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Joe Rossi makes Michigan State the favorite to land in-state prospect

Does this hire put MSU on possible flip watch?



Michigan State football target Brady Pretzlaff
© Dylan Jespersen/Gaylord Herald Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

The hiring of Joe Rossi makes Michigan State football the new favorite to land a three-star in-state linebacker. 

There’s no secret about it, Michigan State football fans, the hire of new defensive coordinator Joe Rossi was a huge one. The Spartans were able one of the better defensive minds in the country. Not only will that have an impact schematically for Jonathan Smith, but this also will have a huge impact on the recruiting trail. The first impact may be seen sooner than later in fact.

As I mentioned in previous articles, MSU was hosting a flurry of defensive recruits this weekend and next.

One of the recruits coming to campus this past weekend was three-star linebacker Brady Pretzlaff from Gaylord, Mich. He is a big-name linebacker in Michigan and he has been trending to Michigan State of late, however, he’s been verbally committed to Minnesota since January 2023.

Brady had several pictures and visit info come out on social media over the weekend and generally seemed to have a wonderful time in East Lansing. Most recruiting experts had even mentioned that MSU was trending in the right direction to flip him before the trip to East Lansing this weekend.

As you can tell, Mama Tron (Nick Marsh’s mom) was impressed with Pretzlaff and joined in on the recruiting pressure to flip him. Even a few 247Sports insiders posted crystal ball predictions on Sunday morning for him to flip his commitment. All of that came out this morning before the announcement that Joe Rossi was to be our next defensive coordinator. For those who don’t know, Rossi was formerly the defensive coordinator at, you guessed it, Minnesota. The primary Minnesota recruiter involved in Brady’s recruitment was none other than Rossi.

Pretzlaff and Rossi have worked up a great relationship so far and that is nothing but good news if you are a Spartan fan. Rossi comes to East Lansing highly regarded in many coaching circles and nationally. I think this makes the Spartans the overwhelming favorites to flip Brady to MSU before signing day.

Overall, the bump in defensive recruiting will be exciting to see once he can start really meeting with players and getting the chance to pitch all things Michigan State football to them.

In my personal opinion, the defensive coordinator position was a home run hire. Not only should he help recruiting but he seemed to be the right man for the job schematically as well. Rossi has led Minnesota to become a threat nationally in his time in Minneapolis. He has had the Gophers ranking top 10 in defense in 2019, 2021, and 2022. They have also had 10 NFL draft picks on defense since he was hired there. His ability to find and develop talent on the defensive side of the ball is going to be a nice change of pace for the Spartans.

Welcome to East Lansing, Coach Rossi. Also hope to see you joining him in “The Only Colors” soon, Brady. Go Green.

Dad, die hard MSU (and Detroit sports) fan, and writer for Spartan Shadows. Certified knower of Ball (and puck). MSU Content Creator since 2022. Central Michigan Alum!


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