EAST LANSING - Michigan State’s football recruiting efforts for the class of 2019 is expected to get a boost during this weekend’s visits for the Notre Dame game.
Whereas Michigan State is expected to get visits from an interesting array of senior (class of 2018) recruits, a slew of intriguing junior visitors are set to experience a Spartan Stadium night game.
Among the 2019 visitors:
* Hayden Rucci, 5.7 three-star TE from Lititz (Pa.) Warwick. Ranked No. 4 in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com.
The Skinny: Parents were scholarship athletes at Penn State. Dad played football there, but Michigan State was the first major college to offer. PSU still evaluating. Michigan State has gained a lot of traction with him since his February visit to East Lansing.
* Dwan Mathis, four-star QB from Oak Park (Mich.) High. Ranked No. 4 in Michigan.
The Skinny: Michigan State has been involved with him for a long time, predating his initial commitment to Iowa State. When he decommitted in the spring, Michigan State was in good position to pounce. Michigan State scouted him last week, has offered and is running strong.
* Devontae Dobbs, four-star OT from Belleville (Mich.) High. Ranked No. 1 in Michigan.
The Skinny: Elite recruit who has a valuable frame at a valuable position. This will likely be a long journey of a recruitment but Michigan State is keeping up with the lead pack.
* Julian Barnett, four-star WR from Belleville, (Mich.) Ranked No. 3 in Michigan.
The Skinny: Michigan State has a good name with the Belleville program. Barnett has been tweeting love MSU’s way recently. Michigan State is shaping up as the team to beat.
* Jaren Mangham, four-star RB, Detroit Cass Tech. Ranked No. 6 in Michigan.
The Skinny: Power back will return to action tonight after missing a game with an ankle injury. His father has known Michigan State associate head coach Mark Staten for more than 20 years. This helped get Michigan State off to a good start with Mangham, and the Spartans have remained solid with him.
* Andrew Kristofic, three-star OT, Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine Richland High. No. 15 in Pennsylvania.
The Skinny: He seems to love Penn State, and attended a PSU game two weeks ago, but the Nittany Lions haven’t offered. Michigan State, Pitt, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Northwestern (this week) and others have offered.
* Xavier Goldsmith, three-star DB, Detroit Cass Tech.
The Skinny: Doesn’t have an ideal frame at 5-foot-8, but has offers from Colorado and Mississippi State. Still in the evaluation stages.
* Carter Colquitt, 5.7 three-star OT, Buford (Ga.) High. Ranked No. 43 in Georgia.
The Skinny: Attended the Miami camp in June. Listed Auburn, Miami, Florida and Michigan State as primary schools of interest two weeks ago.
He plans to visit Miami, Auburn, Florida and others in the coming weeks. He plans to settle on a final five “by midway through this year.” This weekend’s visit to Michigan State will go a long way toward deciding whether the Spartans will hang with the southern contenders for him.
Others of note:
* Dezman Cooper, 5.6 three-star LB, Reynoldsburg (Ohio) High. Ranked No. 15 in Ohio.
* Jeremiah Burton, DT, Westerville (Ohio) North.
* Ormendell Dingle, WR/DB, Detroit Cass Tech.
* Sam Jackson, DB, Troy (Ohio) High.
* Nate Martens, QB, St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet.
* Jaren Mangham visited Oregon two weeks ago, and also visited USC and UCLA during his west coast trip. Oregon and UCLA have offered.
He plans to visit Alabama next weekend, but no further visits are scheduled at this point.
* Dezman Cooper is an interesting one to keep an eye on. He’s a physical, compact, hard-driving linebacker in the Denicos Allen mold. Ranked No. 15 in Ohio at this time, he doesn’t yet have an Michigan State offer but is firmly on the Spartans’ radar.
He will visit Cincinnati next week, followed by Ohio University, Indiana, Toledo and Kentucky. He may return to Michigan State for the Penn State game, the weekend of No. 4.
He will likely visit Ohio State Nov. 11, and Cincinnati again on Nov. 25.
Louisville is trying to get him to visit in November.
Miami of Ohio is his first offer.
“Ohio State staff texts me a lot, and Coach Fickell (at Cincinnati),” Cooper said.
As for Michigan State, Cooper said, “I really like the staff there. Plus my uncle played for Coach Dantonio.”
His uncle is Joe Cooper, who was a linebacker at Ohio State in the early 2000s.
Dezman Cooper and his family will be traveling to East Lansing with Jeremiah Burton, an interesting DT from Westerville North.
* Ormendell Dingle is a rising prospect at WR and safety. He is listed at 6-foot-2 and growing.
He plays safety on defense for Cass Tech, and gets a little quicker with his defensive breaks every time I see him. He's kind of tall, slender, long, those type of guys usually harness their quickness a little later, as athletes.
But it's his WR film that is standing out to me through three games.
He has offers from Temple, Washington State, mid-majors and MAC schools. His father attended Michigan State.
Judge the film for yourself, through three games.
Dingle’s father attended Michigan State.
As for senior visitors:
* Three-star Utah defensive tackle Jackson Cravens will be making his first official visit. He has one other visit scheduled, to Washington in January. He says he has a list of top schools but has not released it yet.
As for Michigan State, Cravens told SpartanMag: “The MSU coaches said they really liked how well I could move for my size. They also said they feel I would fit their three-technique position perfect and also feel that I have the ability to play all over the line.”
Cravens is up to 285 pounds now, 15 pounds heavier than his playing weight in the junior film below. Check out his ability to run the hoop at the 1:19 mark of this video below:
* Four-star offensive line recruit James Ohonba will be making his first official visit, this weekend. Michigan State o-line coach Mark Staten scouted him last weekend. Sources tell SpartanMag.com that Michigan State is solidly in Ohonba’s top four.
* Alabama RB Harold Joiner was scheduled to take an official visit to Michigan State this weekend. It has not been confirmed as to whether he will follow through with that visit. SpartanMag is working to learn whether a rescheduling of the visit is in the works.
* Notre Dame commitment Derrick Allen, of Marietta, Gal, is planning to visit Michigan State this weekend. His high school teammate, Christian Jackson, is committed to Michigan State. Jackson is also taking calls from Indiana and Pitt, despite his commitment.
As for Allen, sources tell us there is very little chance that anyone can shake him from his commitment to Notre Dame.
* Senior Malik Vann is possibly the most interesting visitor of the weekend. Ohio’s No. 8-ranked prospect stunned followers when he abruptly committed to Cincinnati over Michigan State in April.
Vann’s former high school teammate, Josiah Scott, is starting at cornerback as a true freshman for the Spartans this fall. Positive feedback on Michigan State from Scott has helped the Spartans regain a foot in Vann’s door. He isn’t considering any other official visits at this time.
Vann is a four-star recruit, ranked No. 16 strongside DE in the country, at 6-foot-3, 245.
Michigan State has nine commitments from Ohio for the class of 2018. If the Spartans could flip Vann, Michigan State would have four of the top 17 in the state.
Strongside defensive end
* Right next to Vann, the visit from Kalon Gervin, the state of Michigan’s No. 1-ranked recruit for 2018, offers a lot of juice for this weekend’s storylines.
Gervin, a former Notre Dame commitment, seemed destined for a commitment to Virginia Tech after he visited Blacksburg in July. But he surprised followers by visiting Notre Dame during the weekend of Sept. 9, and announcing that he plans to take an official visit to Michigan State in December. In the meantime, he visited Oklahoma last week, and now will take in an unofficial visit to East Lansing for Saturday’s game against the Irish.
A Detroit source told SpartanMag that he feels Michigan State genuinely has a shot with Gervin.
* SpartanInsight broke scoop that Ole Miss defensive tackle commit Allen Love of Birmingham (Ala.) Huffman planned to take an official visit to Michigan State this weekend. But then SpartanInsight followed up with news that Love has canceled the visit but is looking to reschedule.
Love is ranked the No. 23 player in Alabama.
* Detroit Jesuit RB Elijah Collins is my choice as the sneaky high-value visitor of the weekend. He’s 6-foot-2, has good cutting ability and breakaway speed as a ball carrier, and he plays with force at linebacker. I can see why Wisconsin, Pitt and Iowa are recruiting him as hard as Michigan State.
The Spartans are behind schedule in running back recruiting so far this year. Making up ground with Collins, an underrated player in my opinion, could provide a boost to the 2018 recruiting campaign for the Spartans.