Trieu: Ohio's Fulton, Johnson have MSU high on lists

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Michigan State had another group of junior football recruits on campus last weekend for a basketball game, and two from the state of Ohio: Pickerington Central defensive lineman Karter Johnson and Youngstown Cardinal Mooney linebacker Luke Fulton, left with offers from the Spartans.

Now, 247Sports Ohio recruiting analyst Bill Greene has put in Crystal Ball predictions for both to join the Michigan State recruiting class.

“Mark Dantonio and this staff have always made recruiting Ohio a priority,” Greene said, “and after talking to both Fulton and Johnson, I put in forecasts for them because of their comments about the visit and what they think of the school.”

Johnson is a 6-foot-3, 270-pound prospect who played with Spartan signees Trenton Gillison and Xavier Henderson last year. He has offers from Kentucky, Indiana, Boston College and more, but this was an offer he admitted was an honor.

“I would say they’re at the top of the list, but it’s still really early to know for sure about that,” Johnson said.

Fulton is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound hitter who had 125 tackles and eight forced fumbles as a junior.

He has offers from Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, Syracuse, Iowa, Purdue, and schools like Ohio State continue to keep in contact, but the Spartans are now in strong position.

“They’re right at the top, definitely. Michigan State is at the top of my list,” he admitted. “This is a school that definitely will be a top choice for me moving forward, and this is a great offer to get.”

After the Spartans signed seven from Ohio in the 2017 class, they added nine more in the 2018 class.

They have yet to earn any commitments from Ohio prospects in the 2019 class, but have offers out to 11 of the state’s best in that class.

MSU offers two of Midwest’s top freshmen

It is very early still, but by the time the class of 2021 is ready to sign, it is very likely that Clarkston offensive tackle Garrett Dellinger and Pickerington (Ohio) North defensive end Jack Sawyer will be considered among the region’s top prospects. Both may, by that time, be considered among the nation’s best.

Michigan State offered scholarships to both freshmen when they came to campus recently. For Dellinger, that was his first offer, and for Sawyer, his fourth.

Dellinger started both ways for Clarkston’s state title-winning football team in the fall and is now on their varsity basketball team, which expects to make a deep playoff run similar to what the football squad did.

At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, his frame and athleticism suggests future left tackle, the spot currently manned by former Clarkston grad Cole Chewins.

“This was my first visit and I was really impressed,” Dellinger said. “It was great getting to know Coach (Mark) Staten and Coach (Brad) Salem. They really made me feel a part of their family. It was great to see Coach (Paul) Haynes again. He coached my brother (linebacker Matt Dellinger) at Kent State. The best part was meeting Coach Dantonio and getting to see how great of a person he is.”

Sawyer has offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky and Michigan as well, but has had his eye on MSU for quite some time.

“Being at Michigan State was great and it was exciting to be offered by Coach (Mark) Dantonio,” he said. “He offered me before the game, and I was on cloud nine hearing that. I’ve liked them since I was in fourth grade.”

In total, Michigan State has only offered three recruits in the 2021 class. Chicago Phillips defensive tackle Dominic Bass is the other, in addition to Sawyer and Dellinger.

More information

Luke Fulton profile

Karter Johnson profile

Garrett Dellinger profile

Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. 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