Michigan State’s spring game Saturday is setting up to be a major recruiting event in East Lansing.
The Spartans are using this political time of year to give top recruits a unique opportunity; they are calling it the “Presidential Primary.” A select group of recruits will head to the home of Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon for a meal and a chance to experience more than just the football program or athletic programs.
Among those who will be in town and at President Simon’s event will be the Spartans’ 2016 class, as well as currently committed members of the 2017 class.
The Spartans are expected to add to that 2017 class this weekend and already did so on Wednesday when Massillon (Ohio) Perry guard Matt Carrick committed. Carrick was expected by many to commit this weekend but will now have an opportunity to enjoy the visit and the game already as part of the class.
A number of 2017 prospects holding Spartan offers will make the trip. League City (Texas) Clear Springs cornerback Langston Frederick will not be able to stay for the game itself, but will be on campus this Thursday and Friday and MSU is high on his list.
Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage cornerback Jarques McClellion, University of Detroit Jesuit safety Scotty Nelson, Roselle (Ill.) Lake Park defensive end Jacub Panasiuk, Flint Southwestern defensive end Deron Irving-Bey and Cincinnati Colerain cornerback Amir Riep are among the other players visiting who have reported having the Spartans high on their lists.
Detroit Cass Tech will have three juniors on campus who have Michigan State offers: safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell, wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, the state’s top prospect, and offensive lineman Jordan Reid, who recently put MSU in his top five. Detroit King’s Ambry Thomas, another highly recruited in-state prospect, will be in attendance and will have an opportunity to see former teammates Tyriq Thompson, Kyonta Stallworth and Donnie Corley in the game.
Springfield (Ohio) wide receiver Danny Davis returns to campus. Michigan State was one of the first schools to offer him.
Another Ohio native, defensive end James Hudson, will be in town. He has a Michigan State offer and is giving the Spartans a hard look despite a prior commitment to Kentucky.
Among the juniors attending the game who do not yet hold MSU offers, but are on the radar, are Piqua (Ohio) running back Darien Tipps-Clemons, who may be nearing an offer; defensive linemen Derrius Mullins, Johnathan Berghorst, Olalere Oladipo and Ryan O’Malley, a recent Illinois decommit; Mitchell Sokol, the younger brother of Spartan tight end Matt Sokol; and West Bloomfield running back Davion Johnson, who returns to campus for another visit after recently attending a spring practice.
There is a good group from the 2018 class that will enjoy the spring game as well. Springfield (Ohio) defensive end Leonard Taylor is a Michigan commit, but recently visited Ohio State and is now expected in East Lansing this weekend. Winton Woods linebacker Christopher Oats, Huber Heights Wayne wide receiver L’Christian Smith and Fairfield defensive end Malik Vann are three more from Ohio who hold Spartan offers. Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Kalon Gervin holds a Michigan State offer, as do Indianapolis Cathedral running back Markese Stepp and offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor.
There are also many more young prospects in the 2019 and 2020 classes who will make the trip, all contributing toward what should be an eventful weekend in East Lansing.
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.