BIGGEST RECRUITING WIN
Mike Wilson: L.J. Scott
Allen Trieu: L.J. Scott
There are quite a few choices in this category, but the edge goes to Scott. The standout running back from Hubbard (Ohio) was one the most coveted recruits nationally – and definitely one of the best in Ohio. What usually happens with top players in Ohio? They got to Ohio State. Scott spurned the Buckeyes in favor of the Spartans. That, for Michigan State, makes him the biggest win in this recruiting cycle.
Wilson: L.J. Scott
Trieu: L.J. Scott
Not only was Scott the biggest win, but he is the most likely to see the field right away. Michigan State lost Jeremy Langford to graduation as well as primary backup Nick Hill. Who will step in? There are candidates already at MSU such as Delton Williams and Madre London, but Scott brings in a lot of talent and a lot of hype. He could step in and contribute right away as Edwin Baker, Larry Caper and Le’Veon Bell did previously.
Wilson: Kaleel Gaines
Trieu: David Dowell
Gaines played cornerback, safety, quarterback, running back and wide receiver at Frostproof (Fla.) and excelled at every spot. He will come to Michigan State as a defensive back and could play either cornerback or safety. Dowell stood out at both wide receiver and cornerback, so he could project to either at Michigan State.
MOST LIKELY FUTURE CAPTAIN
Wilson: Khari Willis
Trieu: Tyriq Thompson
Willis comes from a big family and is on the younger end, but until you learn that, he strikes you as an oldest child. He is a strong leader, who is a lead-by-example type. He does things the right way, will put his nose to the ground and work hard and bring others along with him. Thompson brings solid leadership attributes as well, as he is a strong personality with a lot of people who respect him. He figures to grow into a leadership role in his time at Michigan State.
Honorable Mention: Brian Lewerke
NEVER EXPECTED THIS IN AUGUST
Wilson: Andrew and David Dowell
Trieu: Andrew and David Dowell
The Dowell twins committed early to Northwestern before flipping to Kentucky, so it never seemed like there was anything set to happen with Michigan State. That changed about a week before signing day when MSU offered and they promptly flipped.
Wilson: Cole Chewins
Trieu: Cole Chewins
It is a testament to Michigan State’s class that it is hard to pick a sleeper recruit, but the edge goes to Chewins. He comes in as a grayshirt and time will tell what comes of it, but the potential is there to be a solid offensive tackle. And in a class full of a lot of high-profile recruits, Chewins is the ideal fit for the sleeper category.
Honorable Mention: Grayson Miller
CHECK BACK IN TWO YEARS
Wilson: Noah Listermann
Trieu: Justice Alexander
MSU has built depth at plenty of spots and offensive linemen are the perfect fit for check back recruits. In the case of Listermann, football still is relatively new to him, so the next level will be an adjustment. With his 6-foot-7, 293-pound frame, he has a lot of potential to be a beastly offensive tackle down the road. Alexander brings a similar level of raw to his game. He is unrefined, but scary athletic and has the potential to be a bit-time defensive end – or possibly an offensive tackle.
Honorable Mention: Cole Chewins, Grayson Miller, Mufi Hunt
MOST INTERESTING JOURNEY TO MSU
Wilson: Grayson Miller
Trieu: Drake Martinez
Miller came to Michigan State a complete unknown. He blew up over the two-day camp, impressing in all drills and earning an offer from the performance. The son of former Spartan Jim Miller, he committed a couple hours later. It was the most out-of-leftfield commitment of the class. Martinez also had a different journey to MSU. It is not many times a player is recruited by a school, commits to a different school, goes to junior college then winds up back being recruited by the original school yet again. This time, he picked MSU.
Honorable Mention: Josh Butler, Tyler Higby, Mufi Hunt
MOST LIKELY TO OUTPERFORM RANKING
Wilson: Felton Davis
Trieu: Cole Chewins
Davis is a three-star wide receiver with some pretty strong offers, but he also is the biggest wide receiver MSU has taken in the past couple classes. He has a chance to make a strong impact when MSU loses a lot of depth in the next two offseasons. If he develops, he should leave as one of those players whose ranking you say was far off. Chewins, as mentioned above, is a player that could develop into a big offensive tackle. He is rated outside the Top 100 offensive tackles on Scout.com, but if he bulks up and develops, he could be among the best out there.
Honorable Mention: Brian Lewerke, Kaleel Gaines
Wilson: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
Trieu: Quart’e Sapp
To me, Arcega-Whiteside was a second big-bodied receiver to pair up with Davis in the class. It was down to Michigan State and Stanford, with Stanford being the choice for the receiver. He was a player MSU set its sights on last summer and quickly had gained ground, but lost out. Sapp was one of the final targets leading up to signing day for Michigan State and the Spartans got an official visit in January but he picked Tennessee. Sapp was a strong fit at linebacker for the Spartans.
Honorable Mention: Mike Weber, Miles Boykin