Branden Dawson is Off the Board

The 6-6 combo forward that was clearly coveted by UCLA, Branden Dawson, committed Wednesday to Michigan State, with Tom Izzo landing the best rebounder in the nation...

There's a first time for everything. Branden Dawson committed to Michigan State without telling the head coach. Seriously, we spoke to Dawson before he told Tom Izzo the news.

The news is so hot, Tom Izzo didn't know yet as of 5:52 p.m. Dawson is ranked No. 24 (and rising) in the senior class.

"I'm going to call him (and tell him)," Branden Dawson said of his Wednesday commitment to Michigan State after considering Purdue, Illinois, UCLA, Georgetown and Marquette. It seems fitting that the nation's best offensive rebounders would pick the school that since Izzo's tenure, has been synonymous with tough play and board work.

Dawson was Michigan State's undisputed top target and the Spartans made that abundantly clear last month. Tom Izzo, according to Dawson's AAU coach, didn't miss a single game of Dawson's during the July period.

"Michigan State has a tremendous program," Dawson said. "The staff is unbelievable and its not too far from home. It's a great fit for me."

Dawson knew he'd be a Spartan in late June when he visited campus after the Paul Pierce camp. "I was talking to Coach Izzo at that point and I just knew it. I wanted to go to State."

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