With Senior Day on tap and #5 Penn State in for the annual Land Grant Trophy game, MSU appears to be putting almost all its eggs in one basket in attempt to shore up its flagging recruiting efforts.
By all account, the State recruiting effort has been suffering from the tailspin the team has taken the last five weeks of the season, but John L. Smith's staff would like to try to turn that around with a few key commits this weekend.
Their efforts center around landing Philadelphia West Catholic receiver John Maddox who confirmed with GSN that he will be visiting the East Lansing campus this weekend. Maddox is the prototypical big receiver that MSU coach John L. Smith loves.
At 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, expect Maddox to get an offer and the full court press to commit to Michigan State. Maddox has visits scheduled to West Virginia and Rutgers following his trip to East Lansing.
Next up on MSU's hit list is defensive tackle Neli A'asa, 6-foot-2, 302-pounds from Big Rapids, MI. A'asa will be hosted by fellow America Samoa native and senior day honoree Domata Peko. Peko, who loved his playing time at Michigan State, made a successful transition from the island along with brother Tupe Peko, who starred in the Michigan State offensive line in the mid-90.
Following A'asa is linebacker Matt Wright, a solid strong-side linebacking candidate from Hampton, VA. Wright, also 6-foot-2 and 210-pounds is a true sideline-to-sideline ranging athlete who can track down backs and tight ends attempting to get out on the edge.
Wright has the ability to cover in space, making him a 'must-get' for the Spartans staff. He currently holds over 20 offers including South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and N.C. State. The Spartans will need to make a big impression on Wright to land him this weekend.
Also visiting is safety Vontae Davis, a 5-foot-11, three-star safety from Washington D.C Dunbar High School. Davis told Scout.com Miller Safrit that he is going to bring junior teammates Arrelious Benn and Nathan Bussey to whatever school he that he signs with, making the stakes even higher for John L. Smith's coaching staff.
Ken Tinney, a corner that Michigan State was very close on last year, spent a season at Milford Prep in New Berlin, NY and is back on the market. Tinney committed to Syracuse early in the process but is said to be reconsidering his decision. Joining these high profile prospects are two JC transfers that are highly sought after.
First is Steve Allen, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker from Fresno City College who commited to Nebraska earlier this month. Allen is beginning to weigh his options. MSU and the Huskers continue to skirmish over several JC prospect wanted by both schools.
Another is Coffeyville, KS JC wide receiver Devin Thomas. Thomas is another of the big fast receivers MSU likes to plug into their spread offense. At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, MSU believes that, like fellow transfer Kerry Reed, Thomas could hit the ground running.
Some reports have Racine Park wide reciever Diondrae Jenkins visiting this weekend, but Scout.com has been unable to confirm a visit.