Trieu: MSU hosts eight top uncommitted prospects this week

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Naytron Culpepper

This weekend will be the first weekend in a month that colleges can have recruits on campus for official visits again. Michigan State will have a big group on campus, including eight uncommitted targets.

Will Rodgers, defensive end, Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian: Originally from Saginaw, Rodgers moved to Colorado this year and had an outstanding season at one of that state’s best programs. A 6-foot-4, 245-pound pass rusher, Rodgers went from no offers to eight with Arizona, Washington State, Nevada and Wyoming among the offers. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio is set to be at Valor Christian on Thursday and an offer is expected to be officially extended shortly after. Rodgers has some ties to MSU as his uncle is former Spartan basketball star Jason Richardson.

Koby Cumberlander, defensive end, Roswell (Ga.): Like Rodgers, Cumberlander is an edge rusher with an NBA connection to the Spartans. His uncle is former Spartan Kevin Willis, an NBA lottery pick. Somewhat under the major college radar until this season, the Spartans and Virginia Tech have offered since the end of his senior season. He is believed to be one of the visitors the Spartans have the highest chances of landing.

Tyree Johnson, defensive end, Washington (D.C.) St. Johns College: Johnson is a Texas A&M commit, but has been visiting other schools and has had this Michigan State visit on the books for many weeks. An Under Armour All-American, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Johnson had 11 sacks as a senior. He takes officials to A&M and Auburn in the weekends following his Spartan visit.

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Oliver Martin, wide receiver, Iowa City (Iowa) West: There is positive buzz surrounding Martin and the Spartans. A four-star pass catcher and Army All-American, Notre Dame, Oregon, Michigan and Iowa are among the other contenders in his recruitment. Martin does not have any other official visits planned for the weekends following his MSU visit, but it is still possible he will visit other schools.

Robert Porcher IV, defensive end, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips: The son of former Detroit Lions defensive end Robert Porcher III, Porcher IV was once committed to Nebraska but re-opened his recruitment last month. He will visit the Spartans and Virginia Tech before coming to a final decision.

Jon Lovett, running back, Marlton (N.J.) Cherokee: Running back is a position the Spartans may still add a recruit at and Lovett is one of the primary options. The race for the one-time Rutgers commit has heated up, as he has visits to Tennessee and Baylor the final two weeks of January. He named MSU in his recent top five. A 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect, Lovett rushed for 1,359 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior.

Nick Smith, outside linebacker, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips: Smith is committed to North Carolina State, but the 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker has seen interest continue to increase after a senior season in which he made 96 tackles (17 for loss), three forced fumbles and an interception. Michigan State and Louisville are among the schools he is expected to visit this month. He is teammates with Porcher IV.

Naytron Culpepper, safety, Miami (Fla.) Carol City: Culpepper was supposed to visit in the fall, but the trip was pushed back. He helped Carol City win a state title as a senior. He has experience at cornerback, but can also play safety. South Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland and Mississippi State are among the other schools in the mix for him.

Spartans land preferred walk-on

Carleton Airport linebacker Brent Mossburg committed to Michigan State as a preferred walk-on. A 6-foot-3, 215-pound prospect, Mossburg was offered the spot in June. He was also offered by Grand Valley State, Dayton and Valparaiso during the process.

Mossburg had an injury-shortened senior season but still had 41 tackles and three forced fumbles in five games. He also caught eight passes on offense. He had 118 tackles as a junior.

More information

Will Rodgers profile

Koby Cumberlander profile

Naytron Culpepper 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