Jonathan Smith, MSU Football Offer Highly-Recruited Target

The Michigan State Spartans recently offered a foreign-born defensive prospect who has been recruited by some of the biggest programs in the country.
Michigan State head coach Jonathan Smith looks on during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
Michigan State 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 have built a solid 2025 class so far. A strong month of June brought the Spartans' number of commits to 14. Two commits are defensive linemen Cal Thrush and Derrick Simmons. Other than that, the Spartans' defensive line class has been weak as they look for long-term answers on the front line.

Spartans defensive line coach Legi Suiaunoa is trying to change that by going West. Suiaunoa offered 2025 defensive lineman JJ Hanne of Santa Margarita Catholic on Thursday. Hanne is one of the most sought-after three-stars in the class, holding offers from Texas, Alabama, Florida, Oregon, Georgia, UCLA, Nebraska, and Arizona.

The 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive lineman is the No. 137 defensive lineman in the country, per 247Sports.

"Hanne is from Germany and has only played football for two years," the site reads. "Growing up, played basketball and soccer and is an intriguing prospect because of his length and natural athleticism."

Hanne has a deep connection with Georgia, having camped there and been on an official visit. He has been a top target for the Bulldogs' defensive line coach, Tray Scott.

"Coach Scott called me a couple months ago, like one or two months ago," Hanne told 247Sports. "He called me and told me that he liked my film and my story. He really wanted me to come to camp to earn an offer."

Hanne's film and the effort and ability he exhibited at the camp earned him that offer. He visited Athens again on the weekend of June 21.

Michigan State's recent offer to Hanne might be the indicator of several things. The Spartans are likely looking for more depth and size on the defensive line, especially long-term. Hanne can play anywhere with his size and athleticism, even though he might find a home at the 3-technique position.

Thrush and Simmons, both three-stars per 247Sports, were refined additions from a technical standpoint. Both will likely align differently, Thrush as more of a defensive end and Simmons as an interior. However, Hanne is a raw prospect with a high ceiling that Suiaunoa can develop.

The Spartans' offer of Hanne might be late, but it is nonetheless an attempt to snag a recruit late in the process. The staff has shown prowess for late-game recruiting, such as the recruitment of cornerback Aydan West.

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

MICHAEL FRANCE