Trieu: A closer look at Michigan State's 2019 football recruiting class

By Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
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Belleville's Julian Barnett is one of the top-rated recruits in Michigan State's 2019 recruiting class.


Allen Trieu of 247Sports, who covers recruiting for The Detroit News, breaks down the players in Michigan State's 2019 football recruiting class (stars are according to the 247Sports composite).

Devontae Dobbs, OL, Belleville, 6-4, 304 pounds, four stars

Dobbs came onto the recruiting radar as a freshman and was competing against national-level competition from an early age. He dealt with some injuries during his junior year, but when he got healthy as a senior, he was dominant. He can play guard or tackle, but said the Spartans have been talking tackle with him. It remains to be seen if he will push for time as a true freshman, but he is a very safe bet as a future impact player up front.

Julian Barnett, CB, Belleville, 6-2, 189 pounds, four stars

Our staff at 247Sports felt Barnett had the best chance to be a high draft pick in this class. He is 6-foot-2, nearly 200 pounds and ran in the 4.5s on a laser with a nearly 40-inch vertical. He was a two-way player at Belleville, with the ball skills of a wide receiver. At the Under Armour All-America Game, he showed he could cover man to man against the nation’s best wideouts. His athleticism and physicality will give him an opportunity to help fill the spot left by Justin Layne’s NFL Draft declaration.

Tre Mosley, WR, West Bloomfield, 6-2, 180 pounds, three stars

Had a good junior year despite sharing the ball with two eventual Big Ten signees in A.J. Abbott and Taj Mustapha (both at Wisconsin). As a senior, he transitioned seamlessly to being the go-to guy. He is a very skilled route-runner with great hands. He comes in with a good amount of polish already, and as an early enrollee, could potentially help the Spartans in the fall.

West Bloomfield wide receiver Tre Mosley is an early enrollee at Michigan State.

Nick Samac, OL, Mentor (Ohio), 6-4, 260 pounds, three stars

Samac was elevated to a four-star prospect by 247Sports after an outstanding senior season. It was a progression from his junior year, which was his first as a starter. Michigan State’s staff deserves credit for identifying this one early. Ohio State offered following his verbal to the Spartans, but Samac never wavered. He played tackle as a senior, but has experience as a center as well. We expect him to play on the interior for Michigan State, but his attitude and approach to the game impress us as much as his physical tools. He is also an early enrollee.

Jack Bouwmeester, P, Australia

A series of connections between ProKick, an organization which helps Australian Rules football players learn American football punting and earn scholarships to American schools, and Michigan State’s staff, led Bouwmeester all the way to East Lansing. Also an outstanding cricket player, Bouwmeester has a big leg. He is enrolled in school and will go through spring practice with the team.

Luke Fulton, LB, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney, 6-3, 215 pounds, three stars

Fulton was very productive at one of the top programs in Ohio. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, he has the frame to fill in, and not only has a nose for the ball and the smarts to find it, but the foot speed to get to it. He has the versatility to potentially play more than one linebacker spot as well, but gives the Spartans an athletic, tough defender who fits the mold of the linebackers who have been successful in the program.

Michael Fletcher, DE, Flint Carman-Ainsworth, 6-5, 240 pounds, three stars

Fletcher was good enough on the basketball court to also draw several scholarship offers there. He has a big (6-6, 250 pounds) frame with still plenty of room to grow. He is not just big, but athletic enough to run down plays. He was compared by head coach Mark Dantonio to former Spartan and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer William Gholston.

Spencer Brown, OT, Walled Lake Western, 6-6, 295 pounds, three stars

Brown (6-6, 295 pounds) had one of the bigger offer lists of any player in this class, but was also the first commitment and he remained true to that. He has only played offensive tackle for two years, but improved tremendously during that time. His size and ability to learn the position quickly should have Spartan fans excited about his upside.

Jase Bowen, WR, Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic, 6-1, 178 pounds, three stars

Bowen will play both football and basketball at Michigan State. He was committed to Notre Dame for baseball, but then football recruiting took off. An outstanding performance at the Under Armour All-America Camp helped drive a winter-spring recruiting rush for him. He also was an outstanding kick returner and safety in high school. He is athletic, sure-handed, versatile, and a great all-around football player.

Adam Berghorst, DE, Zeeland East, 6-7, 245 pounds, three stars

Like Bowen, Berghorst also will play baseball at Michigan State. He also played basketball in high school. He has a rare (6-7, 245 pounds) frame and obviously the athleticism to play three sports. He was also an outstanding student in high school. He might be the prospect in this class who will make the biggest gains in Michigan State’s strength and conditioning program. He and Fletcher should form a physically imposing set of defensive ends.

J.D. Duplain, DT, Strongsville (Ohio), 6-3, 305 pounds, three stars

Like Nick Samac, Duplain was offered by Ohio State following his Michigan State commitment, but signed with the Spartans. He was an outstanding offensive lineman in high school, but also worked at defense during the Spartan Elite Camp last June, and defensive tackle is where he will start out. He is a powerful player with explosiveness at a college-ready 6-foot-3, 305 pounds.

Anthony Williams, RB, Bolingbrook (Ill.), 6-0, 191 pounds, three stars

Williams was nearly ready to shut recruiting down when Michigan State asked him to come to camp. Within 24 hours, he was on campus, impressing the staff with his agility and receiving ability, and being rewarded with a scholarship offer. Williams has a leaner frame, but runs with power. He also has great hands and route-running skills. Those attributes have some analysts, like Big Ten Network’s Howard Griffith, believing he is the steal of the class.

Brandon Wright, RB, Euclid (Ohio), 6-2, 220 pounds, three stars

When Wright committed, not much was known about him in the recruiting world, but the Spartan staff certainly knew about him. He played behind a senior his junior season, but his size (6-2, 220 pounds) and ability to break long runs at that size leaped off the screen. He became the main man as a senior and had a standout season.

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley's Marcel Lewis figures to play linebacker at Michigan State, though he excelled on offense as well for the Big Reds.

Marcel Lewis, LB, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, 6-0, 218 pounds, three stars

Lewis earned many scholarship offers after a strong junior season, but he undoubtedly became one of the state’s top defenders as a senior, leading Chippewa Valley to a state title. Also an offensive threat as an H-back in high school, Lewis is a great athlete who can run to the football and drop into coverage. He has a compact (6-0, 218 pounds) build and hits with explosion.

Tate Hallock, S, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 6-3, 185 pounds, three stars

The son of former Spartan Ty Hallock and brother of current Spartan Tanner Hallock, he earned the offer through the Spartan Elite Camp in June. Hallock (6-3, 185 pounds) was a standout safety, wide receiver and kick returner for the Rangers. Safety is where he will begin his Spartan career, but he gives the staff options because of his size and versatility. He showed great ability to win jump balls in high school and is tough, competitive prospect as well.

Payton Thorne, QB, Naperville (Ill.) Central,
6-2, 187 pounds, three stars

Quarterback was a question mark in this class for a long time, and in December, Thorne filled the spot. He comes from a family of coaches and played like it with his ability to read defenses and take care of the football. He has an accurate arm and good mobility as well.

Damon Kaylor, OT, Huntington (Ind.) North,
6-6, 315 pounds, three stars

Kaylor did not come from a school that has produced many D1 football players, so he went out and earned it, camping at many different places and working on his craft as much as he could. His size (6-6, 315 pounds) and strength make him a standout run blocker and he has had many camp reps in pass pro as well. He can play multiple spots on the line as well. He was an early enrollee.

Maverick Hansen, DT, Farmington Hills Harrison, 6-5, 270 pounds, three stars

Hansen was offered the morning the Early Signing Period began and excitedly accepted it, as he had dreamed of being a Spartan for a long time. He was a two-way standout at Harrison, but is slated to play defensive line in East Lansing, where he can potentially shift inside or outside depending on alignment. At 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, he has the size, but also can move that 270 pounds around the field well.

Tre’von Morgan, WR, Massillon (Ohio) Washington, 6-6, 215 pounds, three stars

The final piece of the class, Morgan has a big frame (6-6, 215 pounds) and uses it to win in contested situations. He had a good junior year, but additional growth, strength, and confidence helped him take his game to another level as a senior. His team went to the state title game in the fall, so he has played against good competition and in pressure situations. He is a matchup problem who could help the team early.

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

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