Trieu: Twins bring hard work, high character to MSU

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Michigan State has had good success in recruiting brothers in the last few recruiting cycles. From the Bulloughs to the Allens and Panasiuks, there are several sets of siblings on the roster.

Andrew and David Dowell are only set of twins on the current roster, however, but they are about to be joined by Jacob and Zachary Slade, twin linemen from Olentangy (Ohio) who committed last week to the Spartans’ 2018 class.

The Slade brothers earned the offer after camping in East Lansing earlier in the month.

“I’ve been blessed to be a head coach 18 years and these might be two of the hardest workers when it comes to offseason preparation that I’ve ever been around,” Olentangy head coach Mark Solis said. “In the last two years alone, they have never missed an out-of-season workout. They have a great understanding of preparation and what they need to do get their bodies ready.

“They are not real rah-rah guys, but they lead by example. They have impeccable character and they come from a tremendous family. Selflessness and family characteristics have been ingrained to them. They are coachable and they know there is a lot of work ahead of them to be contributing members of the Michigan State football family, and they are great academically, so they have a lot of upside.”

While they are identical twins, Jacob goes 6-foot-4, 255 pounds to Zach’s 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, and the slight difference in body type may lead to them playing different positions.

“Sometimes I have a hard time myself with who’s who,” Solis said, “but one’s a little thicker than the other. They have different styles. Jacob may eventually be an offensive lineman and play next to another Olentangy Brave, Luke Campbell, who is going to be the starting right tackle. Zach is a little more of a flexible athlete who can play defensive end, possibly tight end as well and there’s some flexibility to his skill set either way.”

Both brothers had offers from Ball State, Appalachian State, Eastern Michigan and UMass. Following their commitment, Solis has still received calls from other programs, including nearby Ohio State. The off-season proved to be fruitful for both Zach and Jacob. They were among the top performers at April’s Under Armour All-America Camp in Cincinnati, and their early summer camp film convinced Solis to talk to more schools about what he had, including Michigan State.

“I echoed to (Jacob) that he might eventually be an offensive lineman, that’s where I see him,” Solis said, “but he could be an interior guy on defense. I had a great conversation with the coaches at Michigan State. Jacob didn’t play any offensive line for us his junior year, but he will be our left tackle this year and as we had some camp days, we got started, filmed and saw some things on tape that we were wowed by and I talked with their coaches, then they went up and camped on the 23rd at Michigan State and showed them some things as well and then this thing steamrolled quickly.”

Three days after the Spartans offered, the brothers verbally committed to those offers.

“I think they feel really good about the staff, feel good about Coach Dantiono and his staff of coaches, and the continuity that is there,” Solis said. “They have also heard great things about MSU from Luke Campbell. It is the biggest offer they got and they dreamed of playing in the Big Ten. The boys were also pretty adamant to me, and their mom and dad were the same way, that they wanted to go to school together and they had enough offers to lend them the opportunity, but when they were both offered by Michigan State, that closed the deal for them.”

Michigan State now has 12 commitments in the class of 2018. Zach and Jacob are two of eight members of the class who come from the state of Ohio.

Ohio athlete commits to MSU

On Tuesday, Michigan State offered Sandusky (Ohio) quarterback Javez Alexander a scholarship to come play wide receiver for them.

One day later, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Alexander accepted.

A fine athlete, Alexander had recently visited East Lansing and established a good relationship with several members of the coaching staff.

Air Force, Bowling Green, Army and Holy Cross were among his other offers.

Wash. wideout offered by MSU

Mill Creek (Wash.) Jackson wide receiver Daniel Arias was offered a scholarship by Michigan State on Wednesday.

Arias, a big-bodied (6-4, 190 pounds) target now has 20 scholarship offers with Utah, Colorado, Oregon State and Boise State among the other programs on that list.

The Spartans are currently the only Big Ten or Midwest-based program to have offered. Prior to this offer, Arias had named a top six of Colorado, Utah, San Diego State, Boise State, UConn and Oregon State, but said he would still be interested to other schools who would recruit him.

More information

Jacob Slade profile

Zach Slade profile

Javez Alexander 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