Trieu: Top targets give MSU thumbs up on visits

By Allen Trieu, Special to The Detroit News
Daniel Joseph is a 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end from Illinois.

Michigan State has regularly used basketball games as opportunities to get recruits on campus, particularly young recruits.

Last Saturday's game resulted in several new offers. Lake Forest (Ill.) Academy defensive and Daniel Joseph was offered. Joseph, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound prospect, was recently offered by Duke and Illinois, as well, after previously holding several MAC offers.

"It's a great feeling," he said of his Spartan offer. "I'm beyond grateful. The visit was very pleasant. The coaches have a family feel and they were very down to earth."

Joseph says it is too early in his recruitment to currently name any favorites, but has noted the defensive tradition the Spartans have, as well as his positive experience on the visit. His brother, Faith Ekakitie, is a defensive tackle at Iowa, but the Hawkeyes have not yet offered.

While he is only a sophomore, St. Joseph (Mich.) defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher has already garnered offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and others. Michigan State is the latest on the 6-foot-3, 230-pound prospect's list after last weekend's visit.

Among the notable parts of his visit, was spending more time with defensive line coach Ron Burton, who was able to give him helpful feedback on his film.

"He has a ton of knowledge and he understands the game really well," Malone-Hatcher said. "He was giving me a lot of tips about my game. Even during the visit, he was still coaching me up and giving me tips on what he saw at camp. It was really cool to be able to talk to him and be coached up like that. He said they like my first step and I'm a very gifted pass rusher. … They watched my film and liked a lot of what they saw, but he also said they saw a lot of room for improvement."

One key target who already came in with an offer was Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) quarterback Messiah DeWeaver. At one time, DeWeaver was a Michigan commit, but has since reneged on that declaration and the Spartans are among the schools he is giving a hard look.

"I had a great time at Michigan State once again," DeWeaver told Scout's Bill Greene. "I was there a few weeks ago to see the campus, and this time I went to the basketball game. I really like it up there a lot, and I was able to spend more time with Coach (Mark) Dantonio this trip."

DeWeaver, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior, says the Spartans are not pressuring him toward a commitment, but did make it clear he is their No. 1 quarterback target in the 2016 class. He is hesitant to name a favorite, but it is clear Michigan State is in a good position.

"They definitely have what I'm looking for in a school," he said. "They have a great business school, and they're obviously a top-five football program. They develop quarterbacks for the NFL, so they have everything I'm looking for in a school."

In addition the Spartans also hosted several other players including Walled Lake Western sophomore defensive tackle Bryce Brand; Niles (Ill.) North junior running back Barrington Wade; Munster (Ind.) junior running back Jeff Proctor; Chicago Phillips teammates Quayvon Skanes, a big-play wide receiver, and Amani Jones, a hard-hitting linebacker; and Pickerington Central (Ohio) junior linebacker Jaylin Bannerman, among others.

More information

Daniel Joseph profile

Corey Malone-Hatcher profile

Messiah DeWeaver 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 and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at