The new early signing period for college football will take place Dec. 20-22 and Detroit News Dream Team athlete La’Darius Jefferson plans to sign his national letter of intent with Michigan State.
Jefferson, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback, led Muskegon to the Division 3 state championship with a 28-10 victory over Farmington Hills Harrison last month, running for 245 yards and four TDs to give him 2,095 yards rushing and 33 TDs for the season, along with 1,200 yards passing and 21 TDs.
While Jefferson knows exactly what his plans are after decommitting from Central Florida last month, his Muskegon teammate – Detroit News Dream Team offensive lineman Antwan Reed – decommitted from Penn State last week, as did Detroit Country Day linebacker Kolin Demens from UCLA.
Jefferson said he had a good time at MSU on his official visit while spending time with other MSU commits such as Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Kalon Gervin, U-D Jesuit running back Elijah Collins and Belleville defensive back Davion Williams.
“It’s just a great coaching staff, legendary coaches, the great team that they have right now, the facilities, the academics, and I bonded well with the commits,” said Jefferson in explaining his reasons for picking MSU. “I just felt it was a place I needed to be to better myself in the future.
“(Coach Mark Dantonio) is bringing me in as an athlete, primarily a running back, but a player that’s able to get the ball in his hands and do a lot of great things. He has a lot of packages he said he has for me once I get the starting role and work hard in the starting role.
“I kind of see myself as a Saquon Barkley, how Penn State does a lot of things with him. Coach (Dave) Warner said he could see me playing a little slot, like sweeps and catching the ball.”
Demens was set to take a visit to UCLA earlier this month, even after head coach Jim Mora got fired and was replaced by Chip Kelly. But then Demens learned that assistant coaches he had built relationships with were also gone. Prior to the season, he had offers from UCLA, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska and several others.
Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi quickly sent one of his coaches to Country Day the day after Mora was fired to get on Demens’ radar and the move has paid off with Demens considering Pitt, as well as Syracuse.
“When I found out Coach (Scott) White was gone, that took away my main reason for going,” Demens said. “I’m looking mostly at Pitt and Syracuse right now, but still looking for more schools to reach out.”
Demens’ brother, Kenny Demens, played at Michigan before playing linebacker in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals.
“Michigan hasn’t reached out, but no doubt I’d consider them if they did reach out,” said Demens, a three-star recruit. “I’m waiting until February to sign now, just because of everything that’s gone on.”
Country Day coach Dan MacLean said he could see Demens playing on either side of the ball.
“You know everyone’s recruited him as a linebacker, but the guy is a heck of a receiver,” said MacLean of Demens. “He has excellent hands and can really go get the ball. I don’t know if he’d be an H-back or a slot or what.”
Reed said he felt like he committed too early.
“I didn’t explore my options,” Reed said. “I’ve been talking to coaches a little bit. I’m looking at Tennessee and Kentucky mainly. I’m going to wait and sign in February. I plan to take some officials, just don’t know where yet.”