(EAST LANSING, MI) -- With the addition of safety William (Greg) Cooper to this year's group, Michigan State now has a class of seven .... well, almost. That is if you can figure out what Cassopolis defensive end Derrick Outlaw is going to do. MSU is still holding on to the hope that Outlaw will change his mind and come calling to them this fall. If he does, they'll have a scholarship waiting for him.
In the meantime, the Spartans were cheered by the verbal commitment from Cooper, a top 100 player and the 8th ranked safety in the nation last season. Cooper, who had committed to Michigan, was a non-qualifier and had to sit out the season. When Michigan realized that Cooper wasn't going to be eligible, they cut ties with him as we first reported to you back on Dec 29th in the article Smith getting closer in Florida. Cooper was a teammate of another non-qualifier, Matt Trannon, who committed to MSU and sat out all of last year. Both were reportedly implicated in an ACT test scandal and because of it were tagged as non-qualifiers. That give both players sophomore eligibility at Michigan State, but both will get a chance to make an impact.
Cooper is the most talented player verballing to the Spartans yet under new coach John L. Smith. But Smith hopes to change that this week. The Spartans have some big-time recruit prospects coming in the next two weekends.
Michigan State got more good news when #32 ranked running back Andre Callender from Seton Hall Prep (NJ) said that he will visit East Lansing. When it comes to running backs, there are speed backs and then there are speed backs. Callender is on the nation's top sprint champions and competes in the New Jersey indoor track season in the 110 meter hurdles. Callender suffered a bit of a setback when he sprained his ankle but he remained upbeat that he can still have an impact on Seton Hall prep's season.
"I sprained my right ankle the Monday before Christmas," Callender told the Star Ledger of New Jersey. "It was in an air cast for a couple weeks and now I am doing physical therapy. I think it (the lost training time) will hurt me a little bit. Hopefully, I can get back out there to challenge those guys at the Meet of Champions." He will visit MSU on Jan 24, one of the Spartans prime recruiting weekends. Callender rushed for 1,772 yards and 24 touchdowns and while only 5' 10" (hold your breath John L.) his 4.4 speed more than makes up for being under 6' 0".
Other high profile recruits still expected to visit are; quarterback Stephen Reaves (1/24), son of former Florida standout John Reaves, Delran Holy Cross (NJ) wide receiver James Townsend (1/24), Henderson County wide receiver Robert Waller (1/31); Great Falls, MT tight end Jason Goodman (not yet arranged); Lovejoy, GA running back Tashard Choice (1/31); Youngtown Ursuline (OH) running back Terrence Graves,
MSU lost out on Dave Shinskie, the Mount Carmel (PA) standout quarterback. Shinskie reportedly verballed to Delaware [corrected from an earlier report].
The Spartans are anxiously awaiting to see what a number of high profile recruits who have already visited will do. Nassau Community College defensive end Darryl Melvin visited MSU after the hiring of John L. Smith and liked what he saw. The 2002 NJCAA All American will decide between MSU, NC State, Maryland and Clemson. Jeff Stoutland, the East Coast recruiting coordinator, hopes they can ink the 6' 6" 250 lb standout. Robert Claitt, the super linebacker out of Charlotte East Mecklenburg HS (NC) is trying to set up a visit with MSU.
If he does, it might be just before the Feb 5th signing date.