In-State Recruiting Battle Update: Best Players in Michigan Edition
Left: The Perfect Spartan [Fuller]. Right: Drake Harris [Josh Hemholdt/Rivals]
Tomorrow is Signing Day. If you live in the state of Michigan, that means you'll be hearing from your nearest Spartan about their Top 25, better-than-Michigan's (on one of the four sites) class, and how they always get the best player in the state no matter how far the definition of that must be stretched to achieve it.
2012-'13: Return of the Normal
Left: Burbridge, Funchess and Ojemudia. Right: Shane Morris; yes we got him a better hat.
|Touted Recruits||Head to Head||Signee Rankings|
|2013||5||1||1||3||2||1,2,3,6,7,11,13, 17||4, 8, 14|
Michigan wins: James Ross, Ben Braden, Dennis Norfleet, Matt Godin, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Mario Ojemudia, Terry Richardson, Devin Funchess, Shane Morris (though extremely early), Wyatt Shallman, and David Dawson
MSU wins: Aaron Burbridge, Jon Reschke, Dennis Finley
Elsewhere: DT Danny O'Brien (Tennessee), OT Steve Elmer (ND)
MSU never got around to offering Jourdan Lewis before that legendary February commitment blitz. In both of these classes once Michigan was done with what they wanted there just wasn't much left.
MSU's solitary victory in 2012 was Burbridge, who tired of Michigan's wait-'n-see approach with his academic eligibility. Both of State's head-to-head 2013 wins were guys Michigan gave extremely cursory offers after they were already committed to MSU: legacy Jon Reschke, and OT Dennis Finley, a Cass Tech kid who was passed on earlier and then was offered during David Dawson's vision quest.
|Touted Recruits||Head to Head||Signee Rankings|
|2014||2||0 or 1||1 or 2||3||0 or 1||3,4,8,14||(1?),5,7,10,16,24,25|
This year the two mitten rivals had more than a few battles outside of the state. Montae Nicholson had lots of national offers and was a Michigan target until Michigan told him they were filled up at his position in August. Wisconsin DT Craig Evans, who flipped from the Badgers to the Spartans "not because of academics" yesterday, claimed a doubtable Michigan offer. On the flipside Michigan's entire LB class (Michael Ferns, Chase Winovich and Noah Furbush, plus our in-state legacy) and Juwaan Bushell-Beatty held unrequited offers to attend MSU.
But this isn't about that. It's about who owns the State of Michigan. And that is…
Head-to-Head Wins for MSU:
- If DL Malik McDowell chooses MSU (against his parents' wishes) they would have one.
Head-to-Head Wins for Michigan:
|Marshall on the sidelines during Seaholm's late playoff comeback. [Me!!!]|
- WR Drake Harris: Committed to MSU as 2-sport athlete, switched to Michigan when he decided on football.
- WDE Lawrence Marshall: Committed to OSU, then was thought an MSU lock, then switched to Michigan last spring. "The best players in Michigan go to Michigan" will go in bucket of all-time Sparty trolls. Other offers: Neb, Okla, Ole Miss. Bama and USC interest, but no offers.
- WLB Jared Wangler: A 2-star with offer from…LSU?--oh right, he's Johnny Wang's kid. Was first a Penn State commit over MSU (also Cincy and Yale), who flipped on the offer to dad's school.
Michigan Commit who Michigan State Didn't Offer:
- WR Mo Ways: MSU coaches visited, wanted him to camp again before extending their offer. ND coaches came that day too. He took an unofficial to M right after those meetings, got an offer, and pulled the trigger. Iowa, Rutgers were other offers, OSU, NWern were interested too.
Michigan State commits who Michigan didn't offer:
- ATH (WR/CB) Jalen Watts-Jackson: SMSB camp offer, previously just had EMU and CMU interest. My neighbor's kid plays with Jalen at OLSM, and apparently he was the kid throwing the ball around on my street all the time; I didn't pay attention because I had no idea he was a D-I recruit before it got too cold, so I have nothing to offer.
- LB Byron Bullough: Is a Bullough.
- NT David Beedle: MAC offers, committed on offer after SMSB camp.
- LB Deon Drake: Cass Tech kid Michigan passed on. Knee issues last summer.
- OL Nick Padla: Illinois, MAC offers. M never showed interest.
- TE Matt Sokol: Illinois and Wisconsin sent offers, Michigan never got involved.
Guys who went somewhere else:
CB Damon Webb: Urban getting the top-rated Cass Tech kid would be like Michigan doing the same from Glenville.
- OL Tommy Doles: Academic-minded, early on looked like a Michigan lock; seems like there was a mutual parting last spring. MSU was interested, but never in it.
- If Malik chooses OSU or FSU he goes here.
- DE Jhonathan Williams: MSU was involved as a two-sport before he committed to Mizzou. ND flipped him in late November. Michigan had an offer in after losing Hand.
2015: The Year of Hover Cars and Mr. Fusion
Is next year! Great heavy this is scott.
Power laces: alright!
So far MSU has commitments from OT/DT Kyonta Stallworth, CB Tyson Smith, and Jayru Campbell if he can right himself, but none of those were really Michigan targets. Campbell's Cass Tech teammates RB Michael Weber and OT Joshua Alabi both seem to be MSU leans at this point; again, Michigan hasn't been as involved. The big battle will be over Brian Cole, one of the country's top cornerbacks, and Michigan State seems to be in good position there right now. The other in-stater being fought over is SAM-like object Tyriq Thompson. I reiterate my completely non-professional preference that they offer Brother Rice QB Alex Malzone now.
Stallworth is an OT/DT type. I personally think he's a better DT than OT, but he has upside at both positions. Alabi is more of a 3-tech/SDE type than OL, but if he's on the OL he'd likely be an OG.
Caught me before the edit.
I haven't seen much of Alabi because he didn't have a good highlight that I was aware of, at least not until recently. However, I have read that people are trying to convince him that he has a better future on the OL than on defense. Again, I haven't really seen him, but that's what I've read.
thought alabi was a DE or something
This may be too much of a stretch but I always assumed the reason Burbridge committed when he did was because Dantonio threatened to pull his scholarship/ offer it to someone else, so he went with the surest thing.
from a pipeline school and a threat to go to UM with his HS teammates. I don't think Dantonio was going to yank his offer at any point.
I'm not saying Dantonio was actually going to. I said he threatened to. Just a conjecture and nothing more. It is the only way I can think to explain the odd timing of his commitment when he clearly was interested in Michigan.
great article Brian!
(they aren't getting the joke)
Where is Michigan with Brian Cole?
Also: look out for 2016 WR Stefan Claiborne.
6-1/165 varsity WR that has been getting interest from Michigan. Took an unofficial there during the season.
He goes to Chippewa Valley in Clinton Township. I go to a rival school of theirs and I think the hype is legit.
Side note/cool story bro: I'm really rooting for the signing class tomorrow to do big things at Michigan. We 2014 graduates are gonna be doing great things some day.
I also feel old now that the players at Michigan are going to be younger than me.
Get used to it. Wait until their kids are younger than you.
It will happen.
Do you go to Dakota?
But I rather not say where I go.
No worries, just curious. I grew up in Clinton Twp and went to Chippewa my freshman year and Dakota my last 3 years when it opened up. Talk about being old, I graduated in 98. Ugh!
Wait until they are younger than your socks. It too will happen.
Nice account name, troll.
The down ness of the conference was the main key of that and not to mention state not playing top big ten teams on a yearly basis.
It's true, it is.
If I read the UM Web site correctly, J. Peppers signed his LOI at 8:00 this morning.
I believe Alabi is a Tennessee lean right now with MSU #2.
national signing day aka the ann arbor super bowl. as an msu fan I will just continue to appreciate the wins that happen on the field and not on recruiting websites
You could argue that Jon Reschke was an MSU win in 2013. UM did not get in on him until late and the probability of turning him was low. But Hoke apparently did offer a commitable offer and did truly want him.
I counted him as well as the Cass Tech OL they offered late when Dawson was looking around. But I mentioned afterwards that those are very wishy "head-to-head" victories. That offer wasn't ever "committable." Reschke's offer wasn't really a sign they were hard after him--they wanted to make sure he knew that Michigan considered him a Michigan-quality player, and Michigan offers all players in the state. It also got them a chance to visit Brother Rice, which is an important school to have a good relationship with in the state. It was more to answer "why didn't you offer Reschke" than pursuit of Reschke. That's not to say they didn't want him, just that they knew they didn't have a chance.