried to counter his quickness with quick passes and draws, however Clowney has amazing awareness for his age and was constantly batting balls out of the air and staying disciplined on the draws. He is currently holding 5 BCS offers but the SEC and ACC are showing a lot of interest, and that number should start increasing very quickly.
Hakeem Flowers â€“ WR/CB â€“ Greenville, SC â€“ 6â€™3, 180lbs â€“ Flowers is a unique prospect because most â€œathletesâ€ have the â€˜potentialâ€™ to play multiple positions at a school but need some development, Flowers can step in and make immediate contributions at WR, CB, Safety, and as a returner. He is a very fluid runner with long strides which gives the impression that he is not very fast. That is until you realize the CB being left 10 yards behind him runs a 4.4 forty. He is big for a corner, but because of his speed, that is a huge advantage. He is constantly running hip to hip with receivers and making plays on the ball. As a receiver he does the complete opposite and turns DBâ€™s around with his ability to sell his routes to get open and his ability to stop on a dime and change directions. He is currently holding 20 BCS offers from coast to coast.
Doran Grant â€“ CB â€“ Akron, OH â€“ 5â€™10, 175lbs â€“ Grant has done just about everything a defensive player can do in a year. He has blocked more than 3 FGâ€™s, returned multiple punts and kickoffs for TDâ€™s, returned multiple interceptions for TDâ€™s and returned a couple of fumbles for TDâ€™s. Grant is the definition of a playmaker and can be counted on to do something big whenever the team needs it. He is a very smart player and uses all of his strengths to his advantage. He is very good at luring a QB into thinking his WR is wide open, only to jump the route for a pick 6. He makes plays on short routes, deep balls and even though he is undersized, makes plays on jump balls due to his 42 inch vertical jump. Â If he can quickly adjust to the speed and strength of Big 10 receivers, he could very easily see immediate and significant playing time. He is currently holding over a dozen BCS offers.
Taiwan Jones â€“ ATH â€“ New Baltimore, MI â€“ 6â€™3, 205lbs â€“ Jones is a LB and RB for Anchor Bay high school. He is a big bruising running back, and sometimes it seems like he is running over freshman with his strength and leg drive. He could also solve some of the problems at the goal line. He could be that bruising, â€˜Caulcrickâ€™ type back, that MSUâ€™s offensive scheme is in need of. He doesnâ€™t have great speed, but he is a very sure tackler, uses very good technique, and always wraps up the ball carrier. He will most likely be a LB at the next level but still has a chance to play RB. He is a raw talent and has great upside but will need a year of development before seeing the field as a LB. MSU is currently the only BCS school that has extended him an offer.
Lawrence Thomas â€“ MLB â€“ Detroit, MI â€“ 6â€™4, 230lbs â€“ Thomas could be the best player out of the long line of D-1 prospects that have come from Renaissance in recent years. Thomas already has the size to play LB in the Big 10. He is an extremely instinctive player and is always around the ball. He is extremely athletic for his size, running low 4.6 40â€™s and having a vertical leap of 36 inches. He is very intelligent both on and off the field. On the field he is always in the right spot and has a great understanding of the game of football. If he were to come to MSU, he would have the chance at immediate playing time, due to Greg Jones vacating the MLB position. Thomas would be the perfect fit to fill that void. It is still early to say that he would make as big of an impact as Jones has in his career, but he has the potential to do that and more. Thomas is currently holding upwards of 15 BCS offers.
Aundrey Walker â€“ OT â€“ Cleveland, OH â€“ 6â€™5, 335lbs â€“ Walker comes from the powerhouse program of Glenville. He has the size and strength to make immediate contributions, however most teams will probably redshirt him due to his technique. He has been able to dominate the high school game and although he has faced very good high school talent, it will not compare to what he will face at the college level. He will need to work on his footwork and staying low, but those are simple problems that can be fixed with a little dedication. Currently Michigan State is the only BCS school to extend an offer his way, as most schools are waiting to get him in camp and see him against some college DEâ€™s. Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Texas, and USC are all showing strong interest.
Michigan State has also extended offers to:
Greg Brown â€“ CB â€“ Ross, OH â€“ 5â€™10, 180lbs â€“ Committed to Michigan
Steve Miller â€“ DE â€“ Canton, OH â€“ 6â€™4, 230lbs â€“ Committed to Ohio State