East Lansing — Michigan State officially landed the third member of its 2019 recruiting class Wednesday when 6-foot-8 forward Julius Marble of Dallas signed his national letter of intent.
Marble averaged 16.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game during his senior season at Dallas Jesuit as he compiled 13 double-doubles. The three-star recruit was named the District Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and was an All-District First Team selection.
“He’s a guy we think is going to help us in the way of an Andre Hutson-type player who can shoot a three, score the ball down low and he’s very good with both his right and left hand,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “He’s a strong kid who we think is going to mature and grow. He’s worked on his ball-handling and 3-point shooting, and we think is going to be a complete forward for us here. We’re excited to add him here with (Mark) Rocket (Watts) and finish up our recruiting class.”
Injuries slowed Marble during his junior season, but his surge as a senior came with added interest on the recruiting trail. Marble also was considering offers from Illinois and Oklahoma State before verbally committing to Michigan State in March.
“Out of the great state of Texas, to hopefully follow in Matt McQuaid’s footsteps, is a 6-8 forward who we fell in love with as we watched him in the later part of the year,” Izzo said. “Most importantly for us, he’s a great kid and a good student who was very well-coached in high school by Chris Hill.
Marble joins a class ranked No. 25 in the nation by 247sports.com. It includes Watts and forward Malik Hall. Watts, the 6-2 combo guard who played his senior season at SPIRE Academy in Geneva, Ohio, after transferring from Old Redford Academy, is ranked the No. 33 player in the nation. The 6-7 Hall played his senior season at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kan., the same school that produced former Spartan Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn Jr. Hall is ranked the No. 55 player in the nation.
With the departure of center Nick Ward, the Spartans have one open scholarship for next season, and have reportedly shown in interest in several transfers.
Kerry Blackshear Jr., a graduate transfer forward from Virginia Tech, is likely at the top of the list. However, he’s also entered his name in the NBA Draft and has several big-name teams after him, as well, including Kentucky and Florida. Blackshear averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds last season for the Hokies.
Also reportedly in the mix are Marquette transfers Sam and Joey Hauser. Both would have to sit out a season and currently Michigan State has only one open scholarship, but reports have them visiting Michigan State on May 4, though they also have visits set with Wisconsin and Virginia.
Izzo and his staff recruited Joey Hauser hard before he committed to Marquette. He averaged 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range as a freshman for Marquette. Sam Hauser, who will have one season of eligibility left, averaged 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range last season.