April 25, 2011

SpartanMag.com Recruiting Q&A

  • Do you see Michigan State signing a top 25 class?

    Before I answer that, I want to point out the following:

    Here are the rankings of the classes signed by Head Coach Mark Dantonio since arriving at Michigan State:

    2007-42nd
    2008-47th
    2009-17th
    2010-30th
    2011-31st

    So the average over that time is 33rd.

    By all accounts Mark Dantonio has recruited very well since his arrival, but as you can see, only once were the Spartans in the top 25. The general rule of thumb is if you are in the top 40 you are in good shape.

    Keep in mind, over that same time period both Iowa and Wisconsin have never been in the top 25 either and both have a lower overall ranking than Michigan State. Michigan on the other hand has been in the top 25 every year.

    Getting highly ranked players does help lead to success, but recruit to the team's specific needs and have strong player development is also imperative. Michigan State has been doing all 3 of those things well under Coach Dantonio.

    The smart money would be on Michigan State being somewhere in the 30-40 range come signing day along with teams like Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Arkansas and Missouri.

    An often overlooked numbers is the enrolled rankings come August. Historically speaking every player Michigan State signs in February ends up on campus in August. That is not the norm; especially in the SEC. Michigan State's enrolled ranking has always bumped them up a few slots.


    Do you think Michigan State will sign any players from Texas this year?

    New Michigan State Wide Receiver Coach Terry Samuel is recruiting Texas for the Spartans and I think the Spartans can make some noise down there, but it may not happen until later in the process. One thing you have to do is figure out what recruits you can realistically get.

    Michigan State beating out the University of Texas for a Texas kid is tougher than beating out Ohio State for Ohio kids. Plus you have local schools like Texas A&M, LSU, Oklahoma and Missouri to contend with.

    Despite all that you can get quality players from Texas. Nick Foles was a great example of Michigan State doing just that.
    A few examples of the types of recruits I am talking about:

    -LB Kellen Jones of Houston, Texas
    Signs with MICHIGAN over offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado and Missouri

    -WR Christian Jones of Spring, Texas
    Signs with NORTHWESTERN over offers from Arkansas, Texas Tech, Kansas and Kentucky

    -DE Horace Arkadie of Irving, Texas
    Signs with ARKANSAS over offers from Virginia, Purdue, Baylor, and Kansas

    -WR Marquis Jackson of Arlington, Texas:
    Signs with KANSAS over offers from Arkansas, Minnesota, Kansas State, Baylor and Nebraska.

    Yes you can get quality players from Texas, but you need to know the lay of the landscape and what kids you have a realistic shot of landing. It is all about logical allocation of resources.

    It doesn't hurt that Texas and Texas A&M are both done recruitng for the class of 2012. Lots of talent down in Texas, it will be a matter of getting these recruits on campus so they can see Big Ten football for themselves.


  • Michigan has 6 commits, what do you think of their start and is it the best in the Big Ten?

    They are off to a very good start and that is not a surprise. Brady Hoke is going to sign a good class for two reasons:
    1) He is at Michigan. Even Rich Rodriguez was bringing in talent despite being on the hot seat and team being abysmal
    2) First year bump. Everyone knows the first year it is often the easiest to recruit, especially f you are selling a new scheme and early playing time. You have nothing but hope to sell and nothing to be judged on. From John L Smith to Jim Tressel that first year is often a very good recruiting class.

    With that being said, the class I am impressed with the most right now is Wisconsin. I would not trade Wisconsin's 3 commit straight up for Michigan's 6. The Badgers have 3 players who are as good as it gets at 3 different positions. The Spartans and Wolverines wanted all 3 of them.

    I like Michigan's OL recruits, but I would take Voltz over both and I like Bielge better than Jenkins-Stone. I am sure many UM fans are screaming at computer right now, but time will tell on that one. Vonte Jackson is a terrific athlete. If he doesn't end up at RB, he could easily end up being a standout wide receiver/return specialist like a bigger version of David Gilreath.

    By the way, Ohio State has 5 kids that are as good as anyone on the nation as well. I don't think anyone should sleep on the class they have at this point.

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