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Tom Izzo on pace to accomplish recruiting feat he’s never achieved before

Hall of Famer’s gonna Hall of Fame.

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Tom Izzo
© Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Izzo is currently on pace to accomplish a recruiting feat that he’s never achieved in his two-plus decades as a head coach.

There’s no doubt about it, Tom Izzo is motivated.

Not only is he motivated to get better as an Xs and Os head coach, but he’s driven to become a better recruiter. And he’s doing a heck of a job.

Just last month, Izzo took an empty 2024 recruiting class and leveled it up to a two-man group with Kur Teng and Jesse McCulloch both committing. Teng is ranked the No. 38 overall recruit in the class while McCulloch in No. 85, according to 247Sports. Both have combined to give Michigan State the No. 9 class in the country for 2024 with a ways to go before it’s all sewn up.

And that’s the thing, it’s not even done yet.

If Izzo can land a couple more four or five-star guys, he will likely finish with another top-five recruiting class nationally after landing the 2023 class’ No. 4 overall group.

Believe it or not, he’s never pieced together back-to-back top-five classes before. This would be the first time in his Hall of Fame coaching career that he would have two straight top five classes. And let me remind you, he’s entering his 29th year with the Spartans. Having his best recruiting success three decades in? That’s a scary thought.

Let’s take a look at how his classes have ranked, by year, since 247Sports began them:

  • 2001: 7th
  • 2002: NR
  • 2003: 24th
  • 2004: 13th
  • 2005: 142nd
  • 2006: 13th
  • 2007: 9th
  • 2008: 10th
  • 2009: 42nd
  • 2010: 9th
  • 2011: 19th
  • 2012: 12th
  • 2013: 79th
  • 2014: 40th
  • 2015: 25th
  • 2016: 3rd
  • 2017: 49th
  • 2018: 17th
  • 2019: 27th
  • 2020: 51st
  • 2021: 12th
  • 2022: 36th
  • 2023: 4th
  • 2024: 9th (so far)

As you can see, Izzo has only landed top-10 classes back-to-back one time (2007-08) and his best stretch had to be from 2006 to 2012 when he landed six top-20 classes and three top-10 classes.

But even during that stretch, he didn’t have as much success as he’s having in the 2023 and 2024 classes. And he’s not done yet. He’s about to accomplish a big-time feat that only guys like John Calipari and Duke achieve regularly.

But I though the game had passed him by?

Writer, co-owner of Spartan Shadows. Michigan State and college football expert at FanSided and formerly of The Detroit News. Expert on all things Michigan State. Connor Muldowney has written about Michigan State since graduating from the university with a degree in journalism back in 2013. Ten years of experience as a Michigan State writer/reporter.

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