Trieu: Opener proves to be fruitful for MSU recruiting

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Madison Norris

Michigan State will not play a game on the road until Oct. 7, when the Spartans head to Ann Arbor. The Spartans have four home games and a bye in the month of September, providing ample opportunity to get recruits on campus.

That process began last week when the Spartans had a good group up for their victory over Bowling Green.

Many of the recruits were sophomores or juniors, but one intriguing senior made the trip, Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern defensive end Madison Norris.

The Spartans have commitments from three defensive linemen, Parks Gissinger, Jacob Slade and Zachary Slade, but more players who can put heat on the quarterback are never a bad thing and one of the Slade brothers may project to offense.

Norris was not offered on his visit, but is on the board.

"They said they really like me and they are evaluating me," the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Norris said, "and they want me to come back for another game so I can have more one-on-one talks with the coaches and academic advisors. They also said they are going to one of my games in a few weeks."

An athletic pass rusher, Norris has a top six of Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, Rutgers, Purdue and Cincinnati. All of those schools have offered him a scholarship.

Belleville junior wide receiver / defensive back Julian Barnett (6-2, 185 pounds) was back on campus for Saturday’s game, as well. Barnett is one of the Midwest’s top prospects and has an offer from the Spartans.

"My visit was really great,” he told Spartan Nation’s Justin Wieber. “Everyone at MSU is good people. Especially the coaches, they make me feel like I am a priority. MSU is up there for me, for sure, probably number one."

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A nationally-ranked prospect, Barnett has been offered scholarships by Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame and more. He could project to wide receiver, safety or cornerback in college.

The Spartans also took the opportunity on Saturday to offer a scholarship to Oak Park sophomore offensive tackle Justin Rogers. Rogers (6-4, 270 pounds) is considered by many to be the top prospect in his class in the state of Michigan and the entire Midwest. The Spartans join Ohio State, Kentucky, Iowa State and more on his list.

Michigan State will again host a number of in-state recruits this Saturday for its game against Western Michigan. East Grand Rapids offensive tackle Stuart Kettler, Grand Rapids South Christian offensive tackle Spencer Holstege, and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley linebacker Marcel Lewis have all confirmed their plans to visit.

Top OL target sets official

Las Vegas Bishop Gorman senior Jacob Isaia, one of the nation’s top center prospects, has set an official visit to Michigan State for the weekend of Sept. 29. The Spartans will be playing Iowa that weekend.

Isaia is the grandson of former Spartan great Bob Apisa. Apisa will be inducted into the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame that weekend.

Virginia, Kansas State, Minnesota, Vanderbilt and Arizona are among the other schools who have offered the 6-foot-3, 280-pound Isaia.

More information

Madison Norris profile

Julian Barnett profile

Jacob Isaia 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