Sims in the Fold — Now What?

After a big-time commitment from Dion Sims, head coach Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State coaching staff prepare to host another weekend filled with official visitors. GSN takes a look at who's coming to town and where the Spartans might be headed as recruiting nears LOI day next month.

EAST LANSING — Dion Sims, you're not the only big name on campus.

Michigan State fans will need to get used to several premier players vying for their attention next season as the recruiting class of 2009 welcomes a star-studded pack of student-athletes.

Nationally renown quarterback Andrew Maxwell. All-Stars Edwin Baker and David Barrent. Butkus Award Finalist Chris Norman. Have I mentioned Larry Caper? Tyquan Hammock? Blake Treadwell?

The list is long and lustrous, and Sims adds even more prestige to the heralded class. But the work isn't done yet.

Scholarship numbers are notoriously hard to pin down, even with the most open of coaching staffs, but GSN has heard rumblings that up to three additional scholarships could be awarded this year. If that's the best case scenario, who will be targeted?

With one Illinois verbal, Lendell Buckner, having all but eliminated Michigan State, attention falls to Hugh Thornton.

Thornton remains committed to the Illini, but after offensive line coach Eric Wolford, Thornton's primary recruiter, left the Land of Lincoln for sunnier pastures at South Carolina, the big-bodied Thornton could renter the recruiting fray, and MSU was once high on his list.

Another offensive lineman, Henry Conway, has MSU on his short list. The young man shies away from media attention, but is a hard worker in the classroom and on the field. He'll be visiting this weekend.

On defense, the secondary is still a focus for MSU coaches. Jairus Jones, an off-again, on-again recruit from Tampa, is scheduled to travel north to East Lansing this weekend as well, where he will take an official visit and meet head coach Mark Dantonio and company.

The defensive line is another unit that rarely has too many recruits. Raynard Randolph recently committed to NC State and New Jersey D-end Bernardo Nunez appears to be heading to Pittsburgh.

But Michael Buchanan, of Flossmoor, Ill., is still firmly on the radar and plans to visit MSU this weekend.

When he and other recruits arrive in East Lansing, they just might hear a slight buzz in the air. That's the sound of success.


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