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Michigan State Loses out on Andrel Anthony: Why it Matters

Mel Tucker and the Michigan State Spartans lost out on Andrel Anthony. Here's why Spartan fans should care.

It's no secret the Michigan State football team is struggling with recruiting. They also were put in a tough position following the late retirement of former head coach Mark Dantonio.

Anthony alluded to it following his commitment to the Wolverines by saying he liked Tucker's staff, but felt he wasn't able to get to know them the way he did with Michigan. 

However, Mel Tucker and his staff were brought in to be recruiters. It's what Tucker is known for, and it's why losing out on Andrel Anthony, the best receiver in Michigan, is such an indictment on this coaching staff.

Currently, Michigan State has the No. 63 recruiting class in the nation. In case you need clarification, that isn't good.

I'm not saying Tucker won't ever successfully recruit in East Lansing, nor am I attempting to crucify a staff who arrived less than six months ago.

I'm merely saying the honeymoon period may be over for Tucker, and losing out on Anthony, a guy who would have highlighted his '21 class and been the top skill position player of 2021, isn't a great look.

The Michigan native is a top-15 overall prospect in his home state and the 85th recruit at his position.

According to Allen Trieu, Anthony visited campus before the coronavirus pandemic, so meeting Tucker and the new wide receivers coach, Courtney Hawkins, was a non-issue. Following the visit, Michigan State made the three-star wideout a priority.

It wasn't enough.

The Michigan Wolverines stole him away from Mel Tucker's backyard.

For a frame of reference, the Wolverines had three receivers committed before Anthony's decision Friday afternoon, including Xavier Worthy (4-star WR), Cristian Dixon (4-star WR), and Markus Allen (3-star WR), meaning Michigan was already loaded at the position beforehand.

They didn't need him.

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So why does that matter? Anthony may be in a heated battle for playing time. At Michigan State, he would have seen the field much sooner and probably been a top wideout at some point in his career.

Again, I'm not saying the 6-foot-2, 175-pound East Lansing wide receiver can't become a star at the University of Michigan, but I think it'll be a much longer road.

Yet, Tucker wasn't able to convince him that where he was needed was in his hometown.

How does that happen? How do you swing and miss on a player of his caliber when your ability to recruit is the primary reason you are at MSU.

A few days before Anthony was set to commit, all signs pointed to the Spartans landing their best prospect of 2021. Soon, rumors started flying around, saying Michigan had crept back into the race.

Trieu felt that Anthony was a player who would remain close to home and went on the 247Sports Football Recruiting Podcast to express his thoughts on the matter.

"I think there's some doubt creeping in because I think he took a visit on his own to Michigan, and Michigan seems to be creeping back into a race that I thought at one point, they were potentially the leader," Trieu said via the 247Sports Football Recruiting Podcast.

Not long after, Allen Trieu and Steve Wiltfong had changed their Crystal Ball Predictions from MSU to the Wolverines with confidence levels of eight apiece. These two are rarely wrong, especially so close to a commitment date.

It turns out they were right.

Mel Tucker and Michigan State let another in-state recruit slip through the cracks.

Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

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