Trieu: Michigan State lands commitment from 'ambitious' Canadian OT Justin Stevens

By Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Michigan State continues to fill offensive needs in its 2020 recruiting class. On Monday, the Spartans added a verbal from Mississauga (Ontario) Clarkson Football North offensive tackle Justin Stevens.

Stevens moved from his native Nova Scotia to Mississauga to pursue his dream of playing college football. After arriving as a 230-pound defensive end, the 6-foot-6 Stevens moved to offensive tackle and has gained 50 pounds since then.

Offensive tackle Justin Stevens

Michigan State evaluated him during their Spartan Elite Camp in June, then had him back for their Sept. 7 home game against Western Michigan. He returned to campus one more time for an unofficial visit last Thursday when the staff extended a scholarship to him.

He then took the weekend to think about his decision before making the verbal commitment to the staff. He held additional offers from Syracuse, Indiana, Connecticut, Eastern Michigan, Toledo and more.

More: Trieu: Big decisions led to big-time offers for Michigan State target Justin Stevens

"One day I was making a list of pros and cons trying to see where I should end up," he said. "One of the biggest cons for every school was that they were not Michigan State, and I knew at that point I wanted to be a Spartan. It was always in the back of my mind. I knew from the moments I was standing in the middle of that field with a full stadium this is where I want to play football. I had shivers walking through their football complex."

“He’s one of the most athletic guys we’ve ever had,” North offensive coordinator Jamie Lalonde said. “He’s a freak in terms of what he can do athletically and in terms of the person, he’s an unbelievable kid. He is such a good kid to be around. He’s ambitious. He moved away from home to chase his dreams and he’s accomplishing that. I helped him along the way, but it’s all him and it’s awesome what he’s done.”

Stevens is the first offensive tackle commitment in the Michigan State class.

He plans to get to Michigan State and enroll next semester.

MSU offers fast-rising Ohioan

Cincinnati La Salle junior Devonta Smith, a 6-foot-0, 185-pound athlete (wide receiver/safety) in the 2021 class was offered Saturday by Michigan State.

Smith has had a fruitful month of November, earning offers from Louisville, Northwestern, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee and now Michigan State. Coming into the month, he already had offers from Pittsburgh, Boston College, Iowa State, Minnesota and more.

Defensive backs coach Paul Haynes is recruiting Smith for the Spartans.

In-state OL visiting this weekend

Livonia Franklin offensive tackle Kyle Fugedi, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound junior, will be in East Lansing for this weekend’s regular season finale against Maryland.

Fugedi has offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan along with interest coming from Michigan, Purdue, Cincinnati and more.

He was an all-conference selection this fall.

More information

Justin Stevens profile

Devonta Smith profile

Kyle Fugedi 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