Spartan Football Recruiting In Best Shape in Years! Full Report

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The similarities between former coach John L. Smith and current coach Mark Dantonio are few, and aside from both coaches coming from current Big East schools before donning the headsets in East Lansing, there may be no similarities at all. But Spartan fans know that the biggest difference in these regimes thus far has been on the recruiting front. Smith struggled bringing big time talent to the program during his time here while Dantonio has taken Michigan State from the 4-8 team known for choking to an up and coming program with sights set on a Big Ten Championship, and recruits are taking notice.

 

The Spartans struggled against big time opponents like Ohio State and Penn State this season, but rebounded impressively from a 49-18 shellacking in Happy Valley with a hard fought battle against a very talented Georgia team, a game past MSU teams would most likely have folded completely in after such a demoralizing loss, that is if they could even get there. While they still came up short it is obvious that the Spartans have taken huge strides as a program both on and off the field. This team is now winning the games they are supposed to and some they should not (Wisconsin), now the key is bringing in the talent that will be able to compete with the top-flight teams in the Big Ten.

 

Coach Dantonio and his staff have already compiled a top 20 recruiting class for 2009, and are looking to add the final touches to a class that will be the best to set foot in East Lansing in a long time.

 

The number of scholarships available for the upcoming class has been a hotly debated topic for months, but Spartan Nation has learned that the final number of scholarships handed out will most likely be higher than expected, possibly reaching as high as 20 or even 21. One thing you have to remember is that the Spartans reception by recruits for 2010 is going so well, that at this point they will only take high quality athlete and kid. There will be no reaches. They would have no problem only signing 18 (the current amount committed) if they could not secure any more high quality athlete/young man type players, but the door is certainly there for as many as 21 if they could get that type of person.

 

The ’09 class already has 18 commitments but with more scholarships available than previously thought, the staff now has set their sights on strengthening their Defensive Line, especially on the interior at Defensive Tackle. Several D-Line recruits have already scheduled January official visits including 4-Star DE Michael Buchanan of Homewood Flossmoor High School (IL), 4-Star DT Lendell Buckner of Leo High School (IL), 3-Star DE Bernardo Nunez of Hoboken High School (NJ) and 3-Star DT Raynard Randolph of Gwynn Park High School (MD). While the rest remain open in their recruiting, Buckner is currently committed to Illinois, but there have been indications that if he finds the right school “Buck” would be ready to sign with a different school in the Big Ten.

 

The Spartan staff hasn’t limited themselves to only taking Defensive Line prospects the staff is also looking to add a Kicker, and they certainly haven’t ruled out taking another player that catches their eye regardless of position. 2-Star Kicker Kevin Muma of Troy High School (MI), 3-Star Offensive Line prospect Henry Conway of Shaker Heights (OH) and 2-Star TE prospect Justice Cunningham of Pageland Central High School (SC) are all scheduled to visit in the upcoming month as well. Cunningham is currently committed to South Carolina and is slated to play TE for the Gamecocks for the next year, but MSU has taken a different approach in his recruitment; Cunningham has said that he has been told that he would play Defensive Line if he were to switch his commitment to the Green and White. At 6-3, 241 pounds Cunningham certainly has the size to play DE and is athletic enough, he runs a 4.78 40-yard dash, to make the move.

 

While the season may have ended on a sour note for Spartan players and fans alike, the incoming recruiting class and the development of the young players like Kirk Cousins, Johnny Adams and BJ Cunningham make for a very bright future in East Lansing.

 

Stay tuned to Spartan Nation for the latest news in Spartan recruiting leading up to national signing day on February 4th when the newest Spartans will sign their letters of intent and become part of the Spartan family for good!

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