October 18, 2013 at 1:00 am

Allen Trieu

Spartans rise for 2014 targets Darius Slade, David Hedelin following visits

Oak Park running back John Kelly will be on an unofficial visit for the Michigan State-Purdue game. (Mark Bialek / Special to The Detroit News)

Michigan State hosted six official visitors for last Saturday's win over Indiana. The weekend may have set the scene for a couple more additions to the Spartans' 2014 class -- the most likely of which may be Monclair (N.J.) High defensive end Darius Slade.

"I think MSU moved to the top of the list with Slade," Spartan Digest's Mike Wilson said. "At the least, they really helped their chances of securing a commitment from him. He had high praise for the visit, which exceeded his expectations.”

Slade declined to name a leader. He has an official visit set to Kansas on Nov. 30 and says he will not make a decision until after that visit. He has additional offers from Nebraska, Rutgers, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and others.

Offensive tackle is a key position for the Spartans to add bodies in this class, and City College of San Francisco prospect David Hedelin is capable of providing instant depth. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound prospect learned about the academics in East Lansing and had good interaction with head coach Mark Dantonio.

"MSU also impressed Hedelin," Wilson said. "He also said the visit went beyond what he expected. He spoke highly about the people at MSU. Being his first official visit, MSU set the bar for Hedelin."

The Spartans will still have a tough battle on their hands for Hedelin, though, as he will visit Oregon next and hopes to also take official visits to Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon State and Nebraska.

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas running back Madre London had already taken official visits to see Big Ten rivals Nebraska and Wisconsin, but also had a positive review following his time with the Spartans.

“My favorite part was the people," he said. "They were really fun and very social and very active. I want to play for a school that people go around and talk to you and see how you are doing.”

London will take an official visit to Illinois this weekend.

Strong in-state crop expected for Purdue

While there are no official visitors for Saturday's tilt with Purdue, there will be no shortage of talent visiting East Lansing for the game. Leading the way are two juniors who come in holding Spartan offers -- Detroit Cass Tech running back Mike Weber and Oak Park running back John Kelly, both of whom are having big seasons for their respective schools.

Joining them will be Northville offensive tackle David Moorman and LaGrange (Ohio) Keystone tight end C.J. Conrad, two juniors who have multiple offers elsewhere and are looking to add the Spartans to that list. Conrad is a 6-foot-5 tight end with strong receiving skills boasting offers from Illinois, Pittsburgh and others.

Among the top young prospects expected to attend are Orchard Lake St. Mary's sophomore running back Daelin Hayes and East English Village Prep offensive tackle Emani Mason, a freshman who is already being hailed as a future blue-chip recruit.

McNeil, McDowell biding their time

Decatur (Ind.) Central senior offensive tackle Lukayus McNeil is a key remaining target for Michigan State. He took an unofficial visit to East Lansing for the Indiana game, and while the Spartans remain very much in the hunt, his head coach Justin Dixson told Scout.com this week that his star lineman is taking his time and is not expected to make a decision any time soon.

The same goes for Southfield blue-chip defensive tackle Malik McDowell, who also visited Michigan State last week. Sources close to the 6-foot-6, 300-pound McDowell maintain that he likes, and is considering the Spartans, but as has long been his plan, he will not make a commitment until January's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

More information

Darius Slade profile

Madre London profile

Mike Weber profile

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 weekly at detroitnews.com. For more on MSU recruiting, visit michiganstate.scout.com.

Michigan State may have moved to the top of the list for defensive end ... (Brian Dohn / Scout.com)