Big Board: Defensive Back

With a commit in tow, the Spartans have some interesting prospects hoping to earn offers at camp this weekend -- as well as being in the top group for other defensive back prospects.

If there is any position Michigan State has developed well since Mark Dantonio's arrival in East Lansing, it is defensive back.

As the Spartans target some solid cornerbacks and safeties in the 2015 class, it figures to have its pick of players who like what Michigan State does.

The big board kicks off with Spartans commit and Orchard Lake St Mary's cornerback Tyson Smith.

The names:

Tyson Smith – Orchard Lake St Mary's

Smith picked up an offer last summer after camping in East Lansing and waited until December to commit, doing so just before the Big Ten tittle game win against Ohio State. It was his lone offer at the time, but he has picked up Wisconsin since then and others are keeping tabs on him. He and Spartans 2014 signee Jalen Watts-Jackson played in the secondary together last year for OLSM.

John Reid – Philadelphia St. Joseph's

Reid visited Michigan State this spring and has the Spartans among his favorites, but his recruitment is pretty quiet. He has a lot of offers and more visits lined up. After his visit to Michigan State, he said he liked the family feel and hope feel to the campus and program.

Ryan Pulley – Cape Coral (Fla.) Island Coast

Pulley named Michigan State his leader in April and has wanted to take a visit to East Lansing. He also holds offers from Florida State, Louisville and Indiana.

Jordan Whitehead – Monaca (Penn.) Central Valley

Whitehead was targeted early by Michigan State, but with Penn State's recruiting surge under James Franklin, there is a priority placed on landing him in State College. At one point, Michigan State was among the schools he has been hearing from the most – probably still the case. He is thinking about a potential summer visit.

P.J. Mbanasor – Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson

Mbanasor named his top seven just this week and Michigan State was among them. Florida, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma were the others. He said he hasn't named a leader yet.

Ray Buford – Southfield (Mich.)

Buford was hurt last year, so his film is limited and so are what teams know of him. But Buford is a long, rangy corner with some good man to man cover skills that could wind up leading to a big summer for him. He will be at Michigan State on Sunday.

Nick Coleman – Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter

Coleman, who holds offers from Pittsburgh, Indiana and Illinois, is expected to camp with Michigan State on Sunday. He is hearing from Notre Dame and Nebraska, who also want them to camp.

Justin Tranquill – Fort Wayne (Ind.) Carroll

Tranquill's older brother, Drue, tore up the camp circuit last summer and Justin is looking to do the same. The well-built safety is a hard hitter with good instincts. He is expected to camp at MSU on Sunday.


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