Trieu: Mountainous Devon Manuel an example of Michigan State's new recruiting philosophies
Some of the early recruiting storylines in Mel Tucker’s tenure at Michigan State are the size the Spartans are recruiting at every position and their willingness to get into new areas the program has not traditionally recruited.
Both of those philosophies can be summed up in one recruit: Arnaudville (La.) Beau Chene offensive lineman Devon Manuel.
Manuel is a mountain of a recruit. He has offers from schools down south, but not from in-state LSU yet. The Spartans came in with an offer this month.
“He definitely has rare size,” said Donald Fusilier of 4th Quarter Mentality, a training program in Louisiana. “He has size that you can't coach with him being 6-foot-8, 315 pounds; that in itself and what I like about him. He has tenacity on the field. He is a great kid. He still has plenty of upside and is still developing. Once he gets coached up by an offensive line, he can flourish and be a kid that can play in the NFL.”
The first day Manuel came and worked with Fusilier, he was a big kid who was learning to move at that size. Recently, Fuslier posted a video from one of those early sessions juxtaposed with how Manuel is moving today and the difference is very noticeable.
“One of my buddies was coaching at his high school and said I’ve got a project for you,” Fusilier said. “I met him and the first day, he couldn’t really get his balance right and then he just kept grinding. I didn’t try to be his offensive line coach, just tried to make him a better athlete and he has put the work in.”
Fusilier mentioned the work Michigan State is doing in recruiting Louisiana and the state connection with Spartan graduate assistant Cordae Hankton, a New Orleans native.
“We have a lot of guys and hidden gems,” Fuisilier said. “The kids are hungry and have a natural chip on their shoulder because they feel overlooked and have the mindset to keep on working.”
Indiana, Arkansas, Iowa State, Houston, Tulane, and others have offered. He would like to come north and take visits when the situation allows for it.
“I’ve been thinking about it, but I’m not sure yet when I will decide,” he said about his decision. “I haven’t come up with an exact date yet. The biggest factor for me when I commit will be the people I will be around. I want to be comfortable with the people who will be coaching me and who I will be around every day.”
Fusilier works with other athletes who has drawn interest from Michigan State. Last summer, he worked with four-star Keon Coleman, who recently put the Spartans in his top six.
He sees the avenue of Louisiana kids coming north to schools like Michigan State as a real possibility.
“There are so many athletes and with LSU being the big dog down here, everybody can’t go to LSU,” Fusilier said. “Louisiana is a hot bed area and Southwest Louisiana is really untapped. I always ask the kids if they’re afraid to leave home and they always say no. They can’t all play in Louisiana. You’d like to have some do that, but there are more of them here that they need to have some homes outside the state.”
The 247Sports Composite ranks Manuel the No. 34 prospect in the state of Louisiana.
MSU makes top 5 for Northwest OL
Michigan State has made the top five for Bothell (Wash.) North Creek guard Koli Faaiu, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound senior-to-be.
The Spartans are joined by Boise State, Kansas, Utah and Washington State.
After receiving a Spartan offer in March, Faaiu stated that he wanted to visit Michigan State, but has not to due to the shutdown.
He has family in the state of Michigan.
Young QB offered in Georgia
Michigan State has offered Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill quarterback Samuel Horn, one of the Southeast’s top signal-callers in the 2022 class.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Horn passed for 2,326 yards and 22 touchdowns while completing 65% of his passes in the fall.
Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Missouri, Pitt and more have offered.
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.