Michigan State currently does not have a player from Missouri on its roster, but the Spartans hope to change that in the near future.
One of their top St. Louis targets is Cardinal Ritter junior wide receiver Jameson Williams. When the Spartans opened fall camp in late July, many of the recruits visiting made relatively short trips from inside the state for visits. Williams came all the way from St. Louis.
"The practice looked very nice and organized," he said. "They went after it. I loved their intensity and the team looked great. I talked to (wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel).”
Williams holds offers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and more, but made it clear Michigan State is held in high regard.
"Michigan State most definitely is one of my top offers," he said.
In turn, he will undoubtedly be one of the prospects Michigan State heavily pursues in the 2019 class. The main factor to that is speed. Williams is a track athlete with times that are rare for a 6-foot-2 kid. A good fall season followed by excellent track results in the spring brought in many of the scholarship offers he has.
"He had not been running the 100-meter dash," said Cardinal Ritter head coach Brandon Gregory. "But he was doing so well in the other events, we thought, let's let him try it, and he ran 10.54 his first time and that's after breaking Ezekiel Elliott's record in the 300 the week before."
Williams’ work ethic, on the field, on the track and especially during the classroom of late, has been a key part of his progression from skinny freshman to a major recruit.
"He's a kid that, first and foremost, is a great kid," Gregory said. "We try to promote that in our program, try to get kids to see that if you do right in the classroom, it carries over into the football field and Jameson is a perfect example of that. He started off slow as a freshman in school, but picked it up and it's paying off on the football field. That's on top of him being 6-foot in November and 6-foot-2 now and making a name for himself at these April camps."
A return visit to Michigan State is on Williams’ priority list for the fall.
Already a four-star prospect by both Scout and 247 Sports, Williams’ chief priority will be continuing to progress the way he has over the last two years.
"He is still growing into his 6-foot-2 frame and is still a baby,” Gregory said. “He is excelling in track, and with that speed and skill set and still being a pup, there is room for growth on top of what he is already doing. He is a very humble, soft-spoken kid and I know he's embracing it and knows he is still young and there is work to do on the field and in the classroom, and none of this would happen without the good work in the classroom."
Spartan commits impress in scrimmage
Pickerington (Ohio) Central is readying to begin its season and the school has two Michigan State commits, tight end Trenton Gillison and cornerback Xavier Henderson, on its roster.
Scout analyst Bill Greene attended a recent scrimmage and left impressed with both.
“I love (Xavier Henderson’s) game,” Greene said, “and I think he's going to be ready to play as a true freshman. He could play wide receiver, cornerback or safety, but I like him best as a shut-down corner.”
Gillison, a 6-foot-5 tight end is, like Henderson, a four-star prospect on Scout.
“He’s a perfect fit for Michigan State’s offense,” Greene said.
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 and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.