With the number of scholarships available standing somewhere between 19 – 21, Mark Dantonio and his staff are well underway to building a super and solid class.
So let's look at the class as of July 15, 2010.
1. Onaje Miller (J.W. Sexton High School - Lansing, Michigan)
There has been talk that there is something wrong with 4-star running back prospect Onaje Miller. We'll there is some truth to that as the Lansing, Michigan native is coming off an injury that has not allowed him to take part in either of the Spartan Camps held this summer. Are people worried? Yes & No, those in the recruiting world are wondering if Miller is hiding something. We'll the truth is the Michigan State coaching staff told him to take it easy so he'd be ready for his senior season of high school. Miller has attended both Senior Advance sessions of camp and made sure he was in the mix of things with possible future Spartans. What I love about Miller is he's player who will come up and hit you (you sometimes don't see this from offensive players) in the mouth and look for more. He's got a solid frame and should be a high level player as a Spartan. (Solid Pledge)
2. Lawrence Thomas (Renaissance High School – Detroit, Michigan)
If there were any questions about Thomas and his ability it went out the window with his recent camp showing. Showing up at 6-foot-4, 255-pounds, Thomas posted a 4.63 forty and looked even faster. As he continues to grow there is a chance he could see some time on the edge, but plans now are for him to man the middle and become a force in the Big Ten. (Solid Pledge)
3. Taiwan Jones (Anchor Bay High School – New Baltimore, Michigan)
A raw talent that will need some work between the time he finishes high school and enters Michigan State. While you can see there is talent, you also have to look at the work needed. Taiwan did struggle with some of the drill work but that is not something we've not seen before in looking at high school players. But there is talent there and in the Spartans system Mark Dantonio and his staff must feel they'll make him into a player that will do the things needed to be a high level performer. (Solid Pledge)
4. Connor Cook (Walsh Jesuit High School – Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)
When you look at Connor Cook you can't look at the product in front of you. You must look down the road and project the type of player Cook will become after spending a year in college. While Cook doesn't blow you away on film on at times in person, he shows solid fundamentals and fits the style and expectations I've come to look for in quarterbacks Mark Dantonio and Dave Warner take. Don't look for Cook to be highly ranked, but from everything I've heard the Spartan staff is very happy to have his verbal pledge on the books. (Solid Pledge)
5. Andre Sims (Brookwood High School – Snellville. Georgia)
Sims is another pledge that may not see his ranking rise over the course of the recruiting process. But one thing I've learned in following Mark Dantonio and his staff the past 7 years is they do a great job of finding talent others don't see. After his camp performance in June, Sims looks to be a super find as he showed great quickness and solid technique in catching the football. While he only stands about 5-foot-9, he is a solid route runner and is able to establish separation. Wide receiver looks to be his future at the college level. (Solid Pledge)
6. Paul Lang (Mt. Lebanon Senior High School – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Lang went from a player not many knew about to a Spartan. While he was going under the radar the Spartans had found him and looked to get him on board. After camping at MSU, Lang made the call and pledge Spartan. Going off his camp performance Lang looks to be as good as any tight end Michigan State was going after this fall. Look for his stock to continue to rise in the coming months. (Solid Pledge)
7. Joel Heath (Mt. Healthy High School – Cincinnati, Ohio)
To say that Joel Heath is underrated is an understatement. Heath has a great frame and shows great athletic ability for a player of his size. Is Joe Heath a 3-star? If so he's just on the border of pushing for 4-star status. While he's raw in some of the one-on-one phases on the game he's going to have a chance to be an All-Big Ten performer. (Solid Pledge)
8. Mark Scarpinato (Marquette University High School – Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
One of the newest Spartans is also one that I feel will not look anywhere else during the next several months. Not only did Scarpinato want to be a Spartan, the look on his face at camp on Monday after giving his pledge said it all. As a player Mark did what Mark Dantonio loves in the players he recruits. He came to camp and competed to earn his offer and spot in the Class of 2011. I feel Mark will stay as a 3-star prospect in the Scout system but will become a solid player at the college level. (Solid Pledge)
9. Trae Waynes (Bradford High School – Kenosha, Wisconsin)
The verbal pledge of Waynes to Michigan State looks to be starting off a chain reaction. Not only do the Spartans have Waynes on their pledge board, there is a good chance one or more of his friends may be joining the Spartan party. Waynes like Scarpinato earned his offer in June and with his 4.28 forty time Harlon Barnett must be super excited about the future. While it's not set in stone many feel Waynes and Melvin Gordon will soon be pledges to the same program. So not only does Waynes make for a solid get, so does Gordon. (Looks very solid as he said no to home state program)
Overall this is shaping up as a very solid class with highly ranked players like Thomas and Miller, and players like Heath who is going to see their ranking rise.
So there are the verbal pledges on the board with a quick look at each. Coming next we start to look at the other names on the board and the chances Michigan State has with each.