East Lansing — Shortly after Michigan State wrapped up its player draft for Saturday's spring game, the attention quickly turned to the future.
And that future is looking much better after quarterback Messiah deWeaver, a four-star prospect from Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne announced he would be attending Michigan State. He is the third member of the 2016 class, joining four-star wide receiver Cameron Chambers and three-star offensive lineman Matt Allen.
"Michigan State has always been there for me from my freshman year when they started recruiting me," deWeaver said. "I love coach (Mark) Dantonio and his staff and what they're doing with that program, a top-five national program. Everything about Michigan State I fell in love with when I first stepped on campus. I just can't wait to get up there and be a Spartan."
deWeaver (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) originally committed to Michigan last year but reopened his recruitment in January after Michigan's coaching transition from Brady Hoke to Jim Harbaugh. He ultimately selected the Spartans ahead of Penn State and Mississippi State.
He is a four-star prospect according to both Rivals.com and 247sports.com while Scout.com has him as a three-star. Rivals lists him as the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the nation while 247 ranks him No. 12 and Scout has him at No. 28.
deWeaver said he plans to be at Michigan State's spring game on Saturday and will begin trying to convince others to join him.
"Cam Chambers is one of the top receivers in the country and we've been talking for a couple of weeks now," deWeaver said. "I will recruit hard for this class. … They're already a top-five team in the country, so we're gonna try and win national championships at Michigan State."
Whether deWeaver's commitment leads to more top prospects coming to Michigan State remains to be seen, but one analyst sees it as the possible beginning of a shift for recruiting under Dantonio.
"This is an interesting class for Michigan State," ESPN recruiting analyst Tom VanHaaren said. "Mark Dantonio and his staff have done well with three starts and two stars and in this class you're starting to see them in the conversation for higher-ranked prospects. This class could be a little different how it shapes up and how it's being built because Michigan State has built themselves into a national program and is in a higher tier to go after better prospects.
"This is a big commitment for them. It can get things rolling for Michigan State. Adding a quarterback is often a catalyst and creates an extra recruiter."
Some players deWeaver will be working to add are four-star receiver Justin Layne, three-star running back Abdul Adams, three-star offensive tackle Thiyo Lukusa and four-star receiver Donnie Corley from Detroit King.