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Big names on the Bowling Green visitor list
Friday is Sept. 1. In college football recruiting, that’s a very big day.
For those entering their senior years of high school, Sept. 1 is the first day college coaches can call recruits rather than the players having to initiate contact. It kicks off a furious few months of recruiting leading up to National Signing Day. Now those months will be shorter and even more furious as programs try to get prospects signed during the new early period, which begins Dec. 20.
In broader terms, September ends a month-long dead period and marks the return of in-person visits. So even if Michigan State can’t call up 2019 and ’20 recruits, it can get them on campus for unofficial visits. As usual, the opening game of the season serves as an opportunity for the Spartans to bring in as many in-state prospects as possible.
Michigan State’s two offensive line commits will be the headliners in attendance when the Spartans host Bowling Green on Saturday. Saline (Mich.) OL Dimitri Douglas, a 3-star senior in the 247Sports composite ratings, and 4-star Walled Lake (Mich.) Western junior tackle Spencer Brown have shared their plans to attend.
Several of the state’s top uncommitted prospects will visit Michigan State on Saturday, as well. Class of 2019 Southfield (Mich.) safety Marcus Fuqua told Land of 10 he will be in attendance. He carries an offer list that includes Army, Syracuse, Temple and a host of MAC schools.
Michael Fletcher has plans to see the game in person, as well. The Flint (Mich.) Carman-Ainsworth junior defensive end — who attends Spartans running back Gerald Holmes’ alma mater — will bring his younger brother Dustin, a sophomore quarterback, with him. It will be their first campus visit.
Fletcher has an early offer from Iowa State, a common occurrence with top recruits from Michigan. Coach Matt Campbell built a strong knowledge of the state while coaching at Toledo.
3-star 2019 West Bloomfield (Mich.) linebacker Lance Dixon also holds an Iowa State offer, as well as offers from N.C. State and Purdue. Michigan State could be next for the No. 9 junior in Michigan per the 247Sports composite. He will also be on the visitor list, per The D Zone.
From out of state, 3-star Michigan State cornerback commit Chris Jackson said he will make the trip up for Atlanta for the game. Having family in the area makes it considerably easier for the Class of 2018 prospect to do than for others.
Big-time official visits can — and probably should — be saved for bigger games such as late-September games against Notre Dame and Iowa. This season opener, though, is ideal for boosting morale among in-state prospects who saw the Spartans struggle to a 3-9 finish in 2016. Beating Bowling Green wouldn’t prove much, but it could start to shift perceptions.
2019 TE keeps Michigan State in mind
Hayden Rucci has been racking up the offers. The 2019 Warwick (Lititz, Pa.) tight end’s list now includes Boston College, Duke, Minnesota, Northwestern, Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
If Penn State were to join in, that would be a massive offer, as well — especially considering his father played for the Nittany Lions. Despite all this, the 3-star prospect hasn’t forgotten his first offer, which came on a visit to Michigan State on Feb. 12.
Rucci described the offer to Land of 10’s Jesse Temple as a kick-starter in his recruitment, calling it a “huge surprise.” He had only intended to visit campus.
Michigan State will likely have four scholarship tight ends for the 2019 season already, but the Spartans have offered a couple in the 2019 class, anyway. Rucci, though, is the only one who remains uncommitted.
As his recruitment continues to blow up, Rucci looks less and less likely to end up at Michigan State. But even with all the offers he keeps raking in, he hasn’t forgotten how it all got started.
4-star Spartans target picks up big offer
No coach will say it, but when you work hard to recruit a player and think you have a good shot at landing him, then suddenly a program like Ohio State swoops in with an offer, it can be a bit deflating.
Michigan State extended an offer to 3-star Class of 2019 wide receiver Jameson Williams back in April and brought him in for a visit in late July. The initial offer caught him a bit by surprise.
“I was really excited,” Williams said at the time. “I didn’t expect none of this to happen.”
The 6-foot-2 standout’s stock just continues to rise, and he added a Buckeyes offer on Wednesday.
Blessed to receive a offer from The Ohio State University !! #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/GXzywyzbKk
— juiceman 🐐 (@juicedupjameson) August 30, 2017
Does that put Michigan State out of it? Certainly not. But if Ohio State pushes hard for him down the road, it’s not a good sign.