In this first look, we line up where several prospects are early on and how we rank them in terms of their position in the 2011 class at defensive back.
Taiwan Jones Anchor Bay, MI --offer
Corian Hamilton, Orlando (FL) Olympia --offer
Zeph Grimes, Bamberg (SC) Ehrhardt --offer
Ron Tanner, Columbus (OH) Eastmoor
Nick Temple, Indianapolis (IN) Warren Central
Doran Grant, Akron (OH) St. Vincent-St. Mary --offer
Eilar Hardy, Pickerington (OH) Central
Chris Dukes, Cincinnati (OH) Colerain
Kenny Mullen, Ft. Wayne (IN) Bishop Luers
The Spartans have already been very active offering three safeties and one corner. Of the group, Taiwan Jones appears to be the early target of the Green-and-White.
MSU had him up a few times last year including during the Western Michigan win. Jones is a solid athlete who could turn into an outside linebacker. He's able to play two sports and has two early Big Ten offers from MSU and Indiana.
Corian Hamilton of Orlando will be a tough get for the Spartans, but that isn't going to stop them from trying. He is a pure ball hawk who's recorded 17 interceptions over the past two seasons and is rated one of the top 10 players in Central Florida. He could be just as important to the class as Jones.
Zeph Grimes is a big, physical safety prospect who could morph into a linebacker . He recorded 18 sacks as a edge rusher and 80 tackles, 38 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and three picks. He is a safety who packs a whallop when he hits. Not only can he hit, he also has pure speed, running a 4.5-40 time. There's little wonder why MSU has extended offers to the trio. All can get the job done.
The Spartans will continue to evaluate Columbus Eastmoor safety Ron Tanner who they had up for junior day. Tanner already holds offers from Michigan and Ohio State, so its a little curious why MSU hasn't already offered.
MSU has only offered one corner and that is legacy recruit Doran Grant.
Grant, the son of former MSU All-American Ted Jones. He has visited MSU several times, the last known visit being the weekend of January 31st. He already holds over 13 offers including Cincinnati, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Wisconsin and of course the Spartans.
One of the top players at his position in the nation, he is a priority but MSU will be in a dogfight for his verbal.
The Spartans will evaluate several other players, most notably Eilar Hardy of Pickerington (OH) Central, Chris Dukes of Cincinnati (OH) Colerain and Kenny Mullens of Ft. Wayne (IN) Bishop Luers and one or more could receive and MSU offer, but at least for the early going, they're concentrating on the safeties.