A Look Back – Class of 2007 Part 3

It's the start of summer and while football season is several weeks away, we found it a good time to take a look back at past recruiting classes brought to Michigan State by Mark Dantonio. We start with five members of the first class Dantonio signed in February of 2007.

Twenty players made the official announcement of having signed on with Michigan State in that first class under Mark Dantonio. In the group would be several key players to the success the Spartans have seen the past couple of years.

We'll look at five members of the class until we've taken a look back at each of them and their impact or lack of an impact is broken down.

Keep in mind this class was a major change as to the type of players being brought into the Spartans program by the former staff of John L. Smith.

Scout.com ranked the Spartans Class of 2007 #51 overall.

Ishmyl Johnson DL 6-5 260 Rahway, N.J. (Milford Academy) Scout.com 3-Star Defensive End (#65 Overall)
SPARTAN DIGEST BREAKDOWN: Johnson sat out the 2007 season for academic reasons and then redshirted in 2008. Much was expected out of the nose tackle after a solid spring in 2009. In the end Johnson left the program without much fanfare or for specific reasons. Final Grade: F

Greg Jones LB 6-1 220 Cincinnati, Ohio (Archbishop Moeller High School) Scout.com 3-Star Outside Linebacker (#24 Overall)
SPARTAN DIGEST BREAKDOWN: What can you say about a player that played a major role in all four years of his career? Greg Jones leaves Michigan State as one of its all-time greats having earned All-American honors as a junior and senior. A player Mark Dantonio had recruited hard while at Cincinnati. Jones stressed his desire to play in the Big Ten during the recruiting process and almost ended up at Minnesota until Dantonio took over the Spartans. Good thing MSU hired Dantonio as it also gave them one of their all-time greats. Final Grade: A+

Ashton Leggett RB 5-11 220 Muskegon, Mich. (Muskegon High School) Scout.com 2-Star Fullback (#30 Overall)
SPARTAN DIGEST BREAKDOWN: Leggett was another player who took part in the campus fight a few years ago. In court Leggett pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery stemming from the incident. He then transferred to Illinois State. On the field, Leggett redshirted in 2007 and appeared in 12 games mainly on special teams in 2008. The 2009 season saw the Muskegon native have his best career day as a Spartan when he rushed for 110 yards and scored 4 touchdowns against Western Michigan. Final Grade: D

Jared McGaha OL 6-6 275 Powell, Tenn. (Powell High School) Scout.com 2-Star Offensive Tackle (Non-Ranked)
SPARTAN DIGEST BREAKDOWN: Jared McGaha is another player who had given Mark Dantonio his pledge while he was the head coach at Cincinnati. Once McGaha heard about the coaching change, he was quick to pick up a phone and show interest in following the coaching staff to MSU. This season the Powell, Tennessee native will look to earn his third letter as a Spartan and win a starting position along the offensive line. Has seen action in 23 career games mostly on special teams, also earned two starts last season at right guard against Minnesota and left tackle against Purdue. Active Grade: C

Kevin Pickelman TE 6-3 240 Marshall, Mich. (Marshall High School) Scout.com 2-Star Defensive End (Non-Ranked)
SPARTAN DIGEST BREAKDOWN: After redshirting in 2007, Pickelman has seen his share of time on the field while playing in 36 games, including 8 starts. This season much will be expected out of him in his final year. Active Grade: B+

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