Asmar Bilal has a 4.0 grade-point average at Indianapolis Ben Davis High. (Photo courtesy of Allen Trieu)
The last time Michigan State signed a player out of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, it was Isaiah Lewis, who went on to become an All-Big Ten performer and three year starter for the Spartans. Physically, junior linebacker Asmar Bilal might be as talented as anyone who has come from that program recently -- no small feat considering their history -- and he added a Spartan offer this week.
“One thing is his overall speed," Giants head coach Mike Kirschner says. "He's very fast. The other one is his size. He's 6-foot-3 and pushing 210 pounds now, real long arms, so he's got size, he's got length, he can cover a lot of ground.”
There were times last season when Kirschner would ask Bilal to cover wide receivers and he proved to be up to the task. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. The part of his game he needed to work on was strength and he has not missed a single winter workout, has added nearly 15 pounds, and has improved on all of his weight-room numbers.
Off the field, he is a 4.0 student. This makes his recruitment a unique one. Other programs like Wisconsin, Indiana, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech and Northwestern have offered. Unlike most top recruits who grow up rooting for certain schools and players, Bilal is essentially a blank slate.
“The funny thing is, as much as he loves football, he doesn't watch college football, so some of these schools, if the school doesn't have the state name in it, he doesn't know where they're at, so he doesn't have any preconceived notion,” Kirschner says. “He’s wide open."
Academics will be an important part of the decision, but so will winning.
“When it's all said and done, he said he wants to be at a place where they play good football, not hoping to play god football. That comes down to places like Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Northwestern, because they're all pretty good."
Bilal spoke to Spartan Digest’s Mike Wilson shortly after he received his Spartan offer and called it “special” and “a great opportunity.” He also said he will look to visit East Lansing this spring.
Missouri quarterback offered
Lee’s Summit (Mo.) junior quarterback Drew Lock was offered by Michigan State this week, according to Scout.com Midlands analyst Derek Young. Lock (6-4, 175) has an offer list that is now into the double digits. He has offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio State, Tennessee and West Virginia, as well. He has said he believes a decision could come by June. There is no word yet on whether he will visit East Lansing before that decision comes.
Spartans pursue New Jersey pair
Two prospects in New Jersey added offers from Michigan State this week. Union City teammates Daiquan Kelly, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver, and offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez, a highly-regarded offensive lineman, were both offered. Gonzalez told Spartan Digest the offer now puts the Spartans third on his list. He also said he will visit MSU but did not have a set date yet.
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.