Michigan State received their fifth commitment of the 2019 class on Saturday when wide receiver Jase Bowen, long rumored to be leaning towards the Spartans, made his decision official after visiting campus for the spring game.
Bowen (6-1, 178 pounds) committed to the Spartans for both football and baseball, the latter in which he is a highly sought-after shortstop.
“He’s obviously an elite athlete to be able to have D1 offers as both a football player and baseball player,” Toledo Central Catholic head football coach Greg Dempsey said. “He has natural athleticism, but I think the thing that separates him a bit is, he is a fierce competitor. He has an elite level of competitiveness that drives him and keeps him focused.”
As a junior, Bowen was not only a dangerous weapon at wide receiver as a junior, he was also an excellent return man for the Fighting Irish. It was something of a breakout season for him. Then the rest of the country found out even more about his talent at February’s Under Armour All-America Camp, but Dempsey and his staff had known about his abilities for several years.
“He came up and dressed as a freshman,” Dempsey said. “He played a lot of travel baseball even then, so he wasn’t at a lot of our summer workouts. We had three freshmen go up to JV and dress varsity, but he wasn’t one because he we just didn’t know. It took about two freshman games of watching him return punts and catch passes for us to bring him up.”
Bowen’s stock had been on the rise of late. Had he chosen to wait on his commitment, more offers likely would have come through, but in Michigan State, he found the best of both athletic worlds.
“It was the coaching staff, definitely,” Dempsey said. “He really liked Michigan State in baseball, and I don’t want to speak for him, but I believe when he was choosing for baseball and committed to Notre Dame, it was between Michigan State and Notre Dame.
“Then when football came on and he spent time with Coach (Mark) Dantonio and the staff, that sealed the deal. He came back from the first visit, made a few other visits and got back from a baseball trip over spring break with the team and I think going to the spring game, that visit showed him this is the place.”
Bowen now gets to play both sports at a place where he likes both coaching staffs, and the Spartans get a playmaking wide receiver and return man as well as a highly regarded shortstop.
“I think it’s a great fit for Michigan State and for him,” Dempsey said.
MSU hosts 2 linemen
On Tuesday, Michigan State had some recruits on campus. Among them was Springfield (Ohio) defensive tackle Isaiah Gibson and East Grand Rapids offensive tackle Stuart Kettler.
Gibson (6-4, 263 pounds) is a three-star prospect ranked as the No. 55 defensive tackle in the country by the 247Sports Composite. He does not hold an offer from Michigan State yet, but has opportunities from Iowa State, Kentucky, Minnesota, West Virginia and more.
Kettler (6-5, 265 pounds) has offers from Ball State, Bowling Green and Miami (Ohio). The Spartans are one of several Big Ten programs in the process of evaluating him.
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 detroitnews.com.