August 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

Allen Trieu

Tyler Higby commitment might be start of big recruiting roll for MSU

Michigan State's coaches left a big impression on Tyler Higby and his family. (Greg Powers /

This could be a key stretch in recruiting for Michigan State, and it got off to a good start on Wednesday night when Houston Kinkaid offensive lineman Tyler Higby committed to the Spartans over offers from LSU, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Miami and others.

At 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, Higby is ranked by as a guard, but could project to just about any position on the offensive line.

He visited East Lansing earlier in July as part of a family vacation with his mother, a Michigan native. What started out as a chance to see family because a trip that will define Higby’s future.

“Ever since I got back, it has been on my mind, how great it was and how much I loved it,” he told Spartan Digest’s Mike Wilson. “I talked to my parents a lot (Wednesday night) about the whole situation and it just felt right.”

A big part of the comfort on that visit was the coaching staff, led by offensive line coach Mark Staten and head coach Mark Dantonio.

“With Coach Staten, just the second I walked in the room he seemed high energy and like a really good coach,” Higby said. “Same with Coach Dantonio; I went in there with my mom and my uncle and one of my friends and we all came out saying he seemed like a great guy. That is how I felt about everyone there.”

Higby becomes commitment number 11 for the Spartans in the class of 2015. He is their second verbal from Texas this year, joining West Mesquite cornerback Josh Butler.

Thompson timeline

Detroit King’s Tyriq Thompson, a highly-regarded linebacker prospect, is set to announce his decision soon. Crusaders assistant coach Terel Patrick says his star player is down to Michigan State and Michigan. Popular opinion is that the Spartans have the edge for him. An announcement is expected early next week.

MSU in top three

Sebastian River (Fla.) class of 2015 offensive tackle Marcus Norman (6-6, 290 pounds) told’s Corey Bender that he has a top three of Michigan State, Georgia Tech and South Florida. Norman is not certain when he will decide. He has not yet visited East Lansing.

Kelly ready to decide?

Rumors persist that Oak Park athlete John Kelly is closing in on a decision. Recruited as a running back and cornerback, Kelly told Scout that right now, his timetable has not changed despite the chatter, and he plans to continue to wait on making a commitment. Michigan State is considered the front-runner in his recruitment, but he recently visited Minnesota again and the Gophers are the Spartans’ chief competition.

More information

Tyler Higby profile

Tyriq Thompson profile

John Kelly profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for 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 For more on MSU recruiting, visit