Trieu: Corley says MSU led early, 'but everybody's catching up'
For the first time since the game's inception in 2001, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl will feature four Michigan State commits: linebacker Brandon Randle, defensive end Josh King, wide receiver Cameron Chambers and defensive back Demetric Vance.
By the time the game ends on Saturday afternoon, the Spartans are hoping they will have at least one more added to the list as top wide receiver target Donnie Corley of Detroit King is announcing his decision during the game.
He says Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee are the final four schools he will choose from. He cited early relationships with each of those staffs and the opportunity to play as a freshman as reasons those schools have made the cut.
He told Scout's Greg Powers on Monday that the Spartans are having to hold off furious late challenges from the others.
"I'm going to just be real," he said. "Michigan State was in the front early, but everybody's catching up."
Did catching up to the Spartans mean surpassing them? Saturday, everyone will finally find out. They may also find out if Corley and his King teammate, cornerback Lavert Hill, will truly be a package deal. Hill is considering also announcing his decision on Saturday, but may hold off in order to take more visits.
While Michigan is the favorite in that race, the Spartans remain in contact and in contention, especially if they can land Corley.
"Coach Dantonio, I've been talking to him," Hill said. "He was a defensive backs coach before and they have a good defensive coordinator, Coach Barnett. I talk to them almost every day and they're telling me they want me."
Another Spartan target participating in the game is Sioux Falls (S.D.) Washington offensive lineman Matt Farniok.
"I want to try to decide late January," Farniok said. "I still have to take visits to Iowa and Michigan State."
Nebraska rounds out his top three. Farniok already visited the Cornhuskers officially last month. The Hawkeyes and Spartans will look to top that experience.
"I'm just looking for really the same main points at all the schools," he said. "I want to get to know the players and see how well I fit in, talk to the coaches and see if I can see myself playing there for five years."
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl takes place on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on NBC.
Chambers gets off to fast start
Michigan State commit Cameron Chambers was named as one of Scout's top five offensive performers on day one of the Army Bowl practice.
"Chambers has a smoothness about him," Scout's John Garcia said. "He's not the fastest, but he's big and could be the most underrated route runner at the Army Bowl."
Fellow Spartan commit Brandon Randle also got off to a good start, intercepting a pass in team drills.
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.