September 4, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Allen Trieu

Michigan State pursues top QB prospects Seth Green, Jake Zembiec

Woodbury East Ridge coach Mike Pendino on Seth Green: 'He's got the 'it' factor, he's got the maturity, he's very humble, he can throw the ball, he can run.' (Allen Trieu /

With the arrival of Sept. 1 -- the first day colleges can have extended contact with juniors -- Michigan State was active in reaching out to top targets in the 2016 class. MSU offered two of the top quarterback prospects in that cycle, Woodbury (Minn.) East Ridge’s Seth Green and Rochester (N.Y.) Aquinas Institute’s Jake Zembiec.

Both players attended the Spartans’ June 14 camp in East Lansing.

Green (6-4, 210 pounds) has been offered by Oregon and will attend the Ducks’ clash with MSU this weekend in Eugene. He has additional offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Illinois and Toledo.

“I love all the people in the program and what they are doing to keep being successful," he said of the Spartans.

While he does not have a visit set to Michigan State, Green says he hopes to get to a Spartan game by the end of the season. Having had him as the varsity starter since his freshman season, Raptors head coach Mike Pendino says he is right up there with the best players he has ever coached, which is saying something, considering the NFL star he once had on his team.

"Seth has got it all,” Pendino told “He's got the 'it' factor, he's got the maturity, he's very humble, he can throw the ball, he can run. I mean, I was fortunate enough to have Larry Fitzgerald in high school and I compare him to Larry Fitzgerald in all those qualities."

Zembiec (6-3, 205 pounds) has over 20 offers on a list that includes Penn State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Iowa. As a sophomore, he became the first sophomore to win the New York Player of the Year award after leading Aquinas to an undefeated season and state title.

When he camped in East Lansing, Zembiech came away impressed with the staff.

“I think it was the relationship I got to build with Coach (Brad) Salem and even Coach Dantonio,” he told Spartan Digest’s Mike Wilson. “It was really good to get a feel for them in person and to work with Connor Cook and see and know what Coach Salem can do and how they treat their players.”

While it is early, the Spartans’ chief competition for Zembiec appears to be Penn State. He is planning on getting to Happy Valley for a game, and also hopes to get to Michigan State, but does not have a date set yet.

As a sophomore, Zembiec finished with 1,932 yards and 26 touchdowns through the air.

Minnesota LB on Spartan radar

Junior four-star linebacker Carter Coughlin told that Spartans quarterback coach and area recruiter Brad Salem will make his way to Eden Prairie (Minn.) next week to check in with their coaches on the 6-foot-3, 200-pound prospect. Coughlin added an offer from Ohio State this week to summer offers from Pittsburgh and Minnesota. He will visit Ohio State this weekend and says he hopes to get to East Lansing before the end of the season.

Spartan commits have big first games

The season started fast for Spartan running back commit L.J. Scott, who led his Hubbard (Ohio) squad to a 35-0 victory over Lakeview with a 253-yard, two-touchdown performance on the ground. He also intercepted a pass on defense.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s cornerback and Michigan State commit Tyson Smith had a big first game for the Eaglets. Smith broke up three passes and caught a 60-yard touchdown pass in a 21-19 win over Southfield in the Detroit Prep Kickoff Classic. He was named team MVP of the game.

Jackson Lumen Christi’s Khari Willis, who is committed to the Spartans as a defensive player, rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown in a 47-0 opening-week win over Buchanan.

Spartans quarterback commit Brian Lewerke helped his Phoenix Pinnacle team to a 29-13 win by passing for 172 yards and a touchdown and rushing for a score.

Cornerback commit Josh Butler returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in West Mesquite (Texas) High’s 55-22 victory over Arlington Seguin.

More information

Seth Green profile

Jake Zembiec profile

Carter Coughlin 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