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Trieu: MSU in mix for ‘blue-collar’ OL Damon Kaylor

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

The month of May and the final weeks of the spring recruiting period have been fruitful for Huntington (Ind.) North offensive tackle Damon Kaylor.

A 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior to be, Kaylor received three scholarship offers from Power 5 conference schools. Michigan State, his first Big Ten offer, started that run on May 10 and Boston College and Vanderbilt have followed since.

“It’s incredible,” Kaylor said. “It has been great having gone from my Big Ten offer to two weeks later, Boston College offering and then my first SEC offer from Vanderbilt. It is pretty cool seeing all my hard work pay off.”

Kaylor has played football since his elementary-school days. He was always one of the biggest kids, so he had an idea football might continue to be a part of his life as he got older. When he got to high school, that is when he began to take the necessary steps to play college football. That included going to many different camps and training sessions with stops in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, as well as his home state of Indiana.

That has brought him to the point where he now has 15 scholarship offers. Cincinnati and Virginia are on the list, along with the aforementioned schools and several others. With this recent surge of activity, the picture of his recruitment has changed. Still, Kaylor wants to continue moving toward a decision, but not before he works out in front of a large number of major programs at Lindenwood University’s mega-camp, which takes place next weekend on their campus just outside of St. Louis.

“I’m going to camp June 1 at Lindenwood and probably, after that, I plan on taking a visit to Michigan State and then I’ll probably do a visit at Vanderbilt. It’s hard to say where I’ll be at in two weeks. I would like to commit sometime in June — that’s the plan — but it will definitely be before my senior season.”

Kaylor has been to Michigan State before for games and spring practice, and offensive line coach Mark Staten has been to his school.

“I’ve been really impressed with their coaching style. I really like Coach Staten a lot,” he said. “His personality and mine groove well together. He is a blue-collar guy and so am I, and that is something I really like about them. The intensity and energy at practice was something I always liked as well.”

Some schools have talked to Kaylor about guard, some have talked to him about playing tackle, some schools say it could be either. That will not play a part in his decision. Education (he wants to go into business) will.

Michigan State, like the other schools courting him, should not have to wait too long before finding out his decision, but wherever Kaylor ends up, he has not lost sight of where he came from.

“Honestly, I’m really grateful and thankful for everything,” he said. “My parents helped me get to this point that I’m at and my coaches have helped me, but I’d say that definitely, my dreams have started to come true.”

In addition to his football exploits, Kaylor also throws shot put and discus for his school. The industry-generated 247Sports Composite ranks him as the No. 17 2019 recruit in the state of Indiana.

Speedy WR offered by MSU

Michigan State offered Highland Springs (Va.) wide receiver Ali Jennings on Wednesday. Jennings (6-1, 186 pounds) has been clocked as fast as 4.39 in the 40-yard dash.

That speed has caught the eyes of other schools recently, as Illinois and West Virginia both offered during the spring evaluation period.

He has previously discussed coming up to the state of Michigan for visits this summer.

As a junior, Jennings caught 47 passes for 709 yards and 13 touchdowns.

MSU commit moves up rankings

Belleville cornerback Julian Barnett is now the No. 70 overall recruit in the country, per 247Sports. The update comes after Barnett was a top performer at the Nike Opening Regional in Ohio where he earned an invitation to The Opening Finals in Dallas.

The 6-foot-2, 189-pound Barnett was coming off an injury, but clocked a 4.50 40-yard dash at the event and, although he has been known for his receiver play in the past, demonstrated high-level cover skills as a cornerback.

Barnett has been committed to the Spartans since December and has maintained that commitment despite overtures from other programs.

More information

Damon Kaylor profile

Ali Jennings profile

Julian Barnett 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