Trieu: MSU reels in a big one – 4-star TE Matt Dotson

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Matt Dodson

Michigan State is expected to have a good week at The Opening Finals in Oregon, as several Spartan targets are announcing their decisions, and Cincinnati Moeller tight end Matt Dotson got the momentum going when he announced his commitment to Michigan State on Thursday.

Dotson, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound four-star prospect, was down to MSU and Penn State, taking visits to both schools this summer, and narrowing down his list of offers – which also included Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Arkansas and many more – to those final two.

While his decision seemed like it went back and forth down the stretch, Dotson knew after his most recent trip to East Lansing.

"It was tough at first, but when I really sat down and talked about it with my mom, it was easy. We kind of took a step back and wrote down all the pros and cons from everything and I knew," he said. "I wouldn't say it was when we took a visit there, I'd say it was a week or two after, when we said, ‘Alright, I think I like this school more.’"

The time the MSU staff spent with Dotson and his mother, who accompanied Dotson on all of his visits, played an important part in the decision. The way the Spartans use their tight ends was another piece of the puzzle.

"They develop their tight ends – Josiah Price is going to have a chance to play on Sundays,” Dotson said. “I really like how they develop their players."

“In the Michigan State offense, tight ends are used not only to block, but to also catch the ball,” Spartan Digest’s Dave Berk says. “This has not changed since Mark Dantonio became a head coach at the college level and his tight ends have developed and had success at the next level. Dotson has the ability to work on the line but also stretch the field with his ability to run and would be a major player in future Spartan offenses.”

Trieu: Herbert's decision leads off big week in UM recruiting

Dotson becomes Michigan State's 14th commitment in the 2017 class and fifth from Ohio, joining running back Weston Bridges, linebacker Darien Tipps-Clemons, defensive back Dominique Long and offensive lineman Matt Carrick.

Two other Michigan State targets, offensive linemen Robert Hainsey and Jordan Reid, both announce their decisions later in the week. The Spartans made the final cut for both prospects.

Offered wide receiver likes Michigan State

Iowa City West wide receiver Oliver Martin has been one of the fastest rising prospects in the Midwest during the last month. Martin went from three Mid-American Conference offers to an Opening Finals invite and then offers from Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and BYU in a matter of weeks.

While Martin (6-1, 185 pounds) admits here is hometown pressure to go with Iowa – the school is just two miles from his high school – Michigan State has an advantage because of quarterback commit Rocky Lombardi. Martin and Lombardi played youth football and baseball together.

"I think he let them know he likes me a lot and I'm a good player, which I really appreciate, and I like Michigan State a lot as well," Martin said.

Oregon offered Martin on Wednesday, continuing the run of offers for the sure-handed recruit.

He says he may take all five official visits before deciding, but a summer decision could still happen.

"I'm thinking maybe before the end of the summer; before my senior year would be ideal, but it could go longer," he said.

More information

Matt Dotson profile

Jordan Reid profile

Oliver Martin 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.