Trieu: MSU enters wide open chase for huge DE Sammons

By Allen Trieu, Special to The Detroit News
Prince Sammons is rated a four-star prospect and the No. 6 defensive end in the nation for 2016 by

Michigan State has offered one of the top prospects in Ohio and the nation, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy junior Prince Sammons, a nearly 6-foot-7, 280-pound defensive end and offensive tackle who is being recruited by the country's powers.

Area recruiter Harlon Barnett and head coach Mark Dantonio broke the news to Sammons and his head coach, Eric Taylor.

"Coach Dantonio is a great guy and I always enjoy talking with him when he comes to town," Prince's father, Brandon Sammons, told Scout's Dave Berk. "So he's definitely a fun guy to talk with. Michigan State is definitely one of the better programs around with its consistency and model of success."

A native of Nigeria, Sammons is newer to the game of football than most top recruits.

"As a player, he's raw, but physically, he's a manchild," Berk says. "He's a legit 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, but still learning to be an athlete and a football player. He's only played two years and never knew what the game was before that. He can play on either side of the ball. Where he might have the highest ceiling is as an offensive tackle, but 70 percent of the teams recruiting him are as a defensive end because his length is hard to find."

His lack of experience in football also leads to a lack of experience with the who's-who of college football. Even though he has pulled in offers from programs like Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn, and now the Spartans, because he did not grow up with an affinity for any schools or watching college football, Sammons is still wide open.

"He has no real familiarity with Michigan State at all," Berk explained. "He's heard good things about Mark Dantoino and Harlon Barnett's gone into the school, and that's the gist of things right now, but he's wide open. He's not put together any lists or ruled out any schools."

That said, his father knows what it means to have a Michigan State offer.

"I think it's a great offer and great opportunity," he said. "However, Prince is going to have a lot of great offers and opportunities to choose from, so I feel the hardest part for him will be which one to take."

Two of Ohio's best to visit

Trotwood-Madison quarterback Messiah DeWeaver and Cleveland Benedictine wide receiver Justin Layne, two of Michigan State's top prospects in the state of Ohio, are due to visit East Lansing this weekend. While many consider the Spartans to be the favorite or one of the favorites for DeWeaver, many see Ohio State as the leader for Layne, so getting both players back on campus is important. DeWeaver will announce a college choice in late April. He arrived in East Lansing on Thursday for his visit.

In-state athlete one to watch

West Bloomfield's Trishton Jackson has heard more from Michigan State in recent weeks. An athletic 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior, Jackson played quarterback last fall, but his size, athletic ability and natural ball skills have shown up during the 7-on-7 season and on his sophomore film, where he played receiver. Michigan State is one of the schools that has taken notice. Jackson's 7-on-7 coach, Reggie Wynns, has reported that an MSU offer may be close and that the Spartan staff has compared him to another former in-state quarterback turned receiver, Tony Lippett. Jackson will look to visit East Lansing again soon.

More information

Prince Sammons profile

Messiah DeWeaver profile

Trishton Jackson 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