The Dagger - NCAAB

If you're an avid follower of recruiting news, you might have learned that Michigan State landed an elite small forward prospect before Tom Izzo found out.

Branden Dawson, Michigan State's top recruiting priority in the Class of 2011, informed Facebook readers and a handful of reporters Wednesday evening that he had chosen the Spartans over Indiana, Marquette and Purdue among others. Only then did he realize it might be a good idea to also call Izzo and notify the Michigan State staff of his decision.

It might not be the most conventional means of selecting a college, but it doesn't lessen the impact of Dawson's decision. The 6-foot-5 wing is's 25th-ranked prospect in the nation in the Class of 2011 and his athleticism and rebounding prowess make him an ideal fit for Michigan State's program.

The addition of Dawson is a timely coup for a Michigan State program that at minimum will need to replace star guard Kalin Lucas and wings Durrell Summers and Mike Kebler after next season. The Spartans have already landed shooting guards Dwaun Anderson and Brandan Kearney in the Class of 2011, yet Izzo apparently felt Dawson was such a priority that he attended every one of his AAU games during the recently completed July evaluation period.

Dawson has a lot of talents, from his slashing ability, to his rebounding, to his knack for finishing in transition. Now all he has to do is work on his communication skills, and he'll be set. 

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