The Spartans have made in-roads into the state, but 2011 could be a pivotal year as getting some of the top players in that state could put MSU among the elite of the Big Ten conference.
One of the top rated players for the 2011 class in Ohio is free safety Ronald Tanner II. Tanner is the arguably the top safety prospect in Ohio and is also making the move to the starting quarterback position for Columbus (OH) Eastmoor Academy.
"I played quarterback the last two seasons and I was the backup for Milan Johnson our previous quarterback. This year, I'll be starting," said Tanner.
He said recruiters haven't seen enough of him at quarterback just yet. "It's been at free safety. Colleges haven't seen my talent yet at quarterback, so we'll see what happens this year and how far I can go at quarterback and we'll go from there."
Tanner talked about how he took advantage of this summer to grow as a player.
"I went to the West Virginia senior day camp. They invited me to come there and I performed really well. Then, about two weeks later, Ohio State had there camp and I went there and I also showed well there."
So what were the results from his working out at those camps.
"West Virginia (has offered) so far and that is my only verbal offer, but I'm thinking and kind of hoping that after a couple of games this year a couple of more schools will come with a couple of more offers," said Tanner who says he's been sending out tapes and bios to all the schools in the Big Ten, Big East, Pacific-10 and a few MAC schools.
Tanner says so far the response has been positive.
What about the interest from the Spartans?
"I don't know much about Michigan State but my football coach coaches girl's basketball and he took his girls to a basketball camp at Michigan State and he ran into the football coach and that's when he called me that night and told me that Michigan State was really interested and that were actually thinking about offering me around September 1 or after the first few games to see how I do."
Growing up in the shadow of the horseshoe in Columbus, the thinking is that it would be extremely tough to pry Tanner away from the clutches of Ohio State if they offered but he says, that might not necessarily be the case.
"Ohio State is kind of a childhood favorite school growing up. If they offered me I'm not just going to jump and say yes right away, I'm still going to look around at all the other schools and see what's my best fit. I don't want to just go there because that's what I grew up liking, I want to go with what schools fits me the best."
GSN will keep a sharp eye to see what develops in the recruitment of one of Ohio's best for 2011.
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