The War Room: Go Inside Michigan State Football Recruiting
The past week has been the busiest for Mel Tucker and his staff when it comes to extending offers to recruits from the 2021 and 2022 classes as the Spartans offered several players in recent days.
While the NCAA recently imposed a recruiting dead period, banning all on-campus and off-campus recruiting in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Spartans haven’t slowed down on the recruiting trail, extending 43 offers to recruits this week as the staff still seeks out its first commitment in the 2021 class.
Below is a complete recap of Michigan State’s week in recruiting, including a look at four recruits in the 2021 class who narrowed down their choices and have Michigan State in the mix of schools they’re considering.
Bel Aire (MD) John Carroll 2021 RB Roman Hemby
A dynamic running back capable of being an impact player in both the run game and the passing game, Hemby received an offer from Michigan State on Monday. Listed at 6-foot, 190 pounds, Hemby told Spartan Nation, “‘I was very excited because I love Big 10 football, and they are building a competitive culture with the new staff.” Hemby holds offers from Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Wake Forest, and others and also plans on visiting Michigan State when the recruiting restrictions are lifted.
East Lansing (MI) 2021 OT Ethan Boyd
A big, physical offensive lineman that stands at 6-foot-7, 285 pounds, Boyd fits the bill of what the Spartan coaching staff looks for in offensive lineman. Boyd also holds offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, and a handful of other Division 1 programs.
Portland (OR) Westview 2022 WR Darrius Clemons
One of the nation’s best receivers in the 2022 class and regarded as the top player in Oregon for his class, Clemons was initially offered by Mark Dantonio’s staff and had his offer reaffirmed by Mel Tucker’s staff on Monday. A 6-foot-3, 195-pound standout, Clemons currently holds offers from Oregon, Oregon State, BYU, California, Central Michigan, Nevada, and Utah State.
Pearland (TX) Shadow Creek 2021 OLB Terrence Cooks
With 35 offers in hand already, Cooks, an athletic, physical impact player on the defensive side of the ball, is one of the most sought after players in the 2021 class with offers from Texas, Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Stanford, and USC. Cooks, who was offered on Monday by special teams coach Ross Els, told Spartan Nation that he was “shocked” after being offered by the Spartans and wants to learn more about the program.
Kernersville (NC) Glenn 2021 OLB Raneiria Dillworth
Another highly sought after 2021 recruit, Dillworth has an impressive list of offers that includes Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and several others. A lightning-fast and hard-hitting linebacker, who is capable of playing both inside linebacker and outside linebacker, Dillworth received his offer from Michigan State on Monday.
Akron (OH) East 2021 CB Shawn Gates
A 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback who has seen his recruitment pick up since the end of his junior season, Gates picked up an offer from Michigan State on Monday, bringing his list of offers to 10. Gates, who also holds an Iowa State offer and a handful of offers from MAC schools, is a physical cornerback who has a knack for tracking the ball in the air.
Cleveland (OH) Glennville 2021 S Michael Gravely Jr.
A tough, physical, hard-hitting safety who is capable of playing against the pass and the run, Gravely Jr. received an offer from the Spartans on Monday and was previously recruited by Tucker’s staff at Colorado. Gravely has offers from Colorado, Miami (OH) and Cincinnati in addition to his offer from the Spartans and told Spartan Nation that he believes the football program is on the rise. “Michigan State, the program is rising again,” he said. “I think that’s going to be one of the best schools in the nation just because coach Mel is there.”
IMG Academy (FL) 2022 WR Samuel Mbake
Although he is just finishing up his sophomore year of high school, Mbake already has an impressive list of offers. They include Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Michigan State, who offered on Monday. Standing at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Mbake offers an impressive blend of size, speed, and pass-catching ability. “I was very shocked and was very excited,” Mbake told Spartan Nation, “because my big brother Ricky White is going there.”
Buford (GA) 2022 S Malik Spencer
Spencer was initially offered the Michigan State staff back in February and had his offer reaffirmed on Tuesday by Tucker’s staff. A 6-foot, 170-pound playmaker in the secondary, Spencer was offered by Colorado when Tucker was head coach of the Buffaloes and also holds offers from Arizona State, Kentucky, Miami (FL), Central Florida, and USC.
La Grange Park (IL) Nazareth Academy 2021 DE Ryan Keeler
A 6-foot-5, 240-pound standout, who can play both offensive line and defensive line and holds nearly 30 offers, Keeler is a complete defensive end, capable of being a strong run-stopper or an elite pass rusher. In addition to his Michigan State offer, which was extended on Tuesday, Keeler holds offers from Michigan, Minnesota, Louisville, Kentucky, Iowa State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Purdue, Wisconsin, and several others.
Edwardsville (IL) 2021 RB Justin Johnson Jr.
Regarded as a top 10 player in the state of Illinois, Johnson is a 6-foot, 200-pound running back who has the speed and athleticism to run outside and has the power and balance to run between the tackles. Johnson holds 11 offers, including offers from Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota, Louisville, Temple, West Virginia, and Michigan State, who offered on Tuesday.
Bolingbrook (IL) 2021 OLB Tyler McLaurin
A versatile linebacker capable of playing inside and outside, McLaurin can play against the run and drop into coverage, McLaurin was re-offered by the Spartans on Tuesday. One of the top players in the state of Illinois, McLaurin, also holds offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Pittsburgh, along with a handful of other Division 1 programs.
Englewood (CO) Cherry Creek 2021 DE Arden Walker
An elite pass rusher known for his explosiveness and ability to get off the ball, Walker, received an offer from the Spartans and defensive line coach Ron Burton on Tuesday afternoon. Walker, who was offered by Tucker when Tucker was at Colorado, also has offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Washington State, Wisconsin, and a few others. Walke,r spoke with Spartan Nation about his offer and said, “I was definitely excited. It was great to hear, especially coming from the defensive line coach, so I got an honest opinion from him. It was great to hear that he sees something in me and some potential in me so I can maybe take my game to the next level because that’s my intention.”
Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods 2021 CB Tamarion Crumpley
One of several players that were re-offered this week, Crumpley, was initially offered by the Spartans in January and had his offer reaffirmed by the new coaching staff on Tuesday. A big, physical cornerback, Crumpley is listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. Crumpley has nine offers, including offers from Kentucky, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh.
Independence C.C. (KS) 2021 TE Quentin Moore
One of the top junior college players in the country, Moore has fielded several offers from Division 1 programs since he arrived at Independence C.C. A native of Kenmore (WA), Moore was offered by Michigan State on Wednesday. A 6-foot-5, 240-pound elite tight end who was offered by Colorado when Tucker was head coach, Moore holds offers from Oklahoma State, Washington, Iowa State, Maryland, Louisville, Ole Miss, and several others.
Clayton (OH) Northmont 2021 S Rod Moore
In what was a busy week for Moore, Michigan State was one of five schools to extend an offer to the standout safety. Moore, who is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Moore holds more than 20 offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Northwestern, and Wisconsin, among others.
Cannonsburg (PA) Peters Township 2021 S Donovan McMillon
One of the most highly recruited players in the 2021 class out of the state of Pennsylvania, McMillon has 40 offers in hand after landing an offer from the Spartans on Wednesday. McMillon, versatile safety who stands at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, holds offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Iowa and Purdue, and several other Division 1 programs.
Opelousas (LA) Catholic 2021 WR Keon Coleman
Considered to be one of the top 2021 recruits in the state of Louisiana, Coleman is a 6-foot-4, 185-pound, is an exceptional receiver who has elite speed and pass-catching ability. Along with his offer from Michigan State, Coleman holds offers from Florida State, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Virginia and more.
Austin (TX) LBJ 2021 S Andrew Mukuba
One of the top defensive backs in the 2021 class, Mukuba is a ballhawk safety and a hard hitter in the secondary. Following his offer from the Spartans on Wednesday, Mukuba is closing in on 30 offers, as the 4-star standout holds offers from Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Minnesota, Notre Dame, and Ole Miss.
Beggs (OK) 2021 S Kendal Daniels
Widely regarded as one of the top safeties in America and one of the top players in the state of Oklahoma for the 2021 class, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound defensive playmaker picked up an offer from the Spartans earlier this week. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, and Oregon are among the schools that have offered.
Kennedale (TX) 2021 S J.D. Coffey
Much like Beggs and Mukuba, Coffey is another highly sought after safety that the Spartans offered on Wednesday. A complete defensive back who has shown the ability to be elite in pass coverage and physical in stopping the run. Coffey has an impressive list of offers Auburn, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Penn State, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and several others.
Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna Prep LB Terrence Lewis
Rated as one of, if not the best outside linebacker recruit in the 2021 class and a top-five player in the state of Florida, Lewis has almost 40 offers after being offered by the Spartans earlier this week. Listed at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Lewis has offers from Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, and many more.
Bowling Green (KY) South Warren 2021 ATH Jantzen Dunn
One of the highest-rated athletes in the country, Dunn, is capable of playing many different positions on both sides of the ball. Dunn. regarded as one of the top recruits in the state of Kentucky. A 6-foot-2, 178-pound standout with elite speed, Dunn holds offers from Oklahoma, Ohio State, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Penn State, Texas, among others.
Baltimore (MD) DeMatha Catholic 2021 CB Antoine Booth
Booth, who initially received his Michigan State offer from Mark Dantonio’s staff, Booth, had his offer reaffirmed by the new Spartan coaching staff on Thursday. A 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback, Booth found out the news of his reaffirmed offer from Spartan defensive line coach Ron Burton and told Spartan Nation, “I was at excited and at ease at the same time because I didn’t know if they were going to re-offer or not due to the fact they lost key members of their old staff.” Booth also holds offers from Maryland and Rutgers.
Euclid (OH) 2021 WR Armond Scott
Scott, who has seen his recruitment pick up throughout March, received an offer from Michigan State earlier this week, giving the 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver six offers for the month alone. An elite playmaker with big-time speed, Scott holds offers from Akron, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Miami (OH), Toledo, and Wake Forest.
Wexford (PA) North Allegheny 2021 ATH Khalil Dinkins
A standout athlete who has the versatility to play several different positions, Dinkins has seen an uptick in his recruiting over recent weeks and months and picked up his latest offer from the Spartans on Thursday. Listed at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Dinkins has been offered by Boston College, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and others.
Tulsa (OK) Union 2021 RB A.J. Green
One of the top players in the state of Oklahoma for the 2021 class, Green is capable of playing both running back and defensive back at the college level but appears to be recruited at running back by the Spartans. A running back with elite speed and good strength, he can be an every-down back. Green picked up an offer from Michigan State on Thursday and also holds offers from Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina, and a few other major Division 1 programs.
White Castle (LA) University Lab 2021 S Jardin Gilbert
Gilbert, who reached out to Michigan State as a school to gauge the interest from the Spartans, was offered by Michigan State on Thursday. Gilbert, who found out about the offer from safeties coach Mike Tressel, spoke with Spartan Nation about his offer. Speaking highly of Tressel, he feels he would be a good fit in East Lansing, “We talked about some of the schemes that they play, how they’ve got a new defense, and they’re going to be based out of nickel. We talked about how we have the same minds and how they blitz safeties. It just sounded like the perfect fit for me.” In addition to his offer from the Spartans, Gilbert has also been offered by Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Colorado, Mississippi State, and others.
Houma (LA) Terrebonne 2021 DT Maason Smith
Regarded as the No. 1 defensive tackle in the nation for the 2021 class and a top 10 player overall in the class, Smith has already put together an impressive list of offers that now includes Michigan State. A dominant interior defensive lineman, who already looks ready to play at the college level, Smith has offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State, Texas, and many more major Division 1 programs.
Dacula (GA) 2021 S Kaleb Edwards
A ballhawk safety who is very strong in coverage and can play sideline-to-sideline, Edwards picked up his third Big Ten offer from the Spartans last week. Edwards, who has elite athleticism and can play on both sides of the ball, Edwards has been offered by Colorado, Duke, Iowa, Iowa State, Indiana, Louisville, Memphis, and West Virginia.
Stow (OH) Walsh Jesuit OT David Wholabaugh
Committed to Kentucky, Wholabaugh is a 6-foot-6, 280-pound, physical offensive tackle that fits the bill of the type of offensive lineman that Michigan State has targeted under its new coaching staff. Wholabaugh also holds offers from Purdue, Maryland, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and a handful of MAC schools.
Columbus (OH) Walnut Ridge 2021 DE Jamarius Dinkins
Initially offered by Mark Dantonio’s staff back at the end of January, Dinkins had his offer reaffirmed by Mel Tucker’s staff on Thursday, as the 6-foot-6, 255-pound standout defensive end looks to be an ideal fit in Michigan State’s defense. In addition to his Spartan offer, Dinkins has offers from Kentucky, Cincinnati, Iowa State, West Virginia, and a handful of offers from a group of five schools.
Buford (GA) 2021 RB Gabe Ervin
The teammate of 2022 safety Malik Spencer, who was offered earlier in the week, Ervin, also had his offer reaffirmed by Tucker’s staff this week. A 6-foot, 200-pound running back who can run between the tackles and has the speed to run to the outside, Ervin has 15 offers, including offers from Colorado, Georgia, Florida State, Louisville, Ole Miss, Nebraska, and Tennessee.
Yorba Linda (CA) 2021 OL Mason Randolph
A 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive lineman who could play either tackle or interior offensive line at the college level Randolph has shown the ability to be a reliable blocker in the pass protection and in the running game as well. Randolph has been offered by Boise State, Colorado, San Jose State, Utah, and Utah State.
Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco LB Ma’a Gaoteote
Committed to USC on February 27th, 2018, Gaoteote is very unlikely to move off of his commitment to the Trojans, but the Spartans offered the 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker on Friday. Gaoteote has been offered by Colorado, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Washington along with USC and Michigan State.
Colorado Springs (CO) Pine Creek ATH Beau Freyler
An athletic, versatile athlete who can play on both sides of the ball, Freyler could play either wide receiver or defensive back at the college level. Michigan State, who offered on Saturday, became the second Big Ten team to offer, joining Nebraska. Iowa State, Kansas State, Washington State, and Wyoming have also offered.
DeSoto (TX) 2021 DE Shemar Turner
Holding over 30 offers in the recruiting process, Turner has been one of the most sought after defensive line recruits in the 2021 class thanks to his college-ready size, strength, and athleticism. Along with his Michigan State offer, which was extended on Saturday, Turner also holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and offers from several other major Division 1 programs.
Montvale (NJ) St. Joseph Regional 2021 OL Geno VanDeMark
With good size (6-foot-4, 313 pounds) and strength, VanDeMark is capable of playing tackle and interior offensive line at the college level and fits the criteria that the new Michigan State coaching staff looks for in offensive line recruits. VanDeMark holds 14 offers, which includes offers from Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Purdue, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Rutgers.
Thornton (CO) Regis Jesuit 2022 OL Grayson Stovall
A 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive lineman, who has the athleticism and power to play both interior offensive line or tackle, Stovall picked up his first power-5 offer from the Spartans on Sunday. Stovall currently holds two other offers, from Colorado State, and Charlotte, but will likely receive many more offers soon.
Centennial (CO) Eaglecrest 2022 OL Braden Miller
A dominant offensive lineman, who has the size (6-foot-6, 240 pounds) to play offensive tackle at the college level, Miller was one of three offensive linemen in the 2022 class from Colorado to field an offer from the Spartans on Sunday. Miller also holds offers from Kansas and Colorado State and is on the verge of seeing his recruitment take off with several other Division 1 programs showing interest.
Centennial (CO) Eaglecrest 2022 OL Kaden Weatherby
A teammate of Miller’s, Wetherby, is an offensive lineman with good size and strength that will fit what the Spartans will look for in offensive line recruits, particularly on the interior offensive line. Weatherby also holds offers from Kansas and Colorado State.
East St. Louis (IL) 2021 QB Tyler Macon
A recent Missouri commit, Macon is a dual-threat quarterback that is more than capable of being a difference-maker in the passing game and the run game. A 6-foot, 185-pound standout, Macon was offered by the Spartans on Sunday and also holds offers from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Vanderbilt, and others.
Del Valle (TX) 2021 RB Tavierre Dunlap
A big-time running back out of the state of Texas, Dunlap is considered one of the best running backs in the 2021 class because of his blend of size (6-foot, 196 pounds), power and speed. Dunlap now holds 28 offers after the Spartans offered on Sunday and holds offers from Arizona, Colorado, Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and USC.
Clayton (OH) Northmont 2021 WR Markus Allen includes Michigan State in Top 10
One of the top receivers in the state of Ohio, Clayton, narrowed his list of schools down to 10 this week and has the Spartans in the mix. Allen originally received a Michigan State offer from Mark Dantonio’s staff. The other schools to make Allen’s top 10 are Indiana, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Cincinnati, Kansas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wake Forest.
Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding 2021 ATH Zakee Wheatley has Spartans in Top 8
Wheatley, a versatile athlete who can play receiver on offense or can play in the secondary defensively, recently shortened his list of schools down to eight and included Michigan State. A 6-foot-2, 180-pound standout, Wheatley has Northwestern, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Wisconsin in the mix as well.
Oak Park (MI) 2021 OL Rayshaun Benny has Michigan State in Top 14
One of Michigan State’s main in-state targets, Benny, announced his top 14 schools, trimming his list down from his 37 offers, and has the Spartans in his newly released list of top choices. A 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive lineman, who is rated as a 4-star recruit and one of the best in Michigan in the 2021 class. Benny also included Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, LSU, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Iowa, Miami (FL), Kentucky, Arkansas, and Arizona State in his top 14.
Highland Springs (VA) 2021 DE Kelvin Gilliam puts Spartans in Top 15
A 4-star defensive end, who is regarded as a top-five player in the 2021 class from the state of Virginia, Gilliam trimmed his list from his 28 offers down to 15 last week and has Michigan State in the running. Gilliam, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, also has Arkansas, Penn State, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Boston College, Tennessee, North Carolina State, Arizona State and Vanderbilt in the mix.
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