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Michigan State OT target Joe Crocker sets July decision date

The Spartans look to add to their O-line haul in the Class of '23...

A decision date has been set for three-star Nashville (Tenn.) Franklin Road Academy offensive tackle Joe Crocker, who will choose between Michigan State, Wisconsin and Mississippi State.

Over Fourth of July weekend, Crocker revealed that he will make his commitment public on Monday, July 18.

The Spartans appeared to be behind the Badgers and Bulldogs earlier this this recruitment, but an official visit to East Lansing over the weekend of June 24 helped Michigan State close the gap with Crocker.

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Crocker is ranked No. 38 among offensive tackles and No. 468 overall in the country for the Class of 2023. He's considered the No. 15 prospect out of the state of Tennessee.

Crocker took official visits to Wisconsin (June 3) and Mississippi State (June 10) earlier this month, and both schools made an impression on the tackle prospect. Following the visit to Madison, 247Sports' director of football recruiting Steve Wiltfong put in a crystal ball prediction for the Badgers, which was mirrored by Wisconsin Insider Evan Flood.

Interestingly, 247Sports' Steve Robertson, who write for Mississippi State Insider, put in a crystal ball prediction for the Bulldogs following Crocker's visit to East Lansing.

However, Michigan State remains a player in this recruitment and offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic has done a good job showing the tackle prospect what MSU has to offer.

Although he's only listed as a three-star prospect, Crocker's offer sheet suggest he's underrated as a recruit. He's received 30 FBS scholarship offers, including programs like Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Ole Miss, Tennessee and others.

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Michigan State is in a bit of a commitment slump, as the Spartans have not landed a verbal pledge since four-star offensive lineman Clay Wedin committed on June 14.

The Spartans have been named in several final groupings in recent weeks, with many of those decision days coming early in July. MSU made the 'Top 3' for three-star offensive tackle Joe Crocker and four-star EDGE prospect Bai Jobe, as well as the 'Top 6' for four-star cornerback Caleb Presley, who is making his decision July 5.

Tucker and his staff landed five commitments following the first two weeks of official visits in June, but Michigan State lost one of those five commitments when four-star cornerback Jaylon Braxton backed off his verbal commitment. Braxton continues to have the Spartans in his 'Top 4', and he has a decision date set for July 9, though Arkansas appears to be leading in his recruitment.

Michigan State's other June commitments came from four-star cornerback Chance Rucker, four-star wide receiver Demitrius Bell, four-star linebacker Jordan Hall and Wedin.

The Spartans' class rose as high as No. 9 in the country this summer, but the recent drought in verbal pledges has seen the class slip ranking has down to No. 34, according to 247Sports.

However, with only 10 commits, Michigan State is still in an excellent spot with this class. Seven of Michigan State's ten commitments this cycle are four-stars, and the Spartans are in final groupings for several more.

MSU signed a total of five four-star prospects in the class of 2022, and has not exceeded that number of four-star signees in one class since 2016, when nine four-star prospects pledged to the Spartans. With a long way to go until National Signing Day in December, Michigan State has put itself in a good position to sign more four-star or higher ranked prospects than ever before in the program's history.

Twitter: @mlounsberry_SI