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NSD Recap: Mel Tucker, Michigan State bring in highest-ranked class since 2016

National Signing Day has come and gone, and Michigan State has a Top 25 recruiting class for 2022.

Michigan State had one of its most productive National Signing Day’s in year on Wednesday, and the Spartans welcomed the next generation of talent to East Lansing.

Mel Tucker is attracting top talent. Michigan State signed five players ranked in the country’s Top 300, according to the 247Sports Composite, which is two more Top300 recruits than the school had signed in the previous three recruiting classes combined.

The Spartans’ 2022 class is currently ranked No. 21 in the country, in terms of overall team rankings. If that were to hold through the second signing period in February, it would be MSU’s highest-rated recruiting class since a No. 17 rankings in 2016 – when the Spartans were coming off their third Big Ten Championship under Mark Dantonio.

Going back to the 2008 class, Dantonio’s first full recruiting cycle, Michigan State has sign six Top 25 classes in the past 15 years, including the 2022 class. The average class rank over the previous 15 seasons in No. 31.

Michigan State signed five four-star prospects in this year’s class, which is more than the previous four classes combined. Four of those four-star recruits came from the state of Michigan: DL Alex VanSumeren, ATH Dillion Tatum, ATH Jaden Mangham, and WR Antonio Gates Jr. The fifth four-star was QB Katin Houser out of California.

Tucker spoke about the importance of recruiting the state of Georgia, and the impact of Michigan State playing in this year’s Peach Bowl, which is hosted by Atlanta.

“It's going to help us quite a bit,” Tucker said. “We recruit heavily in the state of Georgia, and all the way down to south Georgia.”

That statement came to fruition on Wednesday, when the Spartans signed seven players from the Peach State – the most players from one state in the class. MSU signed six players from Michigan. Now, playing in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30, Tucker and his staff will get a head start on recruiting in the state for 2023.

“We're going to be very visible, and it's going to be great for our program, great exposure for recruiting,” Tucker said. “We saw that when we played down at Miami earlier this season. We had a very good showing, and there was a lot of excitement generated in South Florida about…Spartan football. We got a very good response and made a lot of good connections because of that game. This will be very, very similar.”

Michigan State signed two players from Florida this cycle. The Spartans also ventured out West, pulling in two prospects from Arizona and one from Colorado, to go with Houser from California. Kicker Jack Stone was a southwest addition, coming from Dallas, Texas. In addition to the six from Michigan, Michigan State reeled in a pair of Midwest kids, one from Minnesota and another from Indiana.

While the day as a whole was a successful one for the Spartans, two recruiting battles had disappointing conclusions, as five-star OT Kiyaunta Goodwin and four-star WR Armani Winfield chose Kentucky and Baylor as their schools, respectively.

Still, Tucker is confident that the success of the 2021 football season will have a major impact on recruiting for next year’s cycle, and more of the highly-touted prospects will take a hard look at East Lansing.

“We believe the ’23 class for us is going to be a very strong class,” Tucker said. “We already have pretty strong name recognition with the prospects, their families and their coaches. We’re going to be able to get in on more of the very, very top players in the country than before. We’ll not only be able to get in it, but we’ll be able to stay in it. So, the top of our board will be more robust and that should bode well for the overall ’23 class in terms of strength and probably, at the end of the day, it’s ranking.”

2022 Class Signees:

  • 4-star DL Alex VanSumeren; Garber High School; Esserville, Mich. (National Rank – No. 187)
  • 4-star QB Katin Houser; St. John Bosco High School; Bellflower, Calif. (No. 216)
  • 4-star ATH Dillon Tatum; West Bloomfield High School; West Bloomfield, Mich. (No. 263)
  • 4-star ATH Jaden Mangham; Wylie E. Groves High School; Franklin, Mich. (No. 294)
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  • 4-star WR Antonio Gates Jr.; Fordson High School; Dearborn, Mich. (No. 300)
  • 3-star CB Caleb Coley; Houston County High School; Warner Robins, Ga. (No. 412)
  • 3-star TE Jack Nickel; Milton High School; Alpharetta, Ga. (No. No. 520)
  • 3-star S Malik Spencer; Buford High School; Buford, Ga. (No. 611)
  • 3-star S Quavian Carter; Lee County High School; Leesburg, Ga. (No. 656)
  • 3-star IOL Gavin Broscious; Desert Edge High School; Goodyear, Ariz. (No. 719)
  • 3-star WR Tyrell Henry; Roseville High School; Roseville, Mich. (No. 738)
  • 3-star WR Jaron Glover; Riverview High School; Sarasota, Fla. (No. 747)
  • 3-star CB Ade Willie; IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla. (No. 768)
  • 3-star S Malcolm Jones; Lee Country High School; Leesburg, Ga. (No. 806)
  • 3-star EDGE James Schott; Center Grove High School; Greenwood, Ind. (No. 809)
  • 3-star OT Ashton Lepo; Grand Haven High School; Grand Haven, Mich. (No. 894)
  • 3-star EDGE Chase Carter; Minnehaha Academy; Minneapolis, Minn. (No. 923)
  • 3-star OT Braden Miller; Eaglecrest High School; Aurora, Colo. (No. 967)
  • 3-star TE Michael Masunas; Hamilton High School; Chandler, Ariz. (No. 990)
  • 3-star IOL Kristian Phillips; Salem High School; Conyers, Ga. (No. 1029)
  • 3-star DL Zion Young; Westlake High School; Atlanta, Ga. (No. 1314)
  • 3-star K Jack Stone; Highland Park High School; Dallas, Texas (No. 1825)