3 Most Intriguing Jonathan Smith, MSU Football 2026 Targets

The Michigan State Spartans' main focus is still on the 2025 class, but the 2026 class has plenty of intriguing targets that the Spartans have begun to recruit hard. Who stands out?
Michigan State's head coach Jonathan Smith looks on during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
Michigan State's head coach Jonathan Smith looks on during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

The Michigan State Spartans' 2025 recruiting class has shaped out to be a solid one. Head coach Jonathan Smith and his staff pulled in nine recruits in June to increase the total to 14. Though the summer dead period is upon college football, the Spartans will still have plenty of time to add more to the class before signing day.

After the passing of June 15th opened, the 2026 class for college recruiters was opened,, and schools have invested more time i recruiting the class. Texts, phone calls, camps, and unofficial visits have increased exponentially for the rising junior class.

I have talked to numerous 2026 recruits, most of which were contacted by the Spartans not long after the clock hit midnight on the morning of June 15th. Many of the 2026 prospects are intriguing. Whether it is their ability, potential, or relationship to the Spartans at this stage, here are three 2026 targets I find most intriguing for the Green and White moving forward (the Spartans would do good to recruit them "heavy").

Cincere Johnson, LB, Glenville (OH)

Johnson is a four-star, per 247Sports Composite, and the No. 10 linebacker in the class, along with the 116th-ranked prospect in the entire class. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker has all of the tools to play off the ball or on the edge at the next level. A perfect frame to add weight to or hone to be a sideline-to-sideline menace.

I spoke with Johnson, who said that the Spartans were his very first call on June 15th. Just about everyone and everyone will be recruiting Johnson, including his in-state Ohio State Buckeyes, who are moving fast for him.

Johnson has a lot of intangible that point to probable success beyond the high school level, too. He told me he loves defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Joe Rossi.

David Schwerzel, Edge, O'Dea (WA)

After talking to so many recruits, you start to separate the "dudes" from the rest when you hear their thoughts on the game, preparation, and even themselves. Yes, talk is talk, and these are high schoolers, but when you juxtapose your conversations with them and what the expert evaluators project and grade them, you sort of piece it together as to who they are as a competitor.

Schwerzel has all the signs pointing to his potential to be very special. A 6-foot-4, 255-pound frame built for the modern pass rusher, and athleticism and traits you can't coach. He is the No. 24 edge rusher in the class, and could see a big jump with a dominant junior season on a defensive line that has another Top 40 edge rusher in Fameitau Siale.

Schwerzel visited Michigan State unofficially to compete in a camp, and he was impressed by the Spartans.

Brock Harris, TE, Pineview (Utah)

Harris is probably a long shot, but he's one of the elite tight end prospects in the class, and tight ends coach Brian Wozniak knows how to recruit top tight ends. The 6-foot-6, 238-pound Harris is the 24th overall prospect in the class, per 247Sports Composite.

He has offers from just about everybody who's anybody. He visited Michigan State in June and was left "surprised." He liked Wozniak, and the Smith-led Spartans' vertical usage of the tight end is a big plus to him, as well.

"Some schools [when] most tight ends will run routes it's a simple hitch or like a 5-yard route that isn't downfield at all," Harris had told me. "I liked all the really cool ways [Michigan State is] doing it."

Smith's history as a winner was something Harris said he liked, too.

Michael France is Sports Illustrated's Michigan State recruiting beat writer, covering all things Big Ten recruiting for Spartan Nation. Be sure to follow him on Twitter/X@michaelfrancesi for exclusive Spartans recruiting coverage.

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Michael France