Izzo getting ‘instant impact’ recruits at MSU

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Michigan State is preparing to tip off the regular season Friday against Florida Atlantic, but it will take a quick timeout today to look toward the future.

Wednesday is the first day basketball players can sign national letters of intent, and the Spartans are preparing to bring in a class that is arguably the best under coach Tom Izzo.

■ Huntington (W. Va.) Prep’s Miles Bridges is a 6-foot-6 forward who is a five-star prospect ranked no lower than 12th in the nation. ESPN has him at No. 8, Scout.com and Rivals.com rate him 11th, and 247sports.com puts him at No. 12.

■ Madison, Ala., guard Josh Langford is a 6-6 five-star prospect.

■ U-D Jesuit guard Cassius Winston is a 6-1 four-star prospect.

■ Gahanna, Ohio, forward Nick Ward is a 6-9 four-star consensus top-50 player.

As it stands, the class is ranked No. 2 behind Duke by all the major recruiting services. The signing period runs through Nov. 18, and there’s a possibility some committed players might not sign today.

According to several Twitter reports, some could wait to sign at ceremonies at their schools. One had Bridges waiting until Monday while another said Langford’s would be Friday.

However it plays out, the Spartans are expecting to receive all four letters during the signing period.

“On paper, this is an incredible class,” Rivals.com recruiting analyst Eric Bossi said after Bridges committed in October. “Bridges is a blue-collar player, very physical. He should make an immediate impact. He’s not only physically ready for college ball but he’s also mentally ready. He’s a smart player.”

Brian Snow of Scout.com was just as impressed.

“This class makes Michigan State an instant Final Four and national championship contender,” Snow said. “Izzo is bringing in instant impact players.”

There’s a chance the Spartans could add to the class during the regular signing period that runs from April 13-May 18.

They’re in the mix for 6-7 forward Josh Jackson, a Detroit native who plays at Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif. He is the No. 1 player in the country, according to Rivals and 247sports.

In addition to Michigan State, Jackson is considering Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, UCLA and Maryland, among others.