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Michigan State football: Final Junior Day of January yields big turnout

Michigan State’s Junior Day has been impressive.



Michigan State football
© Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Eighteen prospects are in East Lansing this weekend for Michigan State football Junior Day festivities.

As the first month of 2023 winds down, the next football recruiting dead period is on the horizon. Teams everywhere are hosting recruiting camps trying to build some much-needed momentum for the 2024 cycle (and beyond) before February’s no-contact period begins. Michigan State football is certainly no different.

They had already had a successful Junior Day weekend on the weekend of Jan. 14, which was headlined by an unofficial visit to campus from five-star defensive line prospect David Stone. This weekend’s festivities might even be in line to top that.

For this round of weekend visits, MSU has 18 total players on campus. Most notably, one again from Stone who decided to come back to East Lansing for another unofficial visit after posting on social media his tentative spring plans. He planned to come back to MSU this weekend, go down to Miami in March, and then also to Texas A&M’s spring game. The IMG Academy standout has been continuing to pick up offers left and right. He most recently received one from Ohio State. MSU is doing well in that recruiting battle still and getting two visits in three weekends certainly reinforces that thought.

Whether or not MSU can keep the same momentum moving forward remains to be seen. Expect Mel Tucker and staff to keep the full-court press on him for as long as possible.

Another reason getting Stone and other defensive line prospects on campus this weekend is notable is because this will be the first weekend that new defensive line coach Diron Reynolds is able to participate. Getting Diron a first crack at building some new relationships with these players will be key in how MSU will be able to recruit on the defensive front in the future. Reynolds, like most of Mel’s staff, has a wealth of coaching experience including time in the NFL.

Other notable 2024 prospects arriving this weekend include four-star receiver Brandon Heyward and four-star defensive back TyShun White. In total, seven players from the 2024 class made the trip for the weekend.

Michigan State is also hosting seven players from the 2025 class and three from the class of 2026. Many of these recruits are players that will most assuredly become high-ranking players in their classes once the 2025 and 2026 rankings get released.

Of the 18 total players on campus this weekend, five states are represented, showing Tucker’s determination to recruit nationally. While planning to recruit nationally is a main focus, Mel has not been slacking in going after some homegrown talent. Fifteen of the 18 players this weekend are from either Michigan or Ohio. This reaffirms Mel’s commitment to try to win the battles in the Midwest as well.

Hopefully this weekend’s visits continue to build some solid recruiting momentum for when the contact period opens up in March. Look for MSU to start scheduling some more unofficial visits in March. After that, official visits can start in April. The 2024 class is off to a strong start and could get even better soon.


Michigan State football loses commitment of 4-star WR Nick Marsh

This one hurts.



Michigan State football
© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State football has lost the commitment of four-star wide receiver Nick Marsh on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s the offseason which means that recruiting news is going to take center stage. Unfortunately for Michigan State football, that also means bad recruiting news.

The Spartans signed a top 25 class for 2023 and while the sights are set on the upcoming season with the new crop of freshmen coming in, the 2024 class is on the radar. They’ve gotten off to a strong start in the 2024 class, but it hit a major speed bump on Tuesday.

Four-star wideout Nick Marsh, a top-100 prospect in the 2024 class, has reopened his recruitment after decommitting from Michigan State.

Just an absolutely crushing blow to the program that lost Brandon Jordan a few days ago which will undoubtedly affect recruiting — especially David Stone.

Marsh had been garnering interest from a number of top programs in recent weeks so this reopening of his recruitment isn’t a huge surprise, but he always said that he hadn’t seen anything that changed his mind about his commitment. The fact that he had always been vocal about being solid to the Spartans makes this one a little more painful.

The River Rouge, Mich., product is one of the best receivers in the nation for 2024, ranking No. 72 overall and No. 12 at the position per the 247Sports Composite.

Since he’s a local kid, I don’t see Michigan State being completely out of this one. He did say that he was going to take his visits and see if there was anything out there for him, but at the end of the day, Mel Tucker isn’t going down without a fight.

He is scheduled to visit East Lansing this spring, so we’ll see if that changes anything.

It’s been a rough offseason for Michigan State thus far with Jordan leaving, Kedrick Reescano committing to Ole Miss, Marco Coleman leaving, and now Marsh decommitting.

Let’s hope good news surrounding the football program comes soon.

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Michigan State football recruiting gets good news ahead of spring ball

David Stone is headed to East Lansing yet again.



Michigan State football
© Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State football recruiting got some good news earlier this week with David Stone scheduling another visit.

As the February dead period in college football is winding down, Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker and staff got some pleasant news on Monday. Their biggest target of the 2024 class plans on taking yet another visit to campus on March 14.

MSU pass rush specialist Brandon Jordan is hosting his annual “NFL Pass Rush Retreat” on campus that weekend also. It will be a great chance for prospective recruits to be shown the potential of MSU.

David Stone, a five-star defensive lineman out of IMG Academy in Florida is making his third unofficial visit of 2023 when he comes to campus in March. This also marks this fifth time overall that Stone has visited MSU. With this visit, he is bringing an old friend and newly offered four-star athlete Mykel Patterson-McDonald. He confirmed that information to Michigan State On3 recruiting writer Jason Killop.

Patterson-McDonald attends Westmore High School in Oklahoma. He is ranked as the No. 22 safety in 2024’s class per Rivals and was offered by MSU on Feb. 1. Patterson-McDonald is another Oklahoma product that the Spartans are after who is also receiving interest from the Sooners.

It’s worth noting that the duo of Stone and Patterson-McDonald will be taking an unofficial visit to Oklahoma the day before coming up to East Lansing.

The Sooners and Spartans have started a budding recruiting rivalry with prospects such as Bai Jobe, David Stone, Xadavien Sims, and several others both seemingly having Michigan State and Oklahoma as their top listed schools.

So far in the 2023 and 2024 cycles, Tucker is clearly trying to establish heavy recruiting ties in Oklahoma. Landing more visits from Stone and Patterson-McDonald certainly prove that theory. Tucker has also built a really great relationship with Sean Cooper who runs C4 training in Oklahoma. He’s a coach for MSU incoming freshman Bai Jobe and 2024 four-star defensive line target Xadavien Sims, among others.

With February coming to a close, expect a lot more recruiting news to pick up as spring football opens. Tucker is working at getting a lot of potential big time recruits to campus in the coming months. Hopefully they can keep the good momentum rolling. If the past is any indication, MSU will be trying to get as many recruits on campus for the spring game as possible.

It appears another exciting spring is in store for MSU fans everywhere.

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Michigan State football officially closes on best recruiting class in 7 years

Even after a poor season, Mel Tucker is bringing in talent.



Michigan State football
© Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker just signed what turned out to be the best recruiting class the school has had since 2016.

The first two recruiting classes for Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker weren’t bad, by any means. The 2021 class was basically all done over Zoom because of COVID-19 and his second class finished 26th in the country. But his recruiting continues to improve as his third class was officially sewn up on Wednesday and it finished 23rd in the nation.

This was the best Michigan State recruiting class in the Tucker era and the best since Mark Dantonio landed the No. 18 class in 2016.

Landing the best recruiting class the school has seen in seven years is a good sign. After a 5-7 season, this class is going to combine with the 26th-ranked 2022 class to turn the program right back around.

Just how good is Tucker’s 2023 class compared to recent Michigan State classes?

  • 2023: No. 23 nationally
  • 2022: No. 26
  • 2021: No. 45
  • 2020: No. 46
  • 2019: No. 33
  • 2018: No. 30
  • 2017: No. 35
  • 2016: No. 18
  • 2015: No. 23
  • 2014: No. 27

Only three times in the past decade has Michigan State landed a top 25 recruiting class and two of those were in the glory days of Dantonio. Tucker’s classes have improved each season and if this trajectory continues, he could finish with the best recruiting class the program has seen in its history within the next year or two.

Michigan State brought in nine four-star recruits in this class which is something almost unheard of in East Lansing over the past decade, or so.

The only way to turn a program around and make sure that 5-7 seasons don’t happen again is by landing more talent. Tucker is making sure that this kind of season doesn’t happen again by catching up with the big boys in the Big Ten, talent-wise.

Michigan State actually finished third in the conference in average rating behind just Ohio State and Penn State. Not bad for what rival fans consider an “overpaid coach.”

Tucker needs to build on this.

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