February 4, 2013

Looking ahead: Class of 2014

Will MSU sign a top quarterbacks for 2014?

The answer to this question is yes. Top program needs to sign a top quarterback every year. In addition, Andew Maxwell will be going off scholarship so the need and spot is there. The Spartan have early offered several elite-level quarterbacks. I really like what I saw out of Michael O'Connor brings to the table and in the end I think he might be the player that makes the most sense for MSU and for him.
Caleb Henderson is a big time talent and list MSU highly, but I think he would have already committed if he really wanted to be a Spartan. DeShone Kizer is also on the radar, but he seems like a guy better suited to run an offense like Nebraska. O'Connor skipped a year of schooling so I think he would not be averse at all to red-shirting which put some space between him and the other MSU QB'S.

Any legacy recruits that Spartan fans can get excited about besides Byron Bullough?

Yes, Matt Morrissey is a player that I like a lot. His dad (Jim) was a great Spartan and his sister (Anna) is currently playing basketball for Michigan State. I remember scouting Matt's older brother (Mike) a few years ago and he was a borderline BCS kid. He ended up at Boston College as a preferred walk-on, but earned a scholarship simply because he was a tough, blue-collar type of player. I have talked with a few people who I value the opinion of and the word on Matt Morrissey is he is not only more athletic than his older brother, but also has better natural instincts.
The question on Morrissey is what position will he play as he is listed as 6-3, 185 right now and Rivals.com has him as a safety. I have a feeling by the time he rolls into his 2nd year of college he will be a 6-foot-4, 225-pound OLB prospect. His best football days are definitely ahead of him.

Brian Allen is the brother of current Spartan Jack Allen and he is a player the staff would love to add to the mix. Allen was thinking about committing back in December, but he has decided to take his time a bit. If Brett Bielema had not left Wisconsin, Allen may already be a Badger. Allen has a lot of familiarity with the Spartan program and that is a good thing, but the younger Allen has been to Iowa almost a dozen times and the Badgers are trying to re-build momentum as well. This one is going to be a battle.

Any traditional school or schools MSU had had success at that the staff may tap into for 2014?
The schools that most think of when it comes to Michigan State and having success are Bother Rice and Farmington Hills Harrison. As of right now I am not sure wither school has high-level BCS player for the class of 2014. Rice RB Brian Walker will get a look. He will likely have to show speed and explosiveness at MSU's Camp to earn an offer.
Tyler O'Connor is from Lima Catholic and they have a nice DB that the Spartan are very interest in, Darius West. He already has a solid offer list and one could come from Michigan State sometime this spring.

It will be interesting to see what player might emerge from some of the schools that the class of 2013 commitments are from. Could Erie Cathedral Prep or Ft. Lauderdale Dillard have a player or two for next year as well? Right now no player from either school has BCS offers. DB Felix Manus-Schell of Cathedral Prep is getting some interest and Dillard has a few players that the staff will likely want to see at camp, but no blue-chippers as of right now.

Often commitments will come from a school the staff has been plugging away at for a few years without success. High school coaches respect teams/recruiters that come through consistently and at some point they will tell a kid he should check that school out. For Michigan State, that is often all it takes.

Is there a Super Blue Chip player you think MSU will sign?
Well besides the obvious choice of someone like Drake Harris, who in my opinion is the best wide receiver in the Midwest, I think the Spartans will sign a high-level defensive end in this class. Who it will be remains to be seen, but it is a position of need. The staff will be signing a new DL Coach and that could give us an indication. Keep in mind Brad Salem came in and has opened up Michigan State to Wisconsin.
I think the next Spartan DL Coach will not only be a good position coach, but he may also be a bit more dynamic recruiter and I think that could pay-off. Who that person will be is still just speculation, but I think Coach Dantonio recognizes the landscape requires the staff getting someone who is a net positive from a recruiting standpoint.

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