J.J. Pinckney visited Mark Dantonio and the Spartans for the Purdue game. (Associated Press)
When Michigan State defeated Purdue at home last week, they did so in front of several of their top recruiting targets. One such target is Sylvania (Ohio) Southview senior J.J. Pinckney, who is one of only a handful of class of 2014 wide receivers still on the Spartan board.
"It was definitely a good time," he told Spartan Digest's Mike Wilson. "I'm just familiar with some of the people -- and everything was like the first time I came. It was a really friendly atmosphere. Everyone was just motivated to do the best and show you the best time. I really enjoyed it."
A big, physical 6-foot-3, 185-pound prospect, he fits the mold of what the Green and White are looking for in this year's class, according to Wilson.
"Pinckney is near the top of the board for MSU and their pursuit of a wide receiver in this class as he provides a tall target who can make plays in the red zone,” Wilson said. “He's an ideal fit as an X receiver, and that's where MSU would like to have him for the next few years."
Wilson spoke at length with the Ohio native following last week's visit, and believes the relaxed nature of the trip will help the Spartans as they continue to work toward earning his verbal commitment.
"His visit for the Purdue game was pretty good,” Wilson said. “He had a lot of praise for the people around the program -- especially that they didn't put pressure on him to commit. The coaches said he can come back whenever he wants, and he plans to visit for the Michigan game on November 2."
Pinckney says he might also visit Cincinnati, another school that has offered him, in November.
Campbell, Blackwell work on Kelly
Oak Park junior running back John Kelly made a return visit to Michigan State last weekend. He had previously been up for a practice, where he was offered by the Spartans, and since then, has continued to hear the pitch from some of his former Max Ex 7 on 7 teammates who are committed to the Spartans.
"The person in my ear the most is (Detroit Cass Tech quarterback and MSU commit) Jayru (Campbell) and (Director of Player of Development Curtis) Blackwell,” Kelly said. “They all want me to be an early commit, but at this point, it's still my time frame.”
Kelly, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound speedster, says he will be back in East Lansing again on Nov. 2 for the Spartans' showdown with rival Michigan.
Iowa State commit to take an official
Michigan State is slated to host one Iowa State commit, Harvey (Ill.) Thornton wide receiver Jauan Wesley, for the Michigan game, and now a second Cyclone commit might make his way to East Lansing. Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita running back Tommy Mister told Scout.com's Mike McAllister that he wants to visit the Spartans along with several other schools.
"I told my team I wasn't going to do visits during the season," he said. "I just wanted to focus on winning states with them. But I know I'm going to take an official to Michigan State, Indiana and maybe Syracuse when Lamar goes. Of course Iowa State. Maybe Notre Dame. I know Michigan State, Indiana and Iowa State for sure right after the season."
Despite that news, Mister maintains he is committed to Iowa State.
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.