In an effort to add another pass-rusher to an already strong defensive-line class, Michigan State offered a scholarship to Shaker Heights (Ohio) defensive end Avery Dunn last weekend.
Dunn, a 6-foot-4, 216-pound senior, is a similar story to what we have heard from the Spartans before. He is a senior year evaluation and a recruit who, prior to this offer from the Spartans, had a handful of FCS and Mid-American Conference offers, but was not a widely known name in recruiting circles.
"I always wanted to play Big Ten,” Dunn said. “Growing up, the only college football I really paid attention to is Big Ten and it’s just surreal. I love the culture of the Spartans and everything about it."
“For him, it’s huge,” Shaker Heights coach Alex Nicholson said. “We really haven’t spoken much about it. He’s so focused on our season that when I try to talk to him about his recruiting process, he says ‘coach I’m focused on the season and school right now.’ He was excited and pulled me aside in weight training and told me talks were on and he’s juiced up, wants to play big time football.
"But Avery’s a kid who will play wherever will take him.”
Dunn has length, quickness off the ball, and his ability to run routes and catch the ball on offense have shown his athletic qualities. Then there are his intangible qualities.
“He’s a high character kid,” Nicholson said. “The biggest thing is that he is a dedicated young man who will do anything to get better. He is coachable. I got the job in February and turned on the film from last year and saw a kid that had a great first step, speed, effort, hustle. But the biggest thing is he is a coachable kid and a natural athlete.”
Dunn is a captain and a weight-room leader who has helped Nicholson work to change the culture at Shaker Heights in his first year as head coach.
As he has done what his coach has asked, more college interest has come in and Nicholson said that interest has steadily increased to now where he has a Big Ten offer. That has been an outstanding example for the younger players in the program.
“It’s been huge because coaches can only say so much and do so much,” Nicholson said. “Their peers provide the example and you grow up with them so it is big to have a kid getting this kind of attention and the other kids see how hard he works and the sacrifices he makes.”
Dunn will visit Michigan State on Nov. 9 when the Spartans host Illinois.
Simmons visits MSU
Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern running back Jordon Simmons visited Michigan State last weekend. This was his official visit to East Lansing after he had previously visited unofficially and camped at Michigan State in June.
Simmons has not set a decision date, but the Spartans remain the leader on his 247Sports Crystal Ball.
“They’re really high in my recruitment. I really like Michigan State,” Simmons told Spartan Tailgate’s Stephen Brooks. “They’re showing me a lot of love. I really enjoyed the school when I went down there and got to see life outside of football and everything. It’s a great school and a great atmosphere and environment.”
LSU and West Virginia are two schools Simmons has also talked about visiting this fall.
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.