Michigan State extended several new scholarship offers to juniors in Ohio last week.
One was to Wyoming High School quarterback Evan Prater, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound athlete who now has 16 offers total. The Spartans had been increasing the contact leading up to the offer.
"They have been to the school to watch me play basketball and to watch me throw the football. Coach (Mark) Dantonio has been to my school as well,” Prater told 247Sports’ Bill Greene. “I spoke to Coach Dantonio on the phone last week and he went ahead and offered me. It was a great feeling to get it, and this offer means a lot because they're one of the top schools in the country."
Prater saw several new offers, including the Spartans, come this winter, but as he is also playing on a basketball team that is favored to go deep into the playoffs, he has taken a slower approach to football recruiting at the moment.
If he were to win a state title in basketball, that would be the second championship of the school year for him. He led his football team to a 15-0 record and a state title last fall. Along the way, he passed for 2,181 yards and 28 touchdowns to only four interceptions. He also rushed for 1,788 yards and 32 touchdowns.
This is all after he stepped up as a sophomore to replace a Big Ten quarterback.
“(As a freshman), he was behind a senior, Andrew Marty, who is a redshirt freshman at Northwestern right now, so he was his backup and playing (junior varsity) also," Wyoming head coach Aaron Hancock said. "He was undefeated as a freshman playing on J.V. We knew he was a tremendous athlete, and he was so responsive to the offense that we knew he had something special. When he and Andrew would work out together, we saw the athleticism and intelligence of Evan come out and it was kind of a smooth transition, to be honest.”
In addition to those qualities, Hancock also notes Prater’s arm strength and leadership qualities. His best attributes were noted by college coaches who came through during the contact period and saw what he was doing in basketball. Once that is done, he can try to get to more college visits and move his recruitment along.
“He is taking some visits at schools, junior days, and building up information and researching and kind of gathering and then sorting it out,” Hancock said. “I don’t think he’s really sat down and thought about where he wants to go for sure. I don’t think he’s at that point yet. He is kind of going with the flow. He is a very humble kid, just a hard-working kid, and he is really enjoying the process even though it can definitely get busy at times. He’s taking it in stride, taking care of business in the classroom and basketball, then working out with football when he can with his busy schedule.”
Wherever he ends up, Prater will give that school an athletic quarterback with a good arm, but also a presence in the huddle, in the classroom and in the locker room.
“He’s a team captain for me,” Hancock said. “He does a tremendous job, not only on the field, but off the field. He is just a leader. Kids go to him and they see his leadership ability. He is naturally going to be a leader in the quarterback role, but he is such a competitor. And I think his biggest strength is, not only his athleticism, but the competitiveness he has. He loves to flat-out compete.”
Duke, Purdue and Pittsburgh are among the other schools who have offered Prater.
More 2020 offers extended
Groveport (Ohio) Madison, the same school where Michigan State found Le’Veon Bell, is home to junior offensive lineman Terah Edwards, a road-grading 6-foot-4, 315-pound mauler who the Spartans have offered. Northwestern, Iowa State and more have offered.
R.J. Adams, an offensive lineman from Woodbridge (Va.) also was offered by the Spartans. The 6-foot-3, 309-pound Adams has offers from Duke, Florida State, Penn State, North Carolina, West Virginia and more. He reported that he will look to visit Michigan State the next time he has an opportunity.
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.