Trieu: ‘Underrated’ Ohio CB Scott treasures MSU offer

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Josiah Scott

Michigan State’s offer to Fairfield (Ohio) cornerback Josiah Scott came this week, but it has been in the works for some time.

The 5-foot-9, 160-pound senior-to-be says the staff has been in contact with him every week since their recruitment of him began. Each time they spoke, the Spartans let him know where they were at and where he stood. Then this week’s conversation took place and he received the good news.

“Michigan State was just a great offer, one I’ve been chasing for a while now,” Scott said. “It was a great feeling when they pulled the trigger and offered me.”

MSU is no stranger to recruiting that area. Defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett is from Cincinnati and head coach Mark Dantonio and other members of the staff know southwest Ohio well going back to their time at the University of Cincinnati. They have also offered two of Scott’s teammates, rising juniors Jackson Carman, a big offensive tackle, and defensive end Malik Vann.

In Scott, they are now pursuing a prospect Scout’s Dave Berk calls “the most underrated kid in the state of Ohio.”

“In 20 plus years of coaching, he’s probably the best defensive back that we’ve coached,” Fairfield head coach Jason Krause says. “I’ve had some of my assistants say the same. He does every little thing you want done. He has instincts, he changes direction, plays the ball well, he’s aggressive, fast, just has all the tools you need in a defensive back.”

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Not only is he a great cornerback prospect, but Scott checks off all the intangible boxes as well.

“I think the first thing about Josiah is his character,” says Krause. “He comes from a great background, great family with three older brothers who played college football – one is currently playing. All three played at Mount Union, and he comes from a long line of really good football players and good people.”

Michigan State’s offer moves them into his top group along with Iowa, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, with a decision to come in the very near future.

“I plan on making my decision July 31st,” he told Berk. “I was going to make it on July 30th, but I’m moving it to that Sunday now so my family can be there.”

Decision day coming for Riep

Michigan State will find out about a top target this Saturday when Cincinnati Colerain cornerback Amir Riep, a national top-100 prospect on Scout, announces his commitment.

Riep, who recently attended The Opening Finals in Oregon, is down to the Spartans and Ohio State.

Of his final two, Riep said, “Ohio State, it’s the atmosphere and the feeling I get while I’m there.  Coach (Kerry) Coombs being there and developing defensive backs and then putting them to the next level is important.”

He added of MSU, “I get a great feeling every time I’m (at Michigan State).  The coaches and the whole staff take care of me well every time I’m there.  I can see how Coach (Harlon) Barnett really develops guys.  He can take two-star guys and then develop them into NFL-type corners.  So I know he can develop me.”

Riep’s announcement will take place at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Maryland corner has MSU in top group

Upper Marlboro (Md.) Riverdale Baptist School’s Tariq Castro-Fields, one of the top cornerback prospects on the East Coast, has named a top six of Michigan State, Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State and Virginia Tech.

"That is big-time football in the Big Ten,” he told Scout’s Brian Dohn, “and they are building because they lost a lot seniors. I like their style of defense. They're hard-nosed, blue-collar. That's what I like."

Castro-Fields (6-1, 177 pounds) says he will make a decision after his senior football season.

More information

Josiah Scott profile

Amir Riep profile

Tariq Castro-Fields profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for 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