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Five-star OT Samson Okunlola headlines another star-studded official visit weekend for Michigan State

The Spartans will host 11 four-star prospects in addition to the five-star big man...

Mel Tucker and Michigan State are off to an excellent start in the 2023 recruiting cycle.

The Spartans are up to eight commitments in the class, following the verbal pledge from four-star wide receiver Demitrius Bell, and five of the eight players committed in the class are considered four-star prospects by the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Michigan State 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.

Given that context, the fact that MSU already has five verbal commitments from four-star prospects is remarkable, especially considering that the 2023 recruiting cycle is just now starting to heat up in the month of June.

The early success on the trail has landed Michigan State at No. 14 in the current 247Sports Team Recruiting Rankings in 2023, and the Spartans are playing host to a large number of highly-touted prospects again this weekend.

The official visitors list is headlined by five-star offensive tackle prospect Samson Okunlola out of Thayer Academy in Brockton, Mass. Ranked No. 20 overall and the No. 3 OT in the class of '23, Okunlola has nearly 50 scholarship offers from across the country.

Earlier this month, Okunlola included Michigan State in his 'Top 9' alongside Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Florida, Miami, Penn State, Oregon and Oklahoma.

Prospects are only allowed five official visits, so the fact that the Spartans were able to secure one with Okunlola is a great sign that there is genuine interest here from the five-star.

In addition to Okunlola, Michigan State is also hosting 11 four-star prospects, including current commits Andrew Depaepo, Brennan Parachek and Kedrick Reescano. Having those three guys on campus alongside these other prospects is great for the Spartans, as they'll be sharing their reasons for committing to MSU and trying to bring their classmates into the fold.

The group of four-star visitors is headline by Seattle cornerback Caleb Presley (No. 78 overall) who has garnered nearly 30 offers. The Spartans are in a battle with Alabama, Oregon and Texas A&M for the Top 100 recruit.

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Another well-known and highly-coveted prospect is defensive lineman Enow Etta (No. 124), who is strongly considering Michigan State alongside Stanford, Utah and Michigan, among others.

Linebacker Jordan Hall (No. 194) is another important prospect for the Spartans in this cycle, with MSU battling Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina and others for his services.

Michigan State is also getting an official visit from safety and LSU commit Ryan Yaites (No. 242) on campus this weekend, as the Spartans explore the possibility of flipping him from the Tigers. Yates took an official visit to California last weekend, which indicates he's not 100 percent settled into his commitment to LSU.

The Spartans will also play host to two other highly-touted safety prospects in St. Thomas Aquinas DB King Mack (No. 251) and St. Peters Prep DB Jayden Bonsu (No. 272).

Right now, it appears that Penn State is the leader in Mack's recruitment, with the Spartans close behind. Miami is another program to watch in this battle. Mack is set to visit Happy Valley next weekend.

Bonsu, meanwhile, is one of the Spartans' top targets at safety and is sure to get the royal treatment this weekend. The native of Hillside, N.J. visited Miami last weekend and will head to Columbus next weekend for a visit to Ohio State. The Buckeyes have a crystal ball in their favor in this recruitment.

Other four-star visitors this week include defensive lineman Terrance Green (No. 269) and interior offensive lineman Clay Wedin (No. 379), as Michigan State continues to look for prospects to help strengthen the trenches on both sides of the football.

Michigan State is also hosting three-star corner Colton Hood (No. 677) and three-star tight end Vance Bolyard (No. 851) to official visits this weekend.

Tucker and his coaching staff have the Spartans humming on the recruiting trail. Michigan State received two commitments off of last week's official visits — one from Bell, and another from four-star corner Chance Rucker — and the coaching staff will try to add to the 2023 class again with another star-studded weekend of visitors.

Twitter: @mlounsberry_SI