Scott Reed - Spartan Digest

We continue our look at the past ten years of football recruiting at Michigan State under Mark Dantonio.

Part two of our look at the past ten years of Michigan State football recruiting under Mark Dantonio looks at the Spartan classes of 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Spartan Digest gets back to looking at the past ten years of Michigan State Spartans football recruiting under head coach Mark Dantonio.



RANK: 31


As for production and ranking this class blew away their ranking and was full of major contributors in the Spartans continued climb up the rankings in college football.  Stars on both sides of the ball and special teams with players leaving the program and taking their game to the NFL.


OFFENSE: Le’Veon Bell went from a two-star prospect to household name and a high draft pick leaving the program early.  While there have been many backs to make their mark as a Spartan, Bell is the new standard with his size, power and speed.

DEFENSE: Darqueze Dennard was another two-star prospect looking for a chance and the Spartans benefited greatly by Dennard’s talents.  A first-round draft choice, Dennard and the “No Fly Zone” gave the Spartans their defensive identity. 

OTHER: The Spartans found another four-year punter with Mike Sadler coming in this class.

SIDE NOTES: Add in the likes of Max Bullough, William Gholston, Isaiah Lewis, Marcus Rush, Tony Lippett, Jeremy Langford and so on and you see why this class has to be considered one of the more special classes brought to East Lansing by Mark Dantonio and his staff. 


RANK: 27


The Spartans team ranking continued to climb and for good reasons as Dantonio and crew continued signing the class that push the standards of what is expected out of Michigan State football.  This class has already seen a first-round draft selection and the record books are set with their accomplishments.


OFFENSE: Connor Cook became another Spartan with a two-star ranking out of high school that developed his overall game to that of future NFL draft selection.  Many wondered if anyone would come close to the standards set by Kirk Cousins but Cook surpassed many of the records set by Cousins during his great MSU career.

DEFENSE: Trae Waynes gave the Spartans their second consecutive first-round draft selection out of their secondary in as many years.  However, Shilique Calhoun set the standard for all future defensive ends.

SIDE NOTES: We didn’t take the time to count the number of starts from this class because we know it would be extremely high.  Fou Fonoti was brought in from the Junior College ranks with Donavon Clark and Jack Allen being two of the best to line up in the Big Ten during their careers.  Add in Lawrence Thomas, Joel Heath, Ed Davis, Darien Harris, Roger Williamson and Taiwan Jones and it is easy to see this class was a special one.


RANK: 37


To think that one of the stars of this class was walk-on Jack Conklin should tell you a lot.  On paper the class looked solid but there have been a few misses with the group that signed letters of intent on February 1-st of 2012.


OFFENSE: Aaron Burbridge played as a true freshman and showed signs of being the next great MSU receiver.  It only took him to his final season to reach the level many felt he was capable of and it should pay off when the NFL draft comes along in the spring.

DEFENSE: After bouncing back and forth from defense to offense, Riley Bullough found his home as a linebacker and has never looked back.  He’s become a tackling machine for the Spartans and the emotional leader of the defense.

SIDE NOTES: Injuries stopped Zach Higgins and a few others never really got started in the program.  While not a great class, there have been a few solid performers with Demetrious Cox becoming a starter and Josiah Price being one of the top pass catching tight ends in the Big Ten.  MacGarrett Kings had a solid career and made a few great catches during his career.  Kodi Kieler has been solid at right tackle with Benny McGowan playing a solid role this past season.  A few have played roles during their careers without taking the next step to fulltime starter.  Will 2016 be the year Monty Madaris steps up his game and showed why he was such an important member of the class?

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