Michigan State Sets Official Visit with 3-Star OL

Michigan State coach Jonathan Smith continues attempting to build the trenches.
Michigan State's offensive line runs a drill during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
Michigan State's offensive line runs a drill during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

Michigan State and Coach Jonathan Smith have focused on three main areas in recruiting. One of those areas is in-state recruiting. Although Michigan State undoubtedly faces an uphill battle regarding in-state recruiting as its arch-rival just won the national championship, it also has an advantage.

Michigan only has so many roster spots and even fewer players who actually get playing time on such a talented roster. That leaves many lesser-known and lower-ranked players available who are looking for a respectable football program to join. Most of these players want to make a name for themselves, and Michigan State would allow them to do so.

Those players would also have the chance to be a part of something special. While a rebuild isn’t glamorous, being a part of a team or a class that helps begin a comeback for a football program could be a source of pride for players looking for a football program and coaching staff that believes in them. 

Along with focusing on in-state talent on the recruiting trail, Smith has also focused on the offensive and defensive line. That was the case for the recent official visit Smith and the Spartans set with a top 20 in-state prospect for June 21.

According to Corey Robinson of 247Sports, Smith and the Spartans set an official visit with offensive lineman Antonio Johnson. The three-star athlete is a native of Orchard Lake, Michigan. According to 247Sports, Johnson is ranked as the 63rd-best interior offensive lineman in the country and the 19th-best player from Michigan in the 2025 recruiting class.

Altogether, Johnson holds offers from 15 programs, according to 247Sports. Michigan State joins Illinois, Penn State, West Virginia, Maryland and Boston College to offer Johnson a scholarship, amongst other schools. Coach Smith and his coaching staff have begun setting up many official visits and offering many scholarships to players from Michigan. 

Smith's goal of turning around Michigan State's football program would greatly benefit from additional in-state players, as in-state players are a little less likely to enter the transfer portal, especially if they are receiving playing time and mesh well with the coaching staff.

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Ezekiel Trezevant


Ezekiel is a former Sports Editor from the Western Herald and former Atlanta Falcons beat writer.