Rod Beard and Dave Goricki preview the 2018 high school football season The Detroit News
When Strongsville (Ohio) offensive lineman J.D. Duplain made his verbal commitment to Michigan State on Aug. 1, he became the fifth player at that position to pledge to the Spartans in the 2019 class. In all likelihood, he will be the last one in.
The Spartans offered Duplain in May. At the time, they had one offensive line commit, Spencer Brown. Several weeks later, Nick Samac, who Duplain had played against as a junior, committed, Damon Kaylor followed and then Devontae Dobbs at the end of June. Throughout all of those happenings, the Spartans kept Duplain informed of where he was at and that went a long way with him.
"They have always let me know they wanted me throughout the process, even when an offensive lineman would commit, and that meant so much to me,” Duplain said. “I think I can bring toughness and a great work ethic to Michigan State, and that's what they're known for."
At June’s Spartan Elite Camp, Duplain gave defense a try. While that is a possibility in college, he has more experience on the offensive line.
"I think I'm best suited for the offensive line, but I will play wherever the coaches need me to play," he said. "It doesn't bother me at all, because them saying I could play either side of the ball means they want me on the field somewhere. No matter what happens, they want to get me on the field, and I really like that."
Duplain and Samac meet once again when Strongsville plays Mentor on Sept. 14. In last year’s contest, Duplain matched up regularly with Ohio State defensive end commit Noah Potter and will have that assignment again this year.
Duplain is never one to back down from a challenge. When Michigan State asked him to try defense at camp, he was fine with that too. Just give him a helmet and tell him where to go.
“So much of recruiting is about fit, and there's no doubt that J.D. Duplain fits what Michigan State is looking for to a T,” 247Sports Ohio analyst Bill Greene said. “These are the types of players head coach Mark Dantonio has won a lot of games with. This is a pure football player, first and foremost. No ego, just a hard-working, power player that is going to give Dantonio and his staff everything he has to give.”
The Spartans now have 16 commitments in their 2019 recruiting class.
Kentucky commit still looking at MSU
Toledo Whitmer defensive lineman Cavon Butler committed to Kentucky this month, but Michigan State had been in contact with him previous to that verbal pledge and he admits he is still interested in the Spartans.
"I've been hearing from Michigan State since my freshman year," Butler told Spartan Tailgate’s Sean Scherer. "They will offer me after I finish this summer course."
Butler also told Scherer he plans to attend a Michigan State game this season.
Spartans offer two in-state receivers
Michigan State recently extended scholarship offers to Bay City Central’s Devell Washington and Gibraltar Carlson’s Ian Stewart, two of the top class of 2020 recruits in the state of Michigan.
Both are big: Stewart is 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and Washington is 6-foot-4, 190 pounds.
Stewart holds additional offers from Michigan, Purdue and more. Washington has also been offered by the Wolverines, as well as Ohio State and more.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. 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.