Darius Slade still plans on visiting Nebraska, but Michigan State is the frontrunner. (Brian Dohn / Scout.com)
Montclair (N.J) senior defensive end Darius Slade has 21.5 sacks so far this season, and getting to the quarterback is something the Michigan State Spartans have done with regularity, as well.
For that, and other reasons, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Slade seems like an ideal match for the Green and White. They had him up for an official visit in October, and since then, he has visited other programs. But his love for the style of defense played in East Lansing has stuck with him through this visits, and he told Scout.com’s Greg Pickel this week that MSU is his leader.
“I think they’re looking really good (for Slade),” Pickel said. “I would say very good. I don’t really see anyone challenging here. He was at West Virginia, but he didn’t have a whole lot to say when he got back. Penn State offered, but I think they got in too late. He likes the Big Ten and he said Michigan State is the defense he fits best with.”
Following his October official, Slade told Scout the experience had “definitely raised (Michigan State’s) stock a lot higher than it was before.”
Throughout the process, he accumulated 10 offers in total. He does still have another official visit on the books, but at this point in time, those schools appear to be looking up at Michigan State much in the way quarterbacks have been looking up at Slade.
“I know he is going to visit Nebraska and I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided after,” Pickel explained. “He has a teammate (Austin Stevens) committed to Kansas, so maybe he could convince Darius to visit. But way they talked, I can’t see him anywhere but East Lansing. That’s the defense he wants to play for.”
Slade and Montclair High are currently 8-0 on the season. They take on North Bergen this Saturday.
Four-star safety sets official
According to Scout.com’s Brian Dohn, Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic safety Kiy Hester has set an official visit to Michigan State for Nov. 30, the final home game of the season when the Spartans take on Minnesota. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Hester has also set an official to Arkansas and is considering offers from Ohio State, Miami (Fla.), Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Missouri and others.
Four-star junior receiver offered
One of the top juniors in the county was offered by Michigan State this week as Rock Bridge (Mo.) wide receiver Alex Ofodile, an athletic 6-foot-3, 170-pound prospect, added the Spartans to a list that already includes Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Wisconsin. He spoke to Scout’s Beth Long about Michigan State.
“It’s pro-style,” he said of their offense, “so it can definitely get you ready for the next level.”
Scout’s Midlands Recruiting Manager Greg Powers believes Ofodile has the ability to be a big-time target, after viewing his footage from the last two seasons.
“I really enjoyed breaking down his film and watching the highlights on this kid,” he said. “He is a tall, lengthy playmaker. He has the ability to jump in to the air and contort his body to make tough catches.”
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.