Michigan State's 2016 class continues to get bigger, better and even more well-rounded now that the Spartans have secured a commitment from one of the nation's top kickers, Cincinnati Moeller's Matthew Coghlin.
Coghlin hit on 17-of-27 field goals with a long of 54 yards and with all but one of his misses coming from beyond 48 yards as a junior. He was also 35-of-36 on extra points.
"Matt has shown that he is one of, if not the best, guys in the class," said Brandon Kornblue of Kornblue Kicking. "This summer on the camp circuit, he has really been stepping it up. At the Purdue camp a few weeks ago, he demolished everybody else. He stood out in front of 80, 90 or so specialists, and he did the same thing the other day at Penn State in front of 90 guys, as well."
Those types of performances brought about interest from many Big Ten programs. Illinois was one of the first to offer. Michigan State made contact and quickly made it clear Coghlin was at the top of the board. Once they extended an offer, it did not take long for a decision to be made.
"They told Matthew that he was the guy they wanted and we're all in," his father, Mark Coghlin, said to Spartan Digest's Dave Berk. "As of right now the scholarship offer is a greyshirt but could be a full one depending upon what happens."
Kornblue says Coghlin has been punting well this summer also, but specialists who can place-kick, kickoff and punt are rare. Coghlin has certainly shown he can handle field goals and kickoffs, which makes him valuable.
"All kickers are striving for that," Kornblue said. "Accuracy is something people develop and there are a good number of guys around the country who can do that. But the power, strength and explosiveness you either have or don't. There are things you can do to improve that, but that power and strength is really something that can't be taught or improved on a whole lot, and Matt does have that and is maximizing that.
"The thing that is most impressive, when he hits his A-ball, his top ball, he does it every time. I haven't seen him mis-hit a ball, whether it's a field goal or kickoff, the last few times I've seen him, which is really what coaches want. Obviously you want big long kicks, and that's great, but if you can't do it every time, you put your team in a tough spot."
Mike Sadler's importance to the team could not be understated the last few years, and another Ohio native, Michael Geiger, stepped in as a true freshman and never looked back as a kicker. Now, it seems, that in Coghlin, Mark Dantonio and his staff have again struck specialist gold.
"His kickoffs are deep and have great hang time," Kornblue says, "and he's showing incredible field-goal range and consistency there."
Corley nearing a decision?
One of Michigan State's top remaining targets in the 2016 class is Detroit King wide receiver Donnie Corley. Sources close to Corley have indicated that it is likely he will announce his college choice at The Opening, which will take place July 7-10 in Oregon, although that is not set in stone. Corley (6-2, 188 pounds) camped at Michigan State earlier in the month, but has also visited Tennessee since then.
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.