Exclusive: Dave Telep on MSU Recruiting (Part 1)

InsideMichiganState.com's Doug Warren spoke with Scout.com's Dave Telep Wednesday about the prospects in Michigan State's 2006 and 2007 recruiting classes. In this first part of a two part series, Dave gives his thoughts about the 2006 class. Included in our conversation is talk about, among others, the rising Leon Freeman, the steady Isaiah Dahlman, the shot blocking Tom Herzog and the powerful Brian Carlwell.

IMS: In regards to the Spartan recruits, I'd like your thoughts on how some of them fared during last weekend's Boo Williams' Invitational in Hampton Virginia. Let's start with Belleville, Michigan's Leon Freeman, who is playing this summer with "The Family" AAU squad out of Detroit.

DT: The first time I saw Leon was last June, and he was a terrific prospect. Of course he had a big year this season. What he did last weekend was just announce his presence. We slipped him into the Scout Top 100 before the tournament and he played at least that well and probably even better.

Leon is a 6'4" guard who does one thing that really separates him from the rest of the guys – he is unbelieveabily athletic around the rim. . . .The biggest thing for me was I was sitting behind the bench for one of the quarterfinal games and they're (The Family) in a situation down two where they call time out. Leon walks into the huddle and there's Deshawn Sims (Detroit Pershing) and Ramar Smith (Detroit King), and Freeman goes, "Call my number I want this one." That pretty much tells you about the kind of kid he is in that situation with those guys sitting around him.

IMS: Did you have a chance to speak with him personally last weekend?

DT: Yeah, he told me that he really liked Michigan State. They haven't offered him (a scholarship) yet, as he's got a bit of academic work to do; but he is definitely a prospect who is going to vault up the national recruiting lists. Prior to last weekend we had him at #64, and I just can't envision a way he doesn't crack our Top 40 in two weeks.

IMS: What are your thoughts on Minnesota prep forward Isaiah Dahlman?

DT: He's a really good looking shooter. On the perimeter he's got a lot of confidence. He can get his shot when he wants to. A skilled guy who is really comfortable behind the line. He wants to cut his list (of schools) to three soon and Michigan State is certainly going to be in that mix. I expect he will do that in the next couple of weeks.

IMS: Give us your thoughts on Deshawn Sims (Detroit Pershing, The Family).

DT: Let's face it this guy is a priority. A 6'7" guy who can play on the wing and defend the power forward spot. What he really does use his body so well that it creates matchup problems for guys. He's big and athletic, which is a tough combination for a power forward. He's really comfortable with the contact and he can step out a keep you honest on the perimeter. Not a great shooter, but good enough to create space for himself, and then he attacks.

IMS: You show that Sims' interested schools include Syracuse, Connecticut, Kentucky, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State and Oregon. Is it still a pretty wide open field?

DT: I think that's what I'd go with.

IMS: What are your thoughts on Tory Jackson (Saginaw Buena Vista, Michigan Hurricanes)?

DT: Tory is taking a look around. He's further from trimming a list down than most people think.

IMS: What are your thoughts on Minnesota product Bryce Webster, both overall and with his performance last weekend at Boo Williams?

DT: Last weekend was a subpar one for Bryce. He'd be the first one to tell you that. He took the SAT Saturday morning and only played in two of their three games. His team (Howard Pulley Panthers) didn't make it out of pool play.

Having said that, this guy is a tremendous player; he's good around the basket with legitimate size (6'10"). He knows he missed an opportunity to make a little bit of a splash last weekend and will look to do so the next time out (this weekend at the Real Deal on the Hill in Fayetteville, Arkansas).

IMS: Tell us about Ramar Smith (Detroit King and The Family). With Family teammates Sims and Freeman getting a lot of attention lately he's been flying under the radar a bit.

DT: Ramar is a combo forward who's looking this spring to play himself into that scholarship offer he wants. For a guy like Ramar, it's almost like he's on an audition for the next couple months. How he plays will have an effect on who offers him a scholarship prior to the summer.

IMS: Tom Herzog (Flint Powers, Michigan Hurricanes), what are your thoughts on his recruitment?

DT: I'll be interested to see where his game is at, being as how I did not get to see him with his high school team this year. We've thought highly of him because this guy is one of the legitimate shot blockers in the class of 2006. I'll see him on Friday night (at the Real Deal on the Hill).

IMS: Around these parts the word is that both Michigan State and Michigan remain the big suitors for his services right now. Is that what your understanding is too?

DT: I hear the same thing you do about the whispers of the local schools, and by all accounts it looks like both schools are going to be major players for his services.

IMS: Brian Carlwell (Proviso East HS – Maywood, Illinois) was mentioned in a couple of your Boo Williams' pieces. He is being currently being recruited by Michigan State, as well as Illinois, Arizona and Florida State. What are your thoughts about him?

DT: I can't say enough about Brian. This is a guy, whom to walk into a gym and know nothing about him and watch him play is pretty cool. This kid is 6'10", 240-250 pounds. He was outstanding around the basket. It was an AAU game so the pace tended to be a little quicker and he struggled at times with that, but Brian Carlwell is a legitimate prospect. He is going to barrel into our next Top 100.

Note: Scout.com's Dave Telep will be reporting this weekend from the Real Deal on the Hill Tournament in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Michigan AAU squads The Family and the Michigan Hurricanes will be taking part in the event. Here Dave's preview:

The Real Deal is Real Strong.

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