MSU assistants Mike Tressel and Mark Staten assess the Spartans’ battles in the trenches for Saturday night’s game against Notre Dame.
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press
Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans will have several key recruits on campus this weekend when they host Notre Dame under the lights. This is the first weekend the staff will have recruits in East Lansing in an official capacity.
Let’s take a look at a few prospects that will be making official visits:
DT Jackson Cravens Provo (Utah) Timpview
Utah is not a traditional area for the Spartans, but the staff has been keeping an eye on the 6-foto-3, 270-pound Cravens for over a year. The reigning Utah defensive player of the tear was offered early on in the process by MSU. Rivals.com ranks Cravens a three-star recruit and the No. 58 defensive tackle prospect in the nation. In addition to Michigan State, he also holds scholarships from Washington, Utah, Georgia, Arizona, Oregon State and several other Power-5 programs.
MSU’s staff likes the intensity Cravens, the cousin of current Spartan Mufi Hill-Hunt, brings on every play. Last fall, he totaled 160 tackles and 13 sacks. His play helped lead his team to a 9-3 record and a spot in the playoffs. The Spartans will likely have to beat out a host of Pac 12 teams for his signature. The good news is few Pac 12 teams can match the atmosphere he will be exposed to on Saturday night at Spartan Stadium.
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OL James Ohonba of Stockbridge (Ga.) Woodland
The Spartans are looking to add one more offensive lineman to the class and they would like a road-grader type with the length to play the tackle position. The state of Georgia has become a prime territory for Dantonio, and the Spartans are hoping to add another player from there to the roster. The 6-5, 320-pound Ohonba is new to most Spartans fans, but he currently attends the same school that MSU’s true freshman cornerback Shakur Brown went to.
Ohonba is rated a four-star recruit and the No. 15 offensive guard prospect in the nation by Rivals for the class of 2018. Though he is listed as a guard, his size and quickness would allow him to play any position on the line. Ohonba has an impressive offer list which includes heavyweight programs such as Michigan State, Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Being the first school to host him on an official visit cannot hurt Michigan State’s chances.
MSU trying to lure Belleville CB with position change
Rivals three-star prospect Patrick Lupro of Belleville has seen his recruitment take a different turn in recent weeks. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound prospect recently re-opened his recruitment and several teams are taking a serious look. Lupro is a cornerback originally committed to Bowling Green back in spring after picking up a solid list of scholarships which included Syracuse, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan and Toledo. Lupro told me MSU is the lone school recruiting him as a running back.
“I’ve been playing running back my whole life, that’s the first position I fell in love with on the football field,” Lupro told me. “If I get the opportunity I would play it. I’ve always liked Michigan State. I’ve been taking visits there since I was in eighth grade.”
Michigan State currently does not have any running backs committed. The Spartans are expected to take two players at the position for the 2018 class. Under the direction of Head Coach Jermain Crowell, Belleville High School has quickly developed into one of the more talented programs in the state of Michigan. The Spartans already have a commitment from defensive back Davion Williams from there and have already offered 2019 elite prospects Julian Barnett and Devonte Dobbs as well.
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Matt Dorsey is a recruiting analyst for SpartanMag.com and Rivals.com.