Under Mark Dantonio and his staff, Michigan State has had a lot of success taking high school recruits with the ability to play multiple positions and find the best roles for them. Jeremy Langford and Tony Lippett are two consummate examples on this year's team.
In the 2015 class, the Spartans have continued to recruit players who play multiple positions for their schools, and the most recent addition to that class, Houston Nimitz's Darrell Stewart, is just that.
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Stewart passed for 304 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 384 and two touchdowns, caught 15 passes for 370 yards and four touchdowns, and recorded two interceptions on defense this year.
"The Michigan State coaches have options," says Scout.com analyst Ahmard Vital, who is based in Houston. "It's likely that Stewart will play the receiver position, though it shouldn't be out of the question for him to play in the secondary also. That was the position where we first noticed him and he played the pass well and ran the alley equally as well."
Stewart was committed to Boise State at one time, but his official visit to East Lansing last weekend led to his switch. He had additional offers from Colorado, Georgia, Louisville, North Carolina and others.
Spartan Digest's Mike Wilson agrees with Vital that Stewart will likely be a receiver first for the Spartans and says he has the tools to do well there.
"He has great quickness in and out of his breaks, making him a slippery player to try and cover downfield," Wilson said. "That shiftiness continues when he gets the ball in his hands. Stewart is a true playmaker with the ball as he is elusive, makes good cuts and finds ways to advance the ball."
As for concerns with Stewart, Wilson says, "There is no doubt about Stewart's ability with the ball, but as is the case with most wide receiver film, it does not give a good idea of how good he is without the ball. An offense like Michigan State's requires blocking, and as not the biggest wideout, he needs to have a strong mentality to be a factor in the blocking game."
But if the past has taught us anything, it's that MSU will find the best position for Stewart and make sure he has the proper skill set to contribute there.
Weber back on the board
One of the top seniors in the state, Detroit Cass Tech running back Mike Weber, decommitted from Michigan last weekend and is now open again in his recruitment. He told Scout that he will take an official visit to Michigan State with Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, USC and Ohio State as other possibilities for official visits.
Weber (5-9, 210 pounds) rushed for over 2,000 yards and 29 touchdowns this season. He plans to announce his college choice Jan. 3 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but his head coach, Thomas Wilcher, cautioned that the decision may be pushed back if he cannot take enough visits and come to a good decision in time.
Spartans in top five for OT
Reading (Pa.) Exeter junior offensive tackle Michal Menet named a top five this week that includes Michigan State, Florida State, Ohio State, Penn State and Duke. Menet (6-4, 264 pounds) is currently ranked as the nation's No. 5 offensive tackle and the 43rd overall player in his class by Scout.
He visited East Lansing in the spring and had extended conversations with strength and conditioning coach Ken Mannie, offensive line coach Mark Staten and other members of the football and academic staff.
"They stressed how easy Michigan State and all of their facilities made their freshman year," Menet said. "Everything you need – the locker room, the academic support, the weight room – it's all within like five minutes of each other. They also stressed how important that was to make the transition a whole lot easier."
Menet has already accepted an invitation to play in next year's Under Armour All-American Game.
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.