Five-star big man Xavier Booker commits to Michigan State basketball

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

As fans fret over what is perceived as a thin roster for Michigan State’s upcoming season, Tom Izzo was busy landing a commitment from the highest-ranked player in his 27-plus seasons as the Spartans’ coach.

Xavier Booker, a 6-foot-10 forward from Indianapolis, announced on Saturday he has committed to Michigan State, culminating a recruiting process that saw Izzo and his staff relentlessly pursue the fast-rising prospect, well before many of the nation’s other top programs entered the picture.

Five-star forward Xavier Booker announced his commitment to the Spartans on Saturday.

"First I would like to thank God," Booker said live on Instagram with ESPN analyst Paul Biancardi. "Most definitely without Him, I wouldn't be here right now. And obviously I'd like to thank everybody that supported me in this journey, my coaches and everybody who recruited me throughout this journey. But I'll be committing to Michigan State University."

Booker is ranked the No. 1 overall 2023 prospect in the country by Rivals.com and is No. 3 at 247Sports. The recruiting site On3.com lists Booker as the No. 6 overall prospect.

His 247Sports composite ranking is much lower at No. 58 in the country thanks to the fact ESPN lists him as a four-star prospect and is not among the top 100 players in the nation. ESPN’s updated rankings will be released in late August and Biancardi said Booker would be in "a very favorable spot."

Michigan State’s last top-10 recruit was forward Jaren Jackson Jr. in 2017. He was rated No. 6 by Rivals and No. 8 at 247Sports. Miles Bridges in 2016 was ranked 10th overall by Rivals and 12th at 247Sports.

Booker chose Michigan State from his group of 10 finalists, which included Michigan, Auburn, Ohio State, Gonzaga, Purdue, Notre Dame, Indiana, Cincinnati and Oregon.

Booker led Indianapolis Cathedral High to a state championship this year before playing with the G3 All Indy travel ball program. It's been since the end of his high school season that Booker's recruitment has taken off. Michigan State offered Booker a scholarship back in September 2021, but multiple offers have been flooding in over the past several months.

Izzo and his staff, though, got an official visit from Booker in April and continued to make the big man a priority throughout the summer.

"It was a long process, being able to build relationships with coaches and going on visits and everything," Booker said. "It was definitely a lot of fun, for sure. After I released (my top 10) on Monday, me and my family had a long talk, and we kind of just — it was just one school that stuck out the most."

He now joins four-star guard Jeremy Fears, ranked No. 42 overall in the nation, as the only two members of the 2023 class. The Spartans are also pursuing four-star forward Devin Royal, who on Friday narrowed his list of schools to Michigan State, Alabama and Ohio State.

Four-star forward Coen Carr from Greenville, South Carolina, told On3.com that he will be taking an official visit to Michigan State and the Spartans also recently offered four-star forward Gehrig Normand from North Richland Hills, Texas.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau