East Lansing — College football recruiting has changed dramatically in the last two years, turning the first Wednesday of February into just another day.
It used to essentially be a national holiday, at least for those who follow the game closely, as players from around the nation would once again make fax machines relevant and commit to colleges.
However, the advent of the early December signing period in 2017 has moved the timeline significantly. Like nearly every Power Five team, Michigan State locked up almost all of its 2019 class two months ago, signing 18 players with seven of them already enrolled.
That doesn’t mean, however, that coach Mark Dantonio and his staff aren’t looking to make an impact on Wednesday. And even though they’re planning to sign just one player, that player could be an important one, as 6-foot-6, 215-pound wide receiver Tre’Von Morgan is expected to send in his letter of intent after committing in early January.
John Niyo and Dave Goricki take a look at National Signing Day for college football with Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher, Cass Tech defensive end James Ester and 247Sports analyst Allen Trieu. The Detroit News
“He really came on strong as a senior,” said Allen Trieu, Midwest recruiting analyst for 247Sports.com. “He was a good prospect as a junior, but I think he became a great prospect as a senior and that’s why you saw several Power Five schools, including Michigan State, pull the trigger during the fall.”
Morgan helped lead Massillon (Ohio) Washington to the state championship game, earning a three-star rating from the 247Sports.com composite rankings and earning four stars from Rivals.com. He’s the 56th-ranked receiver in the nation at 247Sports and is the third receiver in Michigan State’s class after turning down offers from the likes of Iowa, Ole Miss, Iowa State and Washington State.
“He’s a very big target, and I think they have some very good receivers in this class, but he’s a solid 5, 6 inches taller than any receiver in this class,” Trieu said. “So, I’ve given him a little bit of a Matt Trannon comparison in that he’s 6-6, 215 pounds but I think he can play wide receiver. Some schools thought he could grow into a tight end and that may happen, but Michigan State has only talked to him about wide receiver and that’s what he wants to play.”
Finding playing time in his first season will be a challenge as Michigan State returns senior Darrell Stewart Jr. and junior Cody White, along with junior Cam Chambers and sophomore Jalen Nailor.
However, with his size, Morgan could get a shot at seeing the field right away.
“I think with true freshmen, I look at are they physically ready to compete at that level?” Trieu said. “And him with his size he’s gonna come in and be one of the more physically imposing receivers on the roster. He’s also played at a really high level in Ohio where at his high school they run that program in a college-style atmosphere. They play really good competition, they went to a state title this year, so he played a bunch of extra games.
“So, when you look at him from all of those standpoints he’s one of the guys in the class that I think has a better chance to at least push for some time next year.”
While Dantonio and his staff were looking to add another player or two before Wednesday, the likelihood is slim.
The Spartans were in the mix for tight end Brett Seither of Clearwater, Fla., but Alabama and Georgia jumped on him late in the process and the three-star is now deciding between the two SEC powers.
“Michigan State under Mark Dantonio has been pretty good at finding some guys late in the process, guys that weren’t necessarily on the radar type names so I never rule anything out,” Trieu said, “but from where I sit I don’t see anything else other than Tre’Von.”
Michigan State did lose one commit since December as four-star athlete Alante Brown announced he was decommitting after he said during the early signing period that he was “100 percent committed” to Michigan State.
He pulled away from the Spartans in late December and is currently considering Tennessee, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Iowa State and Texas Tech.