Success over the past two seasons have started to pay off for Mark Dantonio as Michigan State is now one of the hot schools prospects are looking at.
Here is a quick look at where the Spartans stand overall on Scout.
NATIONAL RANK: NO. 21
BIG TEN RANK: NO. 3
PLEDGES: 7 ALL HIGH SCHOOL - FIVE STAR: 0 - FOUR STAR: 2 - THREE STAR: 5
OFFENSE: 6 / DEFENSE: 1
SPRING GAME PAID OFF BIG
The Spartans annual spring game paid off big in 2015 as Dantonio and his staff used the weekend to pull in four pledges between Friday and Sunday. Starting with Abdual Adams on Friday night and ending with Noah Davis on Sunday morning, MSU added three offensive standouts with the biggest being receiver Justin Layne. Linebacker Joe Bachie was a surprise but the Spartans feel they are getting a player who is underrated and matches what they want on the field with his physical play.
There is no mistaking that Cameron Chambers has found two future teammates of equal stature when it comes to rallying others around the Spartans 2016 class. Messiah deWeaver and Adams are fully invested in bringing the best possible prospects with them to East Lansing and doing double duty on the recruiting front.
NUMBERS NOT WHAT THEY SEEM
The Spartans currently stand behind Ohio State and Penn State in the Scout Big Ten team rankings. However, by average the Spartans also trail Michigan and Nebraska. Keep in mind the Spartans have seven pledges while Michigan has six and Nebraska only five. Helping the cause for the Huskers is the fact they have a Scout Top 100 prospect in that mix. But we’re a long way until the end of the 2016 final class rankings.
A source close to the Spartans program has told Spartan Digest more recruits from across the country are expressing interest in the Spartans than ever before. Winning big games like the Big Ten Championship in 2013 and back-to-back bowl wins in the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl are proving their worth. The loss of Pat Narduzzi has not been a factor as placing Mike Tressel and Harlon Barnett at the help of the defense was a sign of stability. Some Michigan State fans and media members may want to talk about negative recruiting against the Spartans, but we can honestly say this is at an all-time low.
While once slow to social media, Dantonio and his staff continue stepping forward as do the prospects like the 2016 class who have gone to Twitter with @MSUDreamTeam16. There are some big targets on the board and do not be surprised if by the end of June, the 2016 class will be almost completely full.
Can this be the best recruiting class brought to East Lansing in the Dantonio era? Yes it could but it also could be like the past two years. Last season the Spartans finished with a Top 20 class coming in at No. 18 with only one Scout Top 100 member, L.J. Scott (No. 65) out of the 21 pledges. But it did have nine members in the Scout 300.
In 2014 the Spartans finished No. 19 on Scout with 23 pledges and only one Top 100 member.
The past two classes have paid off big as we only have to go back to the 2013 class to find the Spartans at No. 47 with no Top 100 members and no four-star signees. Out of that 2013 class three players have stepped forward as kicker Michael Gieger, cornerback Darian Hicks and R.J. Shelton have done well. Hicks however will be fighting to keep his spot at corner in a battle against Vayante Copeland of the 2014 class.
Spartan fans expected Delton Williams to be the star of the class after last season but off field issues had him away from the program this spring and possibly this season.
However, it’s time for a few members of the group to step forward as Demetrius Cooper, Dennis Finley, Jon Reschke, Gerald Holmes, Shane Jones, Jalyn Powell and others should play major back-up roles this fall.
So buckle up and enjoy the ride of the next few months with Spartan Digest as we bring you news on the teams recruiting efforts and more.
NOAH DAVIS HIGHLIGHTS