MSU has looked and is still considering a ton of players at this position and they could take as many as two or three to go along with prized commit Jamiihr Williams (almost certain to play next season) and Drew Stevens. With redshirt freshman Eric Gordon in the mix. MSU still needs some depth.
But things haven't gone well for the Green-and-White at this position.
Several players they were chasing have eliminated them or were longshots in the first place have eliminated them from their top five. Do they pull a longshot like an Eteyen Edet or a Marcus Witherspoon or do they extend their list to the JUCO ranks or other lower rated players?
Here's GSN's look at the player remaining on MSU's GREEN List and the odds of them landing in East Lansing in GSN's opinion.
STERLING LUCAS, LB, Orangeburg, SC - At 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, Lucas said he really valued that his first scholarship offer came from Michigan State, but that didn't keep him from dropping them as the first school off his list of five. Now that Wake Forest and Maryland have come into the picture late, Lucas says he's no longer considering MSU.
J.B. FITZGERALD,LB PRINCETON JUNCTION (MJ) W.W.P.H.S.-South Campus.
After visiting East Lansing last week and then Taylor Hill committed to UM, some thought Fitzgerald was recruiting for U-M on East Lansing's campus but it was just conincidence.
Fitzgerald though met with coach Rich Rodriguez at his home yesterday and things have settle down.
"I consider myself a very solid commitment. I am going to do everything I can before signing day to make sure I'm 100% on that fact. I don't want to leave any stone unturned," Fitzgerald said. Doesn't look like much wiggle room here. CHANCES: 5%
MARCUS WITHERSPOON, LB ABSECON (NJ) HOLY SPIRIT.
Coach Mark Dantoino took his turn visiting Witherspoon at Holy Spirit today and hopefully he did a great enough sales job that Witherspoon will take a visit to East Lansing.
He was a Michigan commit, but began taking visits after the new coach staff arrived. If MSU could land this player who produced 102 tackles and 27 sacks from the outside linebacker spot, it could really translate into a rebirth for MSU at the linebcker position. Still MSU is on the outside looking in, currently U-M and Tennessee remain the far ahead favorites.
MIKE BALOGUN, LB, LACKAWANNA JC
Balogun visited Michigan State last week and chances looked good until Arkansas got into the picture. Balogun was recruited by the Razorbacks out of high school and now with new coach Bobby Petrino in the mix, so is Balogun. "That's been a dream of mine, to play in the SEC. I'm just glad Arkansas gave me a call," Balogun told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
WILL FLEMING, LB/S, AKRON HOBAN
At 6-foot-4, 205, Fleming needs to bulk up if he wants to play the linebacker position at the next level. MSU already has enough of these project type players in Jon Misch, Eric Gordon and Josh Rouse, so would prefer to have someone with size.
But Fleming is still out there at this late date and has been in contact with defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi off and on. Fleming could project as a strong safety at the next level, but MSU needs to beef up its linebacking corps. He is looking good right now in the fall back position.
ETEYEN EDET, LB, Fort Washington (MD) Friendly
The 6-foot-2, 235 pound backer is simply a man in boy clothing. Edet terrorized opposing defenses recording 101 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks, two picks and two forced fumbles despite missing three games.
A passport and paperwork snafu cost him to miss his visit to Michigan State but he's rescheduled and hopes to come in the week of Feb 2 just before National Singing Day. That however is contingent on him not committing to his beloved Louisville Cardinals and defensive coordinator Ron English on his visit -which he'll take by car- this weekend. If it isn't Louisville, it's probably MSU. This one would be a steal!
WILDCARD: DAVID ROLF, PIQUA, OH
GSN has learned that Rolf who was a second-team all GWOC (Greater Western Ohio Conference) selection will be making an official visit to East Lansing and is now in the mix at the position. This is an example of MSU extended its list beyond the most known players.
UNCOMMITTED PLAYERS GSN WILL BE WATCHING:
Tenarius Wright, Whitehaven, TN; MSU was in the mix early on, but now Wright has named four teams none named MSU. Still, strange things happen, so we'll have one eye open over here at a three-star uncommmitted MLB.
Phil Morman, Cresskill, NJ; Not much has been written or said about a three-star linebacking prospect in the neighborhood of where Dantonio will make a visit on J.B. Fitzgerald. Maybe a stop by and a look-see wouldn't hurt.
JC GUYS: Korey Fry, Fergus Falls, MN; Kurt Filler, San Mateo, JC; Joe Cason Iowa Central CC;