Michigan State may have jumped in at the right time with safety Kenney Lyke. A 6-foot-2, 180-pound junior from Palatine (Ill.) Fremd, Lyke had a strong season, but still fielded only a handful of offers until recently, when Pittsburgh and the Spartans jumped in with offers.
Those offers from Pitt and MSU are his first from Power 5 schools, and based on recent 7-on-7 performances, Lyke's stock should continue to rise.
He will play in this weekend's PYLON National Tournament in Las Vegas with Core 6 United, an Illinois-based team that has now brought together top talents from around the country. While Lyke does not have the profile of some of his more highly-recruited teammates yet, he was singled out by the team's coach Paul Szczesny.
"The main one (we're looking forward to seeing compete), especially after this weekend (PYLON Regional in Ohio), a guy who was recently selected, and really isn't a four- or five-star guy like those other guys, is Kenney Lyke," Szczesny said. "He had a really big weekend. He impressed all of us. He wasn't on the original roster, but he's a guy we're really excited about."
Szczesny says Lyke's coverage skills and his physicality made him stand out.
Lyke recently visited Michigan State and sees his style of play as a good fit in East Lansing. He also had high praise for the culture of football at MSU, as well as the staff.
"I like how close-knit they are and everyone in East Lansing is all about Michigan State," Lyke said. "And it's big-time football they compete in."
In addition to the recent visit, Lyke was also able to take in a game during the fall, when the Spartans defeated conference foe Rutgers. It was then that the secondary truly caught his eye.
"They are just all over the place," he said. "They run a bunch of coverages and they like to disguise and scheme well against the other team. They go out and try and punish their opponents."
While nothing is officially planned, Lyke says he hopes to visit Ohio State and Penn State soon.
Allen keeps MSU in the family
Hinsdale (Ill.) Central junior center Matt Allen became the latest member of Michigan State's 2016 class, committing shortly after receiving an offer from the Spartans. Allen, the younger brother of Spartan offensive linemen Brian and Jack Allen, is, like his brothers, also an outstanding wrestler. At 6-foot-3, he is taller than his brothers, but at 250 pounds, is lighter than they were coming out of high school. Allen also trains at Core 6 with Kenney Lyke.
Wisconsin OT a special talent
Michigan State has had success in Wisconsin of late, landing players like Trae Waynes and R.J. Shelton, among others. They hope to duplicate that success in the 2016 class with offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen from Bay Port High, a player Pirates head coach Gary Westerman says has a ton of potential.
"Cole is a long lever (6-5, 270 pounds)," Westerman said. "He's a very sudden and explosive football player, and as tall as he is, he has extremely big hands and he's still got growing to do, and certainly that's what sticks out. Then, what separates him from other linemen in the Midwest that I've seen on film is he has the nasty tenacity to finish blocks. He doesn't just want to finish, he wants to flat-back you."
Van Lanen visited Michigan State for a game in the fall. He does not plan to camp anywhere this summer and does not currently have any favorites, but has additional Big Ten offers from Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.
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.