(EAST LANSING, MI) -- Beggars can't be choosy?
That old adage is about to go out the window in East Lansing. After getting into the game late, expect John L. Smith's staff to start getting down to brass tacks when it comes to recruiting.
The endless parade of "just visiting" suspects instead of prospects is going to be coming to a halt real soon. Coach Smith announced over the weekend that even though the Spartans could have as many as 24 scholarships, that he'll only take between 17 and 18 players.
Of course they'll have room for Saginaw's Lamarr Woodley, but it's time to get serious and weed out those who aren't really seriously considering State.
MSU knows they need wide receivers. Even with Matt Trannon coming into the system this year after sitting out last season as a partial qualifier, the Spartans need more talent there because the new MSU offense will feature three, four and sometimes five wide receiver sets.
Miami's Dwayne Bowe (ranked #8th at wide receiver by TheInsiders.com) was a long shot from the beginning, but the Spartans gave it a try. As the best receiver on the board, they had to give due diligence, but now MSU seems prepared to move on and is focusing on a pair of New Jersey wideouts.
They really wanted Dorien Bryant(#38) of Swedesburg, NJ but he left without giving a verbal. They know he's high on Penn State's list. This week's recruiting visit is centered around New Jersey's James Townsend(#42). He favors Iowa, but with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz dallying around with the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, MSU will put the full court press on in hopes of coaxing a verbal.
Antwaun Giddens(#44) and B.J. Vickers of Los Angeles Venice appear to be more interested in road trips than seriously considering making a home in East Lansing. The pair have logged almost as many miles as the space shuttle, scheduling Hawaii, Louisville, Mississippi State and on-and-on it goes. Unless they demonstrate serious interest in the Spartans they'll likely go to the back burner.
MSU has gotten in late on Henderson County (KY) receiver Robert Waller. Waller( #76 with a bullet) is a legit 4.3 burner with a 44-inch vertical. MSU has put him on their short list of wideouts and are targeting him heavily. They are trying to set up a visit for Waller when quarterback Michael Bush of Louisville Male visits on January 31st.
Others going to MSU's back burner are West Virginia's Geremy Rodamer and Columbus, OH's Ernie Wheelwright who'll likely go to a prep school like Fork Union military academy in Virginia. Speaking of Fork Union, J.J. Martin's situation is a little more complicated. He hasn't made any announcement or movement since he listed MSU among his top three (Michigan, Tennessee). Where he goes is anybody's guess at this point.
6' 5" Joe McCray of Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Dillard, one of the top basketball players in Florida as well as a top wide receiver prospect was supposed to visit the Spartans this weekend, but unconfirmed reports say that was pushed back to January 17th.
After wide receivers, linebackers are MSU's next most pressing concern. You know who's at the top of their list, but we'll roundup all MSU's linebacker targets on Wednesday.