Alex Dalton is "athletic, has a great spring to his step, is able to pull, and that’s why he’s so very successful on trap plays." (Photo courtesy of Scout.com)
A rising name in Midwest recruiting is Troy (Ohio) High School junior Alex Dalton, a high school offensive tackle who projects to guard at the next level. The 6-4, 280-pound Dalton went from somewhat under the radar to an explosion that has brought about several new offers, taking his total to 14. One of those schools was Michigan State.
"Michigan State called and gave an offer," Dalton told Fox Sports NEXT Ohio analyst Dave Berk. "I spoke with four coaches from there. They want to get me on campus to see the facilities and maybe get to a practice."
The Spartans have competition from Oklahoma, Stanford, West Virginia, Kentucky, Cincinnati — all have offered — and several others. Having personally scouted Dalton, Berk is not surprised at his recent success.
"He's athletic, has a great spring to his step, is able to pull, and that's why he's so very successful on trap plays," Berk said. "Add in the fact that he can snap and long snap, and plays with a nasty streak, and you have a great prospect."
Dalton admitted he's still learning about the Spartans and the other programs that offered him recently, but getting in on the ground floor should help the Green and White in this recruitment.
"Right now, I'd say it's open," Berk explains. "He's being very surprised by all of a sudden getting all of these offers. He's open to visiting Michigan State and he will do that, but he's just not sure when."
Where they stand
With spring practice starting, the early sessions have provided opportunities for Michigan State to host prospective recruits. This week, the visitors have mostly been of the in-state variety, including several who will look to earn offers over the next couple months.
They include Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes offensive tackle Brandon Keen and Detroit Cass Tech fullback Gary Hosey. Both visited East Lansing on Tuesday and both know where they stand with regard to potential offers.
"They said they wanted to see me at a senior invite-only camp," the 6-6, 285-pound Keen said, "to see if I could take what I learned in the beginning and use it at the end during competition."
Hosey, a 6-0, 230-pound junior who also plays linebacker, holds several offers, and believed a Spartan offer was possible going into the visit. While he did not receive one yet, he says the staff was very honest and upfront about what they see in him.
"They said they're very interested and they like me," Hosey reported. "They said it's just hard, because there are only so many plays, because I split time with so many other backs — three other backs. But they really like me and they'll send coaches out in the spring period to see me do some drills."
While watching practice, Hosey concentrated on the running back position and came away particularly impressed with Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill.
Thursday's visitors for practice included a pair of sophomore teammates from East Grand Rapids — linebacker Carter Masek, a 6-3, high-potential prospect, and quarterback Mikey Roth, who started last season for the Pioneers.
Spartans offer Maryland RB
The staff at Dematha Catholic High School reported this week that running back Taiwan Deal has added an offer from Michigan State. A 5-10, 185-pound junior, Deal split time with Penn State commit Mark Allen last season, but still managed to rush for 955 yards and 21 touchdowns on 125 carries. In addition to the Spartans, he has offers from Tennessee, Maryland, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Boston College and others. MSU has had success at Dematha before, signing linebacker Darien Harris in the 2011 class.
Indiana prospects visiting
Michigan State is after a few Hoosier State kids this year, including wide receivers Dominique Booth and Austin Roberts, who both have offers. They will be hosting a few more Indiana-based recruits in the coming weeks. Fort Wayne South Side teammates Nathan Braster, a 6-5, 235-pound defensive end who just received his first offer from Ball State, and cornerback Donovan Clark, who has a Big Ten offer from Indiana, will both be on campus for an upcoming junior day. Lawrence Central linebacker Brandon Lee, who has eight offers, is also due to visit. He has not been offered by the Spartans, but he may receive one on his visit.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show.His Michigan State recruiting column appears every Friday at detroitnews.com. For more on MSU recruiting, visit michiganstate.scout.com.