Trieu: MSU makes strong bid to flip 5-star RB Miles Sanders

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Miles Sanders

As the dead period ends and college coaches hit the road, Michigan State enters the last dash toward National Signing Day with recruiting momentum. Detroit King wide receiver Donnie Corley’s commitment to the Spartans could be seen as the start of that.

Two of the names that have Spartan fans most excited at the moment are cornerback Lavert Hill and running back Miles Sanders.

Sanders, a five-star Penn State commit from the state of Pennsylvania, caused a stir on Twitter when he removed the words “Penn State commit” from his bio and followed a number of Spartan players, recruits and media. While he later added that line back to his bio, there has been contact between him and the Michigan State staff.

He was one of their first stops on Thursday and a visit to East Lansing is possible.

“Michigan State is making a hard push and right now it is going to get a visit out of Sanders,” Scout analyst Brian Dohn said. “This is not the first time Sanders has looked at other programs. At one point, there was chatter of a visit to Alabama, and then it was Pittsburgh making a strong push. Penn State has continued to recruit Sanders hard even after he committed because the staff knew other schools would charge hard after him.”

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The likely schedule will be a visit to Happy Valley next weekend and then one to Michigan State the final weekend before Signing Day on Feb. 3. That will give the Spartans the last chance, on campus at least, to try to flip Sanders.

“Both programs have very good, young running backs (Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and MSU’s LJ Scott),” Dohn says. “It will come down to comfort and which staff he feels will utilize him the best.”

Sanders rushed for 1,523 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. He finished his career with 4,573 yards and 59 touchdowns on the ground.

Other Thursday coaching stops

Michigan State defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett was at Detroit King for Hill. The Spartans have also offered junior wide receiver / defensive back Ambry Thomas. Another Detroit stop was at East English Village Prep, where defensive lineman Cedrick Lattimore has been offered by MSU despite a prior commitment to Iowa.

The Spartans were also out in South Dakota checking in with offensive lineman Matt Farniok. He officially visits Michigan State this weekend and is down to the Spartans, Iowa and Nebraska.

An additional stop in Pennsylvania was to see defensive lineman Karamo Dioubate, a one-time Penn State commit who plans to visit East Lansing later this month.

The Spartans were also in Ohio and one of their stops was at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. Four-star defensive end Prince Sammons, who could project to offensive tackle as well in college, is still being recruited by the Spartans and is likely to visit again before Signing Day.

More information

Miles Sanders profile

Karamo Dioubate profile

Lavert Hill profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. 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.