Trieu: Despite UCLA ties, Michigan State 'serious' contender to land 4-star LB

By Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

If Michigan State is to land Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian linebacker Joshua Calvert, it will have to overcome a brotherly connection.

Calvert’s older brother Bo is a freshman linebacker at UCLA and the Spartans and Bruins are battling it out.

Joshua Calvert is a four-star linebacker from Westlake Village Oaks Christian who is considering Michigan State as a college destination.

"It is mainly Michigan State and UCLA right now, those are the main two," Calvert told 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman. "I've scheduled my official visit for Michigan State our bye week (Sept. 29 against Central Michigan). UCLA and Michigan State are very serious schools for me."

To date, Calvert has not set an official visit with UCLA yet, but plans to do so in the near future.

A 6-foot-3, 220-pound prospect rated a four-star recruit by the 247Sports Composite, Calvert has been making an impact on the Oaks Christian varsity since his sophomore season when he recorded 77 tackles. He has also served as the team’s quarterback.

His recruitment with Michigan State picked up in May when defensive ends coach and area recruiter Chuck Bullough (who spent four years on the West Coast as part of UCLA’s staff) came to the school. Calvert was offered a scholarship by the Spartans the week after.

The Bruins have proximity, his brother on the roster, and he has been there more times, but the official visit serves as an opportunity for him to become much more familiar with MSU. Since receiving the offer, he has repeatedly mentioned how much he likes the Spartans’ style of play.

"When I go out there on my official visit, I want to see how it is," Calvert said. "I love the coaching staff there and everything about Michigan State. Coach (Chuck) Bullough and Coach (Mike) Tressel and I talk a lot. And I usually talk to Coach (Mark) Dantonio once a week. They're recruiting me as a MIKE. I love their defensive mentality and seeing how they want their defense to be, that draws me."

No matter what the ultimate decision will be, Calvert is not expected to wait long to announce it.

"I'll sign and graduate in December and enroll early," Calvert said. "So, probably in the middle of my season or the end of the season, I'll commit. By the Under Armour Game, I'll be committed and signed and ready to go to college in January."

Michigan State’s 2019 class currently sits at 16 members with two linebackers, Luke Fulton and Marcel Lewis.

Texas TE gets MSU offer

One of the new offers extended by the Michigan State staff this week was to Dallas Bishop Dunne junior tight end Elijah Yelverton.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Yelverton now has 17 scholarship offers. That includes several from the Big Ten: Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska and Purdue, in addition to the Spartans.

Michigan State currently has four players from the state of Texas on their roster: Tyler Higby, Josh Butler, Darrell Stewart, and Jiah Norman.

MSU offers Tennessee junior DT

Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest Christian defensive tackle Omari Thomas was offered a scholarship by Michigan State.

Thomas is a highly-ranked national prospect. He has 21 scholarship offers and is ranked as the No. 42 prospect in the 2020 class by 247Sports.

The Spartans join Alabama, Memphis, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M and others on his offer list.

More information

Joshua Calvert profile

Elijah Yelverton profile

Omari Thomas 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