Spartans land top QB/LB; So.Fla LB to follow?

Michigan State will finish its 2003 recruiting season with around 20 commitments pending the decisions of a couple of high profile prospects and some last minute decisions.

(EAST LANSING, MI)--Michigan State will finish its 2003 recruiting season with around 20 commitments pending the decisions of a couple of high profile prospects and some last minute decisions.

MSU is reportedly ready to ink troubled linebacker Nate Harris of Miami Edison to a letter of intent tommorrow.

Referred to as a "Ray Lewis clone" and rated the 10th best linebacker prospect in the country, Harris was arrested last May in connection with an armed robbery in the Miami area. He was dropped by the Hurricanes. He is ready to get a fresh start in East Lansing or in Starksboro, MS where Mississippi State also has offered. It's down to those two.

While troubled, there is no questioning his talent and if he can keep his nose clean it would be a super lift for MSU's recruiting class.

Edison coach Cory Bell told the Miami Herald that Harris has gotten his life untracked. ''Nate is doing a lot better,'' said Bell. "I spoke to him this morning, and he told me he couldn't wait until National Signing Day to get his life back in order. Wherever Nate ends up, he's going to be a great player. He's learned his lesson. He reminds me of that every time I talk to him.''

After completing a two-week work release assignment, Harris will have paid his debt to society. The Spartans got a big lift last night when Stephen Reaves, the high-profile quarterback from Plant City, Fl gave his verbal commitment to Michigan State. The son of former Florida standout John Reaves was a big part of Plant City's high flying passing attack of two seasons ago that featured super freshman Mike Williams of USC.

The Spartans got their 17th (18th)* official verbal from Howland High School (Warren, OH) phenom Maurice Smith. Smith committed to MSU last night. The 6-foot-one, 225-pounder played both linebacker and running back for the Tigers, who finished the season 9-4. MSU will most likely use Smith as a linebacker since their is no fullback position in the new offensive scheme.

Of course, everyone in the state who follows recruiting will be holding their breath in anticipation of the decisions to be made at Saginaw High school tommorrow afternoon. Lamarr Woodley, the nation's #1 linebacker prospect will make his decision known to the recruting world. At the same time, Jerome Jackson, one of the state's top running backs and Anthony Rogers, a solid prospect at linebacker will also make their decisions.

Several experts are saying that Woodley and Rogers are headed to Michigan, but others say no one knows for sure except the duo themselves. Anthony Rogers is reportedly headed to Central Michigan. MSU's recruiting class is moving up to the middle of the pack in the Big 10 with the verbals of Reaves and Smith and if they were to ink Harris, Woodley and Jackson it would easily put them in the top five in the conference.

------------------------------ **Cassopolis defensive end Derrick Outlaw committed to Michigan State before deciding to quit football. Spartan coaches are known to still be attempting to coax Outlaw out of his decision and back onto the gridiron. is still counting him unofficially as part of MSU's recruiting class until such time as he fails to enroll in school.

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