Trieu: Belleville's Jalen Hunt a big addition for Michigan State football

By Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Michigan State got a late recruiting addition from a 2019 graduate recently when Jalen Hunt joined the Spartans.

The Belleville defensive lineman was recruited by the Spartans, but committed to Iowa and signed a letter of intent, but never enrolled due to academics.

Michigan State defensive lineman Jalen Hunt runs a drill during practice last week in East Lansing.

However, his course changed again when he found out Michigan State could get him into school as long as he took care of one class (a chemistry credit).

“Michigan State thought they lost him to Iowa,” Belleville head coach Jermain Crowell said. “I was working with State on another kid’s credits and I asked the compliance person to look at Hunt for me, and they called me back and told me Hunt can make it; he just needed another class. I was still waiting for him to get test results, too. The next day or two, they called me and he was on his way to a JUCO down in Texas.”

Hunt is a big addition for the Spartans.

In high school, he played running back, linebacker and defensive end, but his continued growth will have him playing on the interior of the defensive line.

“He’s a defensive tackle,” Crowell said. “To be honest, he never really lifted, so I don’t know how strong he can get. He’s country strong. He’s strong without lifting weights. I think his best days are ahead of him. He’s fast, big, strong and violent.”

Michigan State made a late offer to Maverick Hansen and flipped him from Central Michigan in December. He was the only interior defensive lineman to sign in the 2019 class prior to Hunt’s arrival. Hunt joins fellow Belleville teammates Devontae Dobbs and Julian Barnett as true freshmen on the Spartan roster.

He has some catching up to do before Crowell believes he will push for time, but given Hunt’s talent, Crowell sees him as a future impact player.

“First, he just has to get in shape,” Crowell said. “He reported a little bit out of shape. He didn’t think he was going to school and he was a little depressed, but now he’s back working out. I hope in the middle of the season, he can get into the rotation and give them some depth with his explosiveness.”

Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio said Hunt will be counted as a scholarship player in the 2020 class, but he is able to be with the team and practice now.

4-star LB targeting MSU official

Minneapolis (Minn.) Minnehaha Academy linebacker Kaden Johnson is considering an official visit to Michigan State.

Johnson (6-4, 220 pounds) has an official scheduled to Nebraska on Sept. 28 and said he is looking at Oregon State, Vanderbilt and Michigan State as potential other destinations for the fall.

His teammate, wide receiver Terry Lockett, is looking to visit Michigan State on Sept. 14, so Johnson might join him on that day, but nothing is firmly set yet.

Wisconsin and Minnesota are considered to also be top contenders for Johnson.

More information

Jalen Hunt profile

Kaden Johnson 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