Michigan State’s 2018 recruiting class has momentum now, as University of Detroit Jesuit running back Elijah Collins committed on Friday and was followed by two recruits who should make life easier for him, 6-foot-4, 340-pound Georgian James Ohonba, and 6-foot-3, 280-pound Jacob Isaia.
Ohonba is listed as a tackle, but can play inside if needed. He committed after taking his official visit with the Spartans the same weekend MSU faced Notre Dame. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Clemson, Michigan, LSU and others had also offered.
“He has some versatility to his game,” said Scout analyst John Garcia Jr. “He plays all over the line, outside of the center. Seemingly comfortable on either edge, his size and power may best translate to a role at guard or perhaps right tackle at the collegiate level. He is an elite run blocker and can hold his own in the passing game, with a strong punch along with good lateral ability and short-area fluidity.”
He noted many aspects of his visit as keys in his decision, but one of the biggest factors was Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio.
"Coach Dantonio is the man," Ohonba said. "He helped set aside Michigan State from all the other schools recruiting me. He made me feel like family."
Isaia took his official visit last weekend, one weekend after Ohonba, and saw the Spartans defeat Iowa at home. He also saw his grandfather, former Spartan great Bob Apisa, inducted into the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame.
That family connection made the Spartans a favorite throughout this recruitment, but many other schools offered the Las Vegas Bishop Gorman standout.
"It was hard making this decision but, when I thought about Michigan State, I really couldn't find a lot of negatives,” Isaia said.
Being further away from home was partly what made the decision more difficult, but Isaia’s host, Mufi Hill-Hunt, who is from Salt Lake City, and also of Polynesian descent, spoke with him about some of his concerns.
Ohonoba is a four-star and ranked as the nation’s No. 11 offensive tackle by Scout. Isaia is ranked as the No. 7 center in the country.
“Although Isaia has been playing left tackle this season, he projects best inside and has the frame to be a very productive center at the next level,” Scout’s Blair Angulo said. “Throughout the camp circuit and offseason events, Isaia always found himself among the top performers given his ability to win one-on-one matchups and measure himself against some of the best recruits in the region.”
The Spartan class now sits at 18 members.
Running back and offensive line were two positions of need going into last week, and the Spartans emerged from the weekend with three talented bodies filling those spots.
Spartans offer in-state linebacker
West Bloomfield junior Lance Dixon, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker, was offered by Michigan State during his visit on Saturday.
Dixon combines his long frame with track speed. He has additional offers from Purdue, Iowa State, Temple and more.
Dixon said the Spartans are definitely one of his top schools.
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.