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Ranking The Football Commits (So Far)

  • Up-Dated 1/19/11

    The player analysis is based on film evaluations and how they might contribute as true Freshmen.

    LB Lawrence Thomas (6'-4.25", 248 lbs.) - He is the real deal. He has defensive instincts you just can't teach. He is really impressive in one of the most difficult aspects of the game for young LB's to learn; dropping into pass coverage. He takes good drops and is quick to read where the ball is going, either making a play on the ball or making a sure tackle on the receiver. He shows good instincts vs. the running game, getting through the trash at the line of scrimmage and finding the ball carrier. He also excels at blitzing the QB when the defensive scheme calls for it. He is a hard hitter and a sure tackler. To use an old scouting term; he is "Agile, Mobile and Hostile". He is such a good athlete that he can play any of the LB positions either in the 4-3 or 3-4 defenses. He will see PT as a true Fr., especially in the 3-4 defense.

    RB Onaje Miller (5'-10.5", 182 lbs.) - Has good speed and will get bigger as he matures. Scored 33 TD's as a HS Jr. (26 rushing, 7 on punt and kick-off returns) in a very competitive HS league. Has everything you want in a RB; break away speed, vision, nifty in the open field, toughness, breaks tackles and has a nose for the end zone. Good receiver out of the backfield, especially on the deep wheel route (averaged over 30 yards per catch as a Jr.). Was injured for part of his Senior season but when he was healthy, he showed why the MSU staff really wanted him. May be red-shirted but he is going to be a play maker at the next level because of his speed and athleticism as a RB and ability as a KO and punt Returner.

    S/CB Roger Williamson (6'-1", 187 lbs.) - Fills a position of need at either S or CB. Big, fast versatile athlete. Ran a 4.42 second forty with a 34" vertical leap at MSU's Elite Camp this summer. Plays WR, CB, S, PR, KR and Wildcat QB for his HS team. He is a big time play maker in all aspects of the game; Offense, Defense and Returns. He shows excellent ball skills when the ball is in the air, either as a DB or WR and he has good defensive instincts. He is a pretty good tackler and is not afraid to come up and hit people. He is a "quick twitch" Keshawn Martin type of athlete. Could work into the 2-Deeps as a true Fr. DB.

    DE Joel Heath (6'-6", 252 lbs.) - Looks like a prototypical DE for the 3-4 defense. Has good speed for his size (4.69 forty) and can really run for a big man. Has good size and size potential. Last season was his first time playing DE since he had always played DT throughout his early HS career. He is a good athlete and just needs more experience and coaching on his techniques as a DE. Could see PT as a true Fr. in certain situations when MSU uses the 3-4 defense.

    CB Trae Waynes (6'-0", 165 lbs.) - Fills a real position of need @ CB. Has good height and size potential for the CB position. Has tremendous speed and has been timed in the forty between 4.28 seconds and 4.33 seconds. Earned his scholarship offer at MSU's summer camp because of his speed and the coverage ability he showed as a CB. Has a chance to get PT as a true Fr. because of his speed and could be a "Gunner" on the punt coverage team with his speed and tackling ability. Early PT also depends on how quickly he can learn the defensive schemes.

    S Arjen Colquhoun (6'-1", 180 lbs.) - Freakish athlete with great speed (4.39 forty). Earned his MSU scholarship offer with a superb performance at MSU's Elite Camp, running a 4.42 forty and a 4.47 forty with a standing broad jump over 10 feet (try this and see how far away you are from reaching 10 feet) and a 38" vertical leap (NBA type hops). Has good height and size potential for a DB. Still kind of raw as a football player but has great potential because of his speed, size and athleticism. Will be red-shirted to receive college level coaching to refine his defensive techniques.
    Note : I know it's Canadian football (lower level of competition, 110 yard field and multiple men in motion) but Arjen looked like a man playing with boys in his video, especially as a RB and WR. He just blows past defenders with his great speed.

    OG/OT Donavon Clark (6'-4", 296 lbs.) - Plays OT, DT and DE (in passing situations) for his HS team. Dominates at his level of HS competition. Fairly athletic for his size and moves well for a big man. Good drive blocker who can get to the second level and sustain blocks. Plays with a mean streak and punishes defenders, especially at the line of scrimmage. Like all young OL he needs to work on his technique since he now relies on his size and strength to over power defenders. Will be red shirted to learn how to play OL at the next level.

    LB/S Darien Harris (6'-1", 207 lbs.) - Played LB his Jr. year in HS but may move to S for his Sr. year. Already shows good strength since his HS has excellent weight training facilities. Physically, he reminds me of Denicos Allen with his strong build and he is even faster than Denicos, having run a 4.45 forty. He shows good tackling technique in wrapping up the ball carrier with his arms since all DeMatha players are very well coached in their techniques. He is a vicious tackler and plays with a real mean streak. Personally, I think that he will be a LB at the next level because of his search and destroy mentality and the MSU staff may think so too. His commitment is a real recruiting coup for the MSU staff, breaking through at DeMatha, which has been a traditional prep power house for decades. He will arrive on campus from one of the top HS programs in the USA and will have been very well coached. He could contribute on ST's right away as a true Fr.

    TE/DE Shalique Calhoun (6'-5", 235 lbs.) - Good Athlete for his size and can really run for a big man. Already has good size and size potential. Has big soft hands and is athletic enough to make the acrobatic catch as a TE. Also plays DE for his HS team and is pretty impressive as a pass rusher using his speed to rush the passer and pursues all over the field on plays away from him. Not sure whether he will begin his MSU career as a TE or DE because he is such a versatile athlete. May be red-shirted to see which position fits him best or where he is needed most. He is the athletic type of player that the MSU staff really likes to recruit and coach.

    LB Ed Davis (6'-3", 208 lbs.) - Big, fast, fluid athlete. To quote Allen Treiu, "He runs like a deer". Showed his versatility by playing LB, RB and WR for his HS team. Excelled playing against tough competition in the Detroit PSL. Has good defensive instincts, just needs to improve on play recognition and coming off blocks which will come with more experience. Because he is so versatile, he could project to LB, DE or TE at the next level but his future appears to be on defense @ LB. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength and learn the defensive schemes.

    LB/S Taiwan Jones (6'-3", 218 lbs.) - Big, versatile athlete who can dunk a basketball with ease. Plays several positions on his HS team including S, LB, RB, WR and wildcat QB. Will begin his MSU career on the defensive side of the ball. Will be red-shirted so the staff can evaluate what position fits him best. He hasn't been able to concentrate on any certain position in HS because of playing so many different positions. Will need to be "coached up" when the staff determines what position he will play in college which at this time looks like it could be "Sam" LB.

    DE/DT Damon Knox (6-4.5", 265 lbs.) - The MSU staff has liked him and stayed with him every since he attended MSU's summer camp and the staff has worked with him and encouraged him to improve his HS GPA, which was the major issue in his recruitment. The staff likes his size and size potential. He runs pretty well for a big man and is relentless in pursuit. He projects to DE in the 3-4 defense or even to 3 technique DT in the 4-3 defense. He shows the ability to anchor strong against the run at the point of attack and was a bull rusher against the pass. He was a dominant player in HS because of his size and strength and hustled on every play, even on plays that were away from him. He may be red-shirted because his technique is raw and he will need college level coaching to improve that aspect of his game but he has some tools to work with. He has some things you just can't teach; size, strength, athleticism and defensive instincts.
    .
    OC Jack Allen (6'-2", 272 lbs.) - Fills a position of need as a true Center. A big powerful young man who runs well. Has run a 4.8 second forty. Good athlete who was the runner-up 2 years in a row (Soph. and Jr. years) in the IL state HS wrestling championship heavyweight Div. His wrestling background has given him good body control, footwork, balance and toughness. Good drive blocker at the point of attack and plays with good leverage. Shows the quickness and athleticism to get to the second level and finish blocks. May be red-shirted but could challenge for the back-up C spot behind Nate Klatt in 2011, if a couple of walk-ons currently on the roster don't work out at C.

    WR/CB Andre Sims (5'-9", 170 lbs.) - Good athlete with good speed (4.43 forty). Plays in the top division (5A) in Georgia HS football. Excelled as a slot receiver for his HS team and showed real toughness catching the ball inside and over the middle. He is a play maker and has the ability to return punts. Also playing CB for his HS team this season. He will be red-shirted so the staff can evaluate whether he will play offense or defense. After watching his Senior film I think he could be an explosive, quick receiver in the slot unlike anyone MSU currently has on the roster.

    DT Mark Scarpinato (6'-3", 260 lbs.) - Tough, hard-nosed player with a non-stop motor. Plays with good leverage and shows surprising strength for his size. The kind of high intensity effort player you like on your team who will give you everything he has on every play, in every game. Earned his scholarship offer with a good performance at MSU's summer camp. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength.

    QB Connor Cook (6'-3.5", 194 lbs) - Already has good height and size for the QB position. Has adequate arm strength now and his arm will get stronger as he matures. As a Senior he began showing better decision making in the pocket and that he could make all the throws. Shows the athletic ability to escape from the pocket when pressured and shows elusiveness and toughness when running in the open field. He reminds me a little of Drew Stanton but not quite as athletic as Drew but Connor is a more accurate passer than Drew was at the same stage of development. He will be red-shirted to begin learning the offensive system.

    TE Paul Lang (6'-5", 235 lbs.) - Doesn't appear to have the speed to stretch a defense as a TE like Gantt, Linthicum and Sims but has the frame to get much bigger and stronger and should develop into a blocking TE or H-back. Does show good hands catching the ball, especially his Sr. year vs. his Jr. year. He is a pretty good athlete and also played DE for his HS team. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength.

    Note : All of these players are still only 17 years old and they will continue to grow as they go through their Senior years in HS.
    This is shaping up to be one of the most athletic recruiting classes to ever come to MSU.

    This post was edited by 3 years ago

  • trash

    thumbsup Welcome back CBD. You've been missed.

  • Happy to have you back on the board!!!

    Question for you: where do you see LT playing college? LB or DE?

    His HS position is MLB, but we have Bullough to fill that role, but you mention he can play any LB position. There has been a lot of talk about him potentially becoming a DE due to the talented depth we have at LB and his current size/weight (all ready bigger than most our LBs and he is still in high school).

    TIA!

  • Double_Spartan said... (original post)

    Happy to have you back on the board!!!

    Question for you: where do you see LT playing college? LB or DE?

    His HS position is MLB, but we have Bullough to fill that role, but you mention he can play any LB position. There has been a lot of talk about him potentially becoming a DE due to the talented depth we have at LB and his current size/weight (all ready bigger than most our LBs and he is still in high school).

    TIA!

    I think LT will start out as a LB first. He could very well be Max Bullough's back-up @ "Mike" LB and may get a look at "Sam" LB as well.
    He may eventually grow into a DE but would really need a a lot of coaching on technique to start out at that position. His defensive Instincts @ LB are just too good for him not to see the field. He could come in as a jumbo stand up pass rusher in the 3-4 defense. His pass coverage skills and instincts as a LB are already above average.

    This post was edited by 3 years ago

  • Speaking of the 3-4 D, will we be seeing that more and more this year or is MSU still a few seasons away from really moving into that formation?

  • GMSparty12 said... (original post)

    Speaking of the 3-4 D, will we be seeing that more and more this year or is MSU still a few seasons away from really moving into that formation?

    MSU really doesn't have enough big NT types on the current roster to consistently play the 3-4 defense. They just haven't been able to recruit those type of players.
    If they could get Darian Cooper in this year's class, that would be a start.
    Anthony Rashad White is the only one on the roster who could be a NT if the base defense was a 3-4 instead of a 4-3.
    Note : Antonio Jeremiah would be a candidate for the NT position but it looks like he is going to continue having problems with his weight and he will be a Sr. this season.

  • CoachedByDuffy said... (original post)

    MSU really doesn't have enough big NT types on the current roster to consistently play the 3-4 defense. They just haven't been able to recruit those type of players. If they could get Darian Cooper in this year's class, that would be a start. Anthony Rashad White is the only one on the roster who could be a NT if the base defense was a 3-4 instead of a 4-3. Note : Antonio Jeremiah would be a candidate for the NT position but it looks like he is going to continue having problems with his weight and he will be a Sr. this season.

    I'd include Worthy as a possible NT; 6'3 305 and he was only a soph this year. Still, he's pretty much the ideal 4-3 3-Tech DT, while our other DT is called the "NT" in our scheme, they're the smaller DT (White is Worthy's back-up, while Pickelman, 6'4 285 and Treadwell 6'3 277 play NT. Kind of backwards, but whatever).

    Question about this class; what's the thoughts on Knox, Calhoun and Heath? They all seem like the same type of players; "rangy" Strongside DE types, going 6'5, 6'5 and 6'6 respectively. Do you feel that this is a move towards the 3-4? MSU hasn't had a speed edge rusher since. . . . well, I don't know when. Drone and Freeman are that type, but were in their first year of PT. Are we moving away from the 4-3 and does that affect your analysis of the recruits? I'll be able to draw my own opinions when I see these guys actually suit up for the Green and White, but in terms of recruitng, I defer to your expertise in general. So glad that you made the journey over!

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • Up-Dated 1/20/11

    The player analysis is based on film evaluations and how they might contribute as true Freshmen.

    LB Lawrence Thomas (6'-4.25", 248 lbs.) - He is the real deal. He has defensive instincts you just can't teach. He is really impressive in one of the most difficult aspects of the game for young LB's to learn; dropping into pass coverage. He takes good drops and is quick to read where the ball is going, either making a play on the ball or making a sure tackle on the receiver. He shows good instincts vs. the running game, getting through the trash at the line of scrimmage and finding the ball carrier. He also excels at blitzing the QB when the defensive scheme calls for it. He is a hard hitter and a sure tackler. To use an old scouting term; he is "Agile, Mobile and Hostile". He is such a good athlete that he can play any of the LB positions either in the 4-3 or 3-4 defenses. He will see PT as a true Fr., especially in the 3-4 defense.

    RB Onaje Miller (5'-10.5", 182 lbs.) - Has good speed and will get bigger as he matures. Scored 33 TD's as a HS Jr. (26 rushing, 7 on punt and kick-off returns) in a very competitive HS league. Has everything you want in a RB; break away speed, vision, nifty in the open field, toughness, breaks tackles and has a nose for the end zone. Good receiver out of the backfield, especially on the deep wheel route (averaged over 30 yards per catch as a Jr.). Was injured for part of his Senior season but when he was healthy, he showed why the MSU staff really wanted him. May be red-shirted but he is going to be a play maker at the next level because of his speed and athleticism as a RB and ability as a KO and punt Returner.

    S/CB Roger Williamson (6'-1", 187 lbs.) - Fills a position of need at either S or CB. Big, fast versatile athlete. Ran a 4.42 second forty with a 34" vertical leap at MSU's Elite Camp this summer. Plays WR, CB, S, PR, KR and Wildcat QB for his HS team. He is a big time play maker in all aspects of the game; Offense, Defense and Returns. He shows excellent ball skills when the ball is in the air, either as a DB or WR and he has good defensive instincts. He is a pretty good tackler and is not afraid to come up and hit people. He is a "quick twitch" Keshawn Martin type of athlete. Could work into the 2-Deeps as a true Fr. DB.

    DE Joel Heath (6'-6", 252 lbs.) - Looks like a prototypical DE for the 3-4 defense. Has good speed for his size (4.69 forty) and can really run for a big man. Has good size and size potential. Last season was his first time playing DE since he had always played DT throughout his early HS career. He is a good athlete and just needs more experience and coaching on his techniques as a DE. Could see PT as a true Fr. in certain situations when MSU uses the 3-4 defense.

    CB Trae Waynes (6'-0", 165 lbs.) - Fills a real position of need @ CB. Has good height and size potential for the CB position. Has tremendous speed and has been timed in the forty between 4.28 seconds and 4.33 seconds. Earned his scholarship offer at MSU's summer camp because of his speed and the coverage ability he showed as a CB. Has a chance to get PT as a true Fr. because of his speed and could be a "Gunner" on the punt coverage team with his speed and tackling ability. Early PT also depends on how quickly he can learn the defensive schemes.

    S Arjen Colquhoun (6'-1", 180 lbs.) - Freakish athlete with great speed (4.39 forty). Earned his MSU scholarship offer with a superb performance at MSU's Elite Camp, running a 4.42 forty and a 4.47 forty with a standing broad jump over 10 feet (try this and see how far away you are from reaching 10 feet) and a 38" vertical leap (NBA type hops). Has good height and size potential for a DB. Still kind of raw as a football player but has great potential because of his speed, size and athleticism. Will be red-shirted to receive college level coaching to refine his defensive techniques.
    Note : I know it's Canadian football (lower level of competition, 110 yard field and multiple men in motion) but Arjen looked like a man playing with boys in his video, especially as a RB and WR. He just blows past defenders with his great speed.

    OG/OT Donavon Clark (6'-4", 296 lbs.) - Plays OT, DT and DE (in passing situations) for his HS team. Dominates at his level of HS competition. Fairly athletic for his size and moves well for a big man. Good drive blocker who can get to the second level and sustain blocks. Plays with a mean streak and punishes defenders, especially at the line of scrimmage. Like all young OL he needs to work on his technique since he now relies on his size and strength to over power defenders. Will be red shirted to learn how to play OL at the next level.

    LB/S Darien Harris (6'-1", 207 lbs.) - Played LB his Jr. year in HS but may move to S for his Sr. year. Already shows good strength since his HS has excellent weight training facilities. Physically, he reminds me of Denicos Allen with his strong build and he is even faster than Denicos, having run a 4.45 forty. He shows good tackling technique in wrapping up the ball carrier with his arms since all DeMatha players are very well coached in their techniques. He is a vicious tackler and plays with a real mean streak. Personally, I think that he will be a LB at the next level because of his search and destroy mentality and the MSU staff may think so too. His commitment is a real recruiting coup for the MSU staff, breaking through at DeMatha, which has been a traditional prep power house for decades. He will arrive on campus from one of the top HS programs in the USA and will have been very well coached. He could contribute on ST's right away as a true Fr.

    TE/DE Shilique Calhoun (6'-5", 235 lbs.) - Good Athlete for his size and can really run for a big man. Already has good size and size potential. Has big soft hands and is athletic enough to make the acrobatic catch as a TE. Also plays DE for his HS team and is pretty impressive as a pass rusher using his speed to rush the passer and pursues all over the field on plays away from him. Not sure whether he will begin his MSU career as a TE or DE because he is such a versatile athlete. May be red-shirted to see which position fits him best or where he is needed most. He is the athletic type of player that the MSU staff really likes to recruit and coach.

    NT/DT/OT Matthew Ramondo (6'-4", 295 lbs.) - Big and powerful and pretty athletic for his size. Received dual honors being named HS Defensive Lineman of the year and Offensive Lineman of the year in the state of NM and also HS Two-Way Player of the year in the state of NM. Size-wise he appears D-1 ready. Can already squat 480 lbs. Played NT for his HS team and is bull strong and anchors at the point of attack but he also has the quickness to split double team blocks and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He has a non-stop motor and plays with a real mean streak. Still somewhat raw in his techniques and relies on his size and strength to bull rush the passer but is quick and powerful coming off the line of scrimmage. As an OT, he is a devastating drive blocker and absolutely destroys defenders at the line of scrimmage. Will begin his MSU career on defense. May be red-shirted to receive college level coaching on his techniques but if there were a rash of injuries to the DT group, he could step into the rotation because he is already physically ready to play, just not quite technically ready.

    LB/S Taiwan Jones (6'-3", 218 lbs.) - Big, versatile athlete who can dunk a basketball with ease. Plays several positions on his HS team including S, LB, RB, WR and wildcat QB. Will begin his MSU career on the defensive side of the ball. Will be red-shirted so the staff can evaluate what position fits him best. He hasn't been able to concentrate on any certain position in HS because of playing so many different positions. Will need to be "coached up" when the staff determines what position he will play in college which at this time looks like it could be "Sam" LB.

    LB Ed Davis (6'-3", 208 lbs.) - Big, fast, fluid athlete. To quote Allen Treiu, "He runs like a deer". Showed his versatility by playing LB, RB and WR for his HS team. Excelled playing against tough competition in the Detroit PSL. Has good defensive instincts, just needs to improve on play recognition and coming off blocks which will come with more experience. Because he is so versatile, he could project to LB, DE or TE at the next level but his future appears to be on defense @ LB. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength and learn the defensive schemes.

    DE/DT Damon Knox (6-4.5", 265 lbs.) - The MSU staff has liked him and stayed with him every since he attended MSU's summer camp and the staff has worked with him and encouraged him to improve his HS GPA, which was the major issue in his recruitment. The staff likes his size and size potential. He runs pretty well for a big man and is relentless in pursuit. He projects to DE in the 3-4 defense or even to 3 technique DT in the 4-3 defense. He shows the ability to anchor strong against the run at the point of attack and was a bull rusher against the pass. He was a dominant player in HS because of his size and strength and hustled on every play, even on plays that were away from him. He may be red-shirted because his technique is raw and he will need college level coaching to improve that aspect of his game but he has some tools to work with. He has some things you just can't teach; size, strength, athleticism and defensive instincts.
    .
    OC Jack Allen (6'-2", 272 lbs.) - Fills a position of need as a true Center. A big powerful young man who runs well. Has run a 4.8 second forty. Good athlete who was the runner-up 2 years in a row (Soph. and Jr. years) in the IL state HS wrestling championship heavyweight Div. His wrestling background has given him good body control, footwork, balance and toughness. Good drive blocker at the point of attack and plays with good leverage. Shows the quickness and athleticism to get to the second level and finish blocks. May be red-shirted but could challenge for the back-up C spot behind Nate Klatt in 2011, if a couple of walk-ons currently on the roster don't work out at C.

    WR/CB Andre Sims (5'-9", 170 lbs.) - Good athlete with good speed (4.43 forty). Plays in the top division (5A) in Georgia HS football. Excelled as a slot receiver for his HS team and showed real toughness catching the ball inside and over the middle. He is a play maker and has the ability to return punts. Also playing CB for his HS team this season. He will be red-shirted so the staff can evaluate whether he will play offense or defense. After watching his Senior film I think he could be an explosive, quick receiver in the slot unlike anyone MSU currently has on the roster.

    WR Juwan Caesar (6'-4", 210 lbs.) - Appears to be more of a possession type receiver than a true burner. A long strider who can surprise DB's by eating up their cushion quickly and getting deep on them. He is not afraid to go over the middle and make tough catches inside. He has big hands and long arms and shows the ability to go up and catch the ball at it's highest point. Uses his size and height to win jump ball situations against defenders. He is a tough runner after the catch and can break tackles. Will be red-shirted to begin learning the offense.
    Note : Some feel he may grow into a pass catching TE at the next level.

    DT Mark Scarpinato (6'-3", 260 lbs.) - Tough, hard-nosed player with a non-stop motor. Plays with good leverage and shows surprising strength for his size. The kind of high intensity effort player you like on your team who will give you everything he has on every play, in every game. Earned his scholarship offer with a good performance at MSU's summer camp. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength.

    QB Connor Cook (6'-3.5", 194 lbs) - Already has good height and size for the QB position. Has adequate arm strength now and his arm will get stronger as he matures. As a Senior he began showing better decision making in the pocket and that he could make all the throws. Shows the athletic ability to escape from the pocket when pressured and shows elusiveness and toughness when running in the open field. He reminds me a little of Drew Stanton but not quite as athletic as Drew but Connor is a more accurate passer than Drew was at the same stage of development. He will be red-shirted to begin learning the offensive system.

    TE Paul Lang (6'-5", 235 lbs.) - Doesn't appear to have the speed to stretch a defense as a TE like Gantt, Linthicum and Sims but has the frame to get much bigger and stronger and should develop into a blocking TE or H-back. Does show good hands catching the ball and improved during his Sr. year vs. his Jr. year. He is a pretty good athlete and also played DE for his HS team. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength.

    Note : All of these players are still only 17 years old and they will continue to grow as they go through their Senior years in HS.
    This is shaping up to be one of the most athletic recruiting classes to ever come to MSU. There are many versatile athletes who can play multiple positions on Offense or Defense.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by 3 years ago

  • SpartanRocky said... (original post)

    I'd include Worthy as a possible NT; 6'3 305 and he was only a soph this year. Still, he's pretty much the ideal 4-3 3-Tech DT, while our other DT is called the "NT" in our scheme, they're the smaller DT (White is Worthy's back-up, while Pickelman, 6'4 285 and Treadwell 6'3 277 play NT. Kind of backwards, but whatever).

    Question about this class; what's the thoughts on Knox, Calhoun and Heath? They all seem like the same type of players; "rangy" Strongside DE types, going 6'5, 6'5 and 6'6 respectively. Do you feel that this is a move towards the 3-4? MSU hasn't had a speed edge rusher since. . . . well, I don't know when. Drone and Freeman are that type, but were in their first year of PT. Are we moving away from the 4-3 and does that affect your analysis of the recruits? I'll be able to draw my own opinions when I see these guys actually suit up for the Green and White, but in terms of recruitng, I defer to your expertise in general. So glad that you made the journey over!

    One reason MSU hasn't used the 3-4 defense more is that they just haven't been able to recruit the big DE's needed to run that defense.
    They've ended up with smaller DE's like Denzell Drone, Corey Freeman, Marcus Rush and Taylor Calero who are just too small to be in a 3-4 defense and hold the point of attack and protect the LB's so the LB's can make plays. The only big DE on the roster who can do that is Tyler Hoover.
    Even William Gholston is better suited to be a rush end in the 4-3 but he could also be an effective pass rusher as a stand up LB in the 3-4.
    Heath, Calhoun and Knox have the size needed to be DE's in the 3-4.
    I don't think MSU will ever totally change their base defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 but no matter what, they really needed some big DE's to compete against the power teams like OSU, Wisc. and Iowa.
    Note : Shilique Calhoun may end up as a TE. He has huge hands and can snatch the ball out of the air like a WR. He makes acrobatic catches for such a big man and has the speed to stretch the defense down the seam.

  • Thanks for your valued input; excellent analyses!

  • Up-Dated 1/21/11

    The player analysis is based on film evaluations and how they might contribute as true Freshmen.

    LB Lawrence Thomas (6'-4.25", 248 lbs.) - He is the real deal. He has defensive instincts you just can't teach. He is really impressive in one of the most difficult aspects of the game for young LB's to learn; dropping into pass coverage. He takes good drops and is quick to read where the ball is going, either making a play on the ball or making a sure tackle on the receiver. He shows good instincts vs. the running game, getting through the trash at the line of scrimmage and finding the ball carrier. He also excels at blitzing the QB when the defensive scheme calls for it. He is a hard hitter and a sure tackler. To use an old scouting term; he is "Agile, Mobile and Hostile". He is such a good athlete that he can play any of the LB positions either in the 4-3 or 3-4 defenses. He will see PT as a true Fr., especially in the 3-4 defense.

    RB Onaje Miller (5'-10.5", 182 lbs.) - Has good speed and will get bigger as he matures. Scored 33 TD's as a HS Jr. (26 rushing, 7 on punt and kick-off returns) in a very competitive HS league. Has everything you want in a RB; break away speed, vision, nifty in the open field, toughness, breaks tackles and has a nose for the end zone. Good receiver out of the backfield, especially on the deep wheel route (averaged over 30 yards per catch as a Jr.). Was injured for part of his Senior season but when he was healthy, he showed why the MSU staff really wanted him. May be red-shirted but he is going to be a play maker at the next level because of his speed and athleticism as a RB and ability as a KO and punt Returner.

    S/CB Roger Williamson (6'-1", 187 lbs.) - Fills a position of need at either S or CB. Big, fast versatile athlete. Ran a 4.42 second forty with a 34" vertical leap at MSU's Elite Camp this summer. Plays WR, CB, S, PR, KR and Wildcat QB for his HS team. He is a big time play maker in all aspects of the game; Offense, Defense and Returns. He shows excellent ball skills when the ball is in the air, either as a DB or WR and he has good defensive instincts. He is a pretty good tackler and is not afraid to come up and hit people. He is a "quick twitch" Keshawn Martin type of athlete. Could work into the 2-Deeps as a true Fr. DB.

    DE Joel Heath (6'-6", 252 lbs.) - Looks like a prototypical DE for the 3-4 defense. Has good speed for his size (4.69 forty) and can really run for a big man. Has good size and size potential. Last season was his first time playing DE since he had always played DT throughout his early HS career. He is a good athlete and just needs more experience and coaching on his techniques as a DE. Could see PT as a true Fr. in certain situations when MSU uses the 3-4 defense.

    CB Trae Waynes (6'-0", 165 lbs.) - Fills a real position of need @ CB. Has good height and size potential for the CB position. Has tremendous speed and has been timed in the forty between 4.28 seconds and 4.33 seconds. Earned his scholarship offer at MSU's summer camp because of his speed and the coverage ability he showed as a CB. Has a chance to get PT as a true Fr. because of his speed and could be a "Gunner" on the punt coverage team with his speed and tackling ability. Early PT also depends on how quickly he can learn the defensive schemes.

    S Arjen Colquhoun (6'-1", 180 lbs.) - Freakish athlete with great speed (4.39 forty). Earned his MSU scholarship offer with a superb performance at MSU's Elite Camp, running a 4.42 forty and a 4.47 forty with a standing broad jump over 10 feet (try this and see how far away you are from reaching 10 feet) and a 38" vertical leap (NBA type hops). Has good height and size potential for a DB. Still kind of raw as a football player but has great potential because of his speed, size and athleticism. Will be red-shirted to receive college level coaching to refine his defensive techniques.
    Note : I know it's Canadian football (lower level of competition, 110 yard field and multiple men in motion) but Arjen looked like a man playing with boys in his video, especially as a RB and WR. He just blows past defenders with his great speed.

    OG/OT Donavon Clark (6'-4", 296 lbs.) - Plays OT, DT and DE (in passing situations) for his HS team. Dominates at his level of HS competition. Fairly athletic for his size and moves well for a big man. Good drive blocker who can get to the second level and sustain blocks. Plays with a mean streak and punishes defenders, especially at the line of scrimmage. Like all young OL he needs to work on his technique since he now relies on his size and strength to over power defenders. Will be red shirted to learn how to play OL at the next level.

    LB/S Darien Harris (6'-1", 207 lbs.) - Played LB his Jr. year in HS but may move to S for his Sr. year. Already shows good strength since his HS has excellent weight training facilities. Physically, he reminds me of Denicos Allen with his strong build and he is even faster than Denicos, having run a 4.45 forty. He shows good tackling technique in wrapping up the ball carrier with his arms since all DeMatha players are very well coached in their techniques. He is a vicious tackler and plays with a real mean streak. Personally, I think that he will be a LB at the next level because of his search and destroy mentality and the MSU staff may think so too. His commitment is a real recruiting coup for the MSU staff, breaking through at DeMatha, which has been a traditional prep power house for decades. He will arrive on campus from one of the top HS programs in the USA and will have been very well coached. He could contribute on ST's right away as a true Fr.

    TE/DE Shilique Calhoun (6'-5", 235 lbs.) - Good Athlete for his size and can really run for a big man. Already has good size and size potential. Has big soft hands and is athletic enough to make the acrobatic catch as a TE. Also plays DE for his HS team and is pretty impressive as a pass rusher using his speed to rush the passer and pursues all over the field on plays away from him. Not sure whether he will begin his MSU career as a TE or DE because he is such a versatile athlete. May be red-shirted to see which position fits him best or where he is needed most. He is the athletic type of player that the MSU staff really likes to recruit and coach.

    NT/DT/OT Matthew Ramondo (6'-4", 295 lbs.) - Big and powerful and pretty athletic for his size. Received dual honors being named HS Defensive Lineman of the year and Offensive Lineman of the year in the state of NM and also HS Two-Way Player of the year in the state of NM. Size-wise he appears D-1 ready. Can already squat 480 lbs. Played NT for his HS team and is bull strong and anchors at the point of attack but he also has the quickness to split double team blocks and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He has a non-stop motor and plays with a real mean streak. Still somewhat raw in his techniques and relies on his size and strength to bull rush the passer but is quick and powerful coming off the line of scrimmage. As an OT, he is a devastating drive blocker and absolutely destroys defenders at the line of scrimmage. Will begin his MSU career on defense. May be red-shirted to receive college level coaching on his techniques but if there were a rash of injuries to the DT group, he could step into the rotation because he is already physically ready to play, just not quite technically ready.

    DL/OL Brandon Clemons (6'-4", 265 lbs.) - Big versatile athlete who can play DL or OL. Shows good foot work both on defense and offense. Powerful lower body, can squat 515 lbs. Will begin his MSU career on defense. Projects to DE in the 3-4 defense and 3 technique DT in the 4-3 defense. Will be red-shirted to gain additional strength and size.

    LB/S Taiwan Jones (6'-3", 218 lbs.) - Big, versatile athlete who can dunk a basketball with ease. Plays several positions on his HS team including S, LB, RB, WR and wildcat QB. Will begin his MSU career on the defensive side of the ball. Will be red-shirted so the staff can evaluate what position fits him best. He hasn't been able to concentrate on any certain position in HS because of playing so many different positions. Will need to be "coached up" when the staff determines what position he will play in college which at this time looks like it could be "Sam" LB.

    LB Ed Davis (6'-3", 208 lbs.) - Big, fast, fluid athlete. To quote Allen Treiu, "He runs like a deer". Showed his versatility by playing LB, RB and WR for his HS team. Excelled playing against tough competition in the Detroit PSL. Has good defensive instincts, just needs to improve on play recognition and coming off blocks which will come with more experience. Because he is so versatile, he could project to LB, DE or TE at the next level but his future appears to be on defense @ LB. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength and learn the defensive schemes.

    DE/DT Damon Knox (6-4.5", 265 lbs.) - The MSU staff has liked him and stayed with him every since he attended MSU's summer camp and the staff has worked with him and encouraged him to improve his HS GPA, which was the major issue in his recruitment. The staff likes his size and size potential. He runs pretty well for a big man and is relentless in pursuit. He projects to DE in the 3-4 defense or even to 3 technique DT in the 4-3 defense. He shows the ability to anchor strong against the run at the point of attack and was a bull rusher against the pass. He was a dominant player in HS because of his size and strength and hustled on every play, even on plays that were away from him. He may be red-shirted because his technique is raw and he will need college level coaching to improve that aspect of his game but he has some tools to work with. He has some things you just can't teach; size, strength, athleticism and defensive instincts.
    .
    OC Jack Allen (6'-2", 272 lbs.) - Fills a position of need as a true Center. A big powerful young man who runs well. Has run a 4.8 second forty. Good athlete who was the runner-up 2 years in a row (Soph. and Jr. years) in the IL state HS wrestling championship heavyweight Div. His wrestling background has given him good body control, footwork, balance and toughness. Good drive blocker at the point of attack and plays with good leverage. Shows the quickness and athleticism to get to the second level and finish blocks. May be red-shirted but could challenge for the back-up C spot behind Nate Klatt in 2011, if a couple of walk-ons currently on the roster don't work out at C.

    WR/CB Andre Sims (5'-9", 170 lbs.) - Good athlete with good speed (4.43 forty). Plays in the top division (5A) in Georgia HS football. Excelled as a slot receiver for his HS team and showed real toughness catching the ball inside and over the middle. He is a play maker and has the ability to return punts. Also playing CB for his HS team this season. He will be red-shirted so the staff can evaluate whether he will play offense or defense. After watching his Senior film I think he could be an explosive, quick receiver in the slot unlike anyone MSU currently has on the roster.

    WR Juwan Caesar (6'-4", 210 lbs.) - Appears to be more of a possession type receiver than a true burner. A long strider who can surprise DB's by eating up their cushion quickly and getting deep on them. He is not afraid to go over the middle and make tough catches inside. He has big hands and long arms and shows the ability to go up and catch the ball at it's highest point. Uses his size and height to win jump ball situations against defenders. He is a tough runner after the catch and can break tackles. Will be red-shirted to begin learning the offense.
    Note : Some feel he may grow into a pass catching TE at the next level.

    DT Mark Scarpinato (6'-3", 260 lbs.) - Tough, hard-nosed player with a non-stop motor. Plays with good leverage and shows surprising strength for his size. The kind of high intensity effort player you like on your team who will give you everything he has on every play, in every game. Earned his scholarship offer with a good performance at MSU's summer camp. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength.

    QB Connor Cook (6'-3.5", 194 lbs) - Already has good height and size for the QB position. Has adequate arm strength now and his arm will get stronger as he matures. As a Senior he began showing better decision making in the pocket and that he could make all the throws. Shows the athletic ability to escape from the pocket when pressured and shows elusiveness and toughness when running in the open field. He reminds me a little of Drew Stanton but not quite as athletic as Drew but Connor is a more accurate passer than Drew was at the same stage of development. He will be red-shirted to begin learning the offensive system.

    TE Paul Lang (6'-5", 235 lbs.) - Doesn't appear to have the speed to stretch a defense as a TE like Gantt, Linthicum and Sims but has the frame to get much bigger and stronger and should develop into a blocking TE or H-back. Does show good hands catching the ball and improved during his Sr. year vs. his Jr. year. He is a pretty good athlete and also played DE for his HS team. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength.

    Note : All of these players are still only 17 years old and they will continue to grow as they go through their Senior years in HS.
    This is shaping up to be one of the most athletic recruiting classes to ever come to MSU. There are many versatile athletes who can play multiple positions on Offense or Defense.

    This post was edited by 3 years ago

  • SpartyHard

    I really hope you are wrong about Caeser red-shirting, and i mean that in no disrespect. I heard a remarkable comment earlier by Torborg that I had to agree somewhat with...

    "We'll see. The old theory is that you don't redshirt a kid from a warm weather state. Don't want him to sit in the cold and think about how he is not playing."

    Kid looks like a talent, do not want him going anywhere else is all.

    signature image signature image signature image

    "Stats are for Losers." - Pat "Nardawg" Narduzzi

  • SpartyHard said... (original post)

    I really hope you are wrong about Caeser red-shirting, and i mean that in no disrespect. I heard a remarkable comment earlier by Torborg that I had to agree somewhat with...

    "We'll see. The old theory is that you don't redshirt a kid from a warm weather state. Don't want him to sit in the cold and think about how he is not playing."

    Kid looks like a talent, do not want him going anywhere else is all.

    If he earns a spot on special teams or in the rotation in fall camp or during the season then he'll play. If he doesn't play all season then the staff will give him a redshirt. All CBD is saying is that based on our depth at receiver and CBD's evaluation of the player it is likely that he will not earn playing time as a true freshman. Even if he is playing he will most likely still have plenty of time to sit in the code and think about his limited minutes. Applying the redshirt as a freshman actually doesn't affect his likelihood of transferring. Either way he'll have to sit out a year and then have three years of eligibility left.

  • With B. J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin, Keith Nichol, Bennie Fowler, Donald Spencer, Keith Mumphery and Tony Lippett ahead of Caesar there would be no point in burning his red-shirt.
    After Cunningham, Martin and Nichol graduate, he will be ready to earn playing time in 2012 as a RS Fr.

  • CoachedByDuffy said... (original post)

    With B. J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin, Keith Nichol, Bennie Fowler, Donald Spencer, Keith Mumphery and Tony Lippett ahead of Caesar there would be no point in burning his red-shirt. After Cunningham, Martin and Nichol graduate, he will be ready to earn playing time in 2012 as a RS Fr.

    CDB:
    With the loss of Boisture and only having two experienced QBs on the roster, any chance Lippett gets a look under center in the Spring? He played it in HS and, if I recall, he played Denard Robinson on the scout team for scUM week. May not be a bad emergency QB to have.

  • CBD,
    Really like the combination of Sims & Caesar as WR in this class. Both have great hands, make tough catches over the middle. Caesar has the size & strength that is great to have & Sims has the quickness & speed that make a nice combination to have. Looking forward to watching them as Spartans!

  • CoachedByDuffy said... (original post)

    CDB: With the loss of Boisture and only having two experienced QBs on the roster, any chance Lippett gets a look under center in the Spring? He played it in HS and, if I recall, he played Denard Robinson on the scout team for scUM week. May not be a bad emergency QB to have.

    That's a possibility. Tony is such a good athlete, he played several positions on the Scout Team last season, WR, S and spread offense QB.
    He might get some snaps in the Spring game at QB.
    When Keshawn Martin and Keith Nichol graduate, Tony will take over their roles as the Wildcat QB.

  • CoachedByDuffy said... (original post)

    That's a possibility. Tony is such a good athlete, he played several positions on the Scout Team last season, WR, S and spread offense QB. He might get some snaps in the Spring game at QB. When Keshawn Martin and Keith Nichol graduate, Tony will take over their roles as the Wildcat QB.

    I keep hearing about this wildcat, but we rarely use it. It will be interesting to see if the new OC adds it more often than Treadwell did.

  • love the reviews CBD. thank you.

    Coach Dantonio is my Spartan!

  • SpartyHard said... (original post)

    I really hope you are wrong about Caeser red-shirting, and i mean that in no disrespect. I heard a remarkable comment earlier by Torborg that I had to agree somewhat with...

    'We'll see. The old theory is that you don't redshirt a kid from a warm weather state. Don't want him to sit in the cold and think about how he is not playing.'

    Kid looks like a talent, do not want him going anywhere else is all.

    There is no point in burning a redshirt when he would be the 4th/5th talented WR on the team. We'll need him to play A LOT in 2012, though. Looking forward to Maxwell hooking up with Fowler, Mumphery and Caesar.

    Also, Jairus Jones and Mumphery are two examples of southern players who redshirted and will likely reap the rewards this season.

  • Drenzel Drone also redshirted.

    "The RCMB on 247 is one of the most awful, alarming, inappropriate, disgusting, and offensive msg boards in the history of the internet."

  • Up-Dated 1/23/11

    The player analysis is based on film evaluations and how they might contribute as true Freshmen.

    LB Lawrence Thomas (6'-4.25", 248 lbs.) - He is the real deal. He has defensive instincts you just can't teach. Great kid off the field but once he steps across that white line he takes no prisoners. He is really impressive in one of the most difficult aspects of the game for young LB's to learn; dropping into pass coverage. He takes good drops and is quick to read where the ball is going, either making a play on the ball or making a sure tackle on the receiver. He shows good instincts vs. the running game, getting through the trash at the line of scrimmage and finding the ball carrier going from sideline to sideline. He also excels at blitzing the QB when the defensive scheme calls for it. He is a hard hitter and a sure tackler. To use an old scouting term; he is "Agile, Mobile and Hostile". He is such a good athlete that he can play any of the LB positions either in the 4-3 or 3-4 defenses. He will see PT as a true Fr., especially in the 3-4 defense. Big, athletic LB - Think Brian Urlacher.

    S/CB Roger Williamson (6'-1", 187 lbs.) - Fills a position of need at either S or CB. Big, fast versatile athlete. Ran a 4.42 second forty with a 34" vertical leap at MSU's Elite Camp last summer. Played WR, RB, CB, S, PR, KR and Wildcat QB for his HS team. He is a big time play maker in all aspects of the game; Offense, Defense and Returns. He shows excellent ball skills when the ball is in the air, either as a DB or WR and he has good defensive instincts. He is a pretty good tackler and is not afraid to come up and hit people. He is a "quick twitch" Keshawn Martin type of athlete. Could work into the 2-Deeps as a true Fr. DB.

    OT Fouimalo Fonoti (6'-5", 296 lbs.) - Massive young man with thick hips and a powerful lower body. A real mauler in the running game and shows pretty good footwork in pass protection. Fairly agile for his size and can get to the second level when required in the blocking scheme. Physically, he appears B10 ready. Still a bit raw in his technique and relies on his size and strength to overpower opponents but was a 2 year Starter @ right OT on a good JUCO team. His primary recruiter was Mark Staten who will be his position coach when he arrives at MSU. Looks like he can contribute right away and initially he will be tried at both OT spots but may project more to right OT at the next level. Because of his size and maturity he will be in the mix for one of the starting OT positions this season.
    Note : He has 3 years to play 2.

    DE Joel Heath (6'-6", 252 lbs.) - Looks like a prototypical DE for the 3-4 defense. Has good speed for his size (4.69 forty) and can really run for a big man. Has good size and size potential. His Jr. season was his first time playing DE since he had always played DT throughout his early HS career. He is a good athlete and just needs more experience and coaching on his techniques as a DE. Could see PT as a true Fr. in certain situations when MSU uses the 3-4 defense.

    NT/DT/OT Matthew Ramondo (6'-4", 295 lbs.) - Big and powerful and pretty athletic for his size. Received dual honors being named HS Defensive Lineman of the year and Offensive Lineman of the year in the state of NM and also HS Two-Way Player of the year in the state of NM. Size-wise he appears D-1 ready. Can already squat 480 lbs. Played NT for his HS team and is bull strong and anchors at the point of attack but he also has the quickness to split double team blocks and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He has a non-stop motor and plays with a real mean streak. Still somewhat raw in his techniques and relies on his size and strength to bull rush the passer but is quick and powerful coming off the line of scrimmage. As an OT, he is a devastating drive blocker and absolutely destroys defenders at the line of scrimmage. Will begin his MSU career on defense. May be red-shirted to receive college level coaching on his techniques but if there were a rash of injuries to the DT group, he could step into the rotation because he is already physically ready to play, just not quite technically ready.

    LB/S Darien Harris (6'-1", 207 lbs.) - Played LB his Jr. year in HS and played LB and S during his Sr. year. Already shows good strength since his HS has excellent weight training facilities. Physically, he reminds me of Denicos Allen with his strong build and he is even faster than Denicos, having run a 4.45 forty. He shows good tackling technique in wrapping up the ball carrier with his arms since all DeMatha players are very well coached in their techniques. He is a vicious tackler and plays with a real mean streak. Personally, I think that he will be a LB at the next level because of his search and destroy mentality and the MSU staff may think so too. His commitment is a real recruiting coup for the MSU staff, breaking through at DeMatha, which has been a traditional prep power house for decades. He will arrive on campus from one of the top HS programs in the USA and will have been very well coached. He could contribute on ST's right away as a true Fr.

    LB/S Taiwan Jones (6'-3", 218 lbs.) - Big, versatile athlete who can dunk a basketball with ease. Played several positions on his HS team including S, LB, RB, WR and wildcat QB. Will begin his MSU career on the defensive side of the ball. Will be red-shirted so the staff can evaluate what position fits him best. He hasn't been able to concentrate on any certain position in HS because of playing so many different positions. Physically, he looks B10 ready and could possibly contribute on ST's right away because of his athleticism. Will probably be red-shirted so the staff can determine what position he will play in college which at this time looks like it will be "Sam" LB. Was dominant at his level of competition in HS and at times he looked like a man playing with boys.

    RB Onaje Miller (5'-10.5", 190 lbs.) - Has good speed and will get bigger as he matures. Scored 33 TD's as a HS Jr. (26 rushing, 7 on punt and kick-off returns) in a very competitive HS league. Has everything you want in a RB; break away speed, vision, nifty in the open field, toughness, breaks tackles and has a nose for the end zone. Good receiver out of the backfield, especially on the deep wheel route (averaged over 30 yards per catch as a Jr.). Was injured for part of his Senior season but when he was healthy, he showed why the MSU staff really wanted him, scoring 19 TD's in only 6 games. May be red-shirted but he is going to be a play maker at the next level because of his speed and athleticism as a RB and ability as a KO and punt Returner.

    CB Trae Waynes (6'-0", 165 lbs.) - Fills a real position of need @ CB. Has good height and size potential for the CB position. Has tremendous speed and has been timed in the forty between 4.28 seconds and 4.33 seconds. Earned his scholarship offer at MSU's summer camp because of his speed and the coverage ability he showed as a CB. Has a chance to get PT as a true Fr. because of his speed and could be a "Gunner" on the punt coverage team with his speed and tackling ability. Early PT also depends on how quickly he can learn the defensive schemes. He will be the fastest player on the team when he arrives on campus.

    S Arjen Colquhoun (6'-1", 180 lbs.) - Freakish athlete with great speed (4.39 forty). Earned his MSU scholarship offer with a superb performance at MSU's Elite Camp, running a 4.42 forty and a 4.47 forty with a standing broad jump over 10 feet (try this and see how far away you are from reaching 10 feet) and a 38" vertical leap (NBA type hops). Has good height and size potential for a DB. Still kind of raw as a football player but has great potential because of his speed, size and athleticism. Enrolled at MSU in Jan. and will be eligible for Spring practice. Will probably be red-shirted to receive college level coaching to refine his defensive techniques.
    Note : I know it's Canadian football (lower level of competition, 110 yard field and multiple men in motion) but Arjen looked like a man playing with boys in his video, especially as a RB and WR. He just blows past defenders with his great speed.

    TE/DE Shilique Calhoun (6'-5", 235 lbs.) - Good Athlete for his size and can really run for a big man. Already has good size and size potential. Has big soft hands and is athletic enough to make the acrobatic catch as a TE. Also plays DE for his HS team and is pretty impressive as a pass rusher using his speed to rush the passer and pursues all over the field on plays away from him. Not sure whether he will begin his MSU career as a TE or DE because he is such a versatile athlete. May be red-shirted to see which position fits him best or where he is needed most. He is the athletic type of player that the MSU staff really likes to recruit and coach and he even had some offers to play college hoops at the mid-major level.

    DL/OL Brandon Clemons (6'-4", 265 lbs.) - Big versatile athlete who can play DL or OL. Shows good foot work both on defense and offense. Powerful lower body, can squat 515 lbs. Will begin his MSU career on defense. Projects to DE in the 3-4 defense and 3 technique DT in the 4-3 defense. Will be red-shirted to gain additional strength and size.

    OG/OT Donavon Clark (6'-4", 296 lbs.) - Played OT, DT and DE (in passing situations) for his HS team. Dominates at his level of HS competition. Fairly athletic for his size and moves well for a big man. Good drive blocker who can get to the second level and sustain blocks. Plays with a mean streak and punishes defenders, especially at the line of scrimmage. Like all young OL he needs to work on his technique since he now relies on his size and strength to over power defenders. Will be red shirted to learn how to play OL at the next level.

    LB Ed Davis (6'-3", 208 lbs.) - Big, fast, fluid athlete. To quote Allen Treiu, "He runs like a deer". Showed his versatility by playing LB, RB and WR for his HS team. Excelled playing against tough competition in the Detroit PSL. Has good defensive instincts, just needs to improve on play recognition and coming off blocks which will come with more experience. Because he is so versatile, he could project to LB, DE or TE at the next level but his future appears to be on defense @ LB. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength and learn the defensive schemes.

    DE/DT Damon Knox (6-4.5", 265 lbs.) - The MSU staff has liked him and stayed with him every since he attended MSU's summer camp and the staff has worked with him and encouraged him to improve his HS GPA, which was the major issue in his recruitment. The staff likes his size and size potential. He runs pretty well for a big man and is relentless in pursuit. He projects to DE in the 3-4 defense or even to 3 technique DT in the 4-3 defense. He shows the ability to anchor strong against the run at the point of attack and was a bull rusher against the pass. He was a dominant player in HS because of his size and strength and hustled on every play, even on plays that were away from him. He may be red-shirted because his technique is raw and he will need college level coaching to improve that aspect of his game but he has some tools to work with. He has some things you just can't teach; size, strength, athleticism and defensive instincts.
    .
    OC Jack Allen (6'-2", 278 lbs.) - Fills a position of need as a true Center. A big powerful young man who runs well. Has run a 4.8 second forty. Good athlete who was the runner-up 2 years in a row (Soph. and Jr. years) in the IL state HS wrestling championship heavyweight Div. and is currently ranked as the # 1 Wrestler in the state as a Sr. His wrestling background has given him good body control, footwork, balance and toughness. Good drive blocker at the point of attack and plays with good leverage. Shows the quickness and athleticism to get to the second level and finish blocks. Will be red-shirted but physically, he is almost B10 ready. .

    WR/CB Andre Sims (5'-9", 170 lbs.) - Good athlete with good speed (4.43 forty). Plays in the top division (5A) in Georgia HS football and helped his team win the state championship as a Sr. Excelled as a slot receiver for his HS team and showed real toughness catching the ball inside and over the middle. He is a play maker and has the ability to return punts. Also played CB for his HS team last season. He will be red-shirted so the staff can evaluate whether he will play offense or defense. After watching his Senior film, I think he could be an explosive, quick receiver in the slot unlike anyone MSU currently has on the roster.

    WR Juwan Caesar (6'-4", 210 lbs.) - Appears to be more of a possession type receiver than a true burner. A long strider who can surprise DB's by eating up their cushion quickly and getting deep on them. He is not afraid to go over the middle and make tough catches inside. He has big hands and long arms and shows the ability to go up and catch the ball at it's highest point. Uses his size and height to win jump ball situations against defenders. He is a tough runner after the catch and can break tackles. Will be red-shirted to begin learning the offense.

    DT Mark Scarpinato (6'-3", 265 lbs.) - Tough, hard-nosed player with a non-stop motor. Plays with good leverage and shows surprising strength for his size. The kind of high intensity effort player you like on your team who will give you everything he has on every play, in every game. Earned his scholarship offer with a good performance at MSU's summer camp. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength.

    QB Connor Cook (6'-3.5", 194 lbs) - Already has good height and size for the QB position. Has adequate arm strength now and his arm will get stronger as he matures. As a Senior he began showing better decision making in the pocket and that he could make all the throws. Shows the athletic ability to escape from the pocket when pressured and shows elusiveness and toughness when running in the open field. He reminds me a little of Drew Stanton but not quite as athletic as Drew but Connor is a more accurate passer than Drew was at the same stage of development. He will be red-shirted to begin learning the offensive system.

    TE Paul Lang (6'-5", 235 lbs.) - Doesn't appear to have the speed to stretch a defense as a TE like Gantt, Linthicum and Sims but has the frame to get much bigger and stronger and should develop into a blocking TE or H-back. Does show good hands catching the ball and improved during his Sr. year vs. his Jr. year. He is a pretty good athlete and also played DE for his HS team. Will be red-shirted to gain size and strength.

    WALK-ONS :

    OG/OC Kyle Lints (6'-3", 273 lbs.) - Projects to the interior OL (OG, OC) at the next level. Tenacious drive blocker who sustains his blocks and is athletic enough to get to the second level and take on defenders. Played OT with a mean streak in HS. I think he is a real plus for MSU coming in as a Preferred Walk-On. His scholarship offers were from MAC schools. He will need to gain additional size and strength but appears to have the frame to do that. He is a good developmental prospect and will add some needed depth to the interior OL. He plays hard and gets the job done on the field. Shows some athleticism for his size. May never be a star but has the opportunity to earn a scholarship and PT eventually if he works hard. Comes from a good HS program (St. Francis) and has been well coached in the fundamentals of OL play. Will be red-shirted so the staff can determine what position he fits best at.

    WR A. J. Troup (6'-2", 196 lbs.) - 2 * WR coming out of Wayzata HS, Plymouth, MN in 2010. Grades were somewhat of an issue for him along with an ACL injury he suffered in HS as a Sr. Brad Salem had been recruiting Troup while he was still HC at Augustana. Salem kept in contact with Troup and he gained admittance to MSU in Jan. Troup is a big WR in the Donald Spencer mold and has been timed at 4.5 seconds in the forty and has a 33" vertical. He shows good hands and can go up and catch the ball in traffic. He also has the speed to get deep and stretch the defense. Pretty good runner after the catch because of his size and can break tackles. Doesn't appear to have punt or KO return skills. Could develop into a dependable receiver in the future.
    Note : Wayzata's most famous alum is James Laurinitis who went on to OSU and then the NFL with the Rams. Wayzata is a big time program in MN. Over the years they have sent several players to BCS schools such as OSU, Neb., Wisc., Minn. and Stanford.

    Note : Some of these players are still only 17 years old and they will continue to grow as they go through their Senior years in HS.
    This is one of the most athletic recruiting classes to ever come to MSU. There are many versatile athletes who can play multiple positions on Offense or Defense.

    This post has been edited 4 times, most recently by 3 years ago

  • Thanks, CBD -- this is one of the most useful threads on this entire site.

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    To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time. -- Leonard Bernstein

  • Juwan Caesar...a long strider?

    If there was one negative that I saw in his highlight film, it was that he seemed to be a SHORT strider.

    Still, awesome updates as usual. Thanks!

  • Are we expecting anymore big time commits with Clemons committing to MSU? How many scholarships are left to give out? There should be an extra one with Joe Boisture (sp?) gone

    Signed, AccSpartan

  • CBD, I have a question for you.

    What happens when you have 2 schollies left, and the kids you're recruiting don't announce til signing day, then go elsewhere? A few years ago MSU ended up with Nick Foles after signing day, which was a pretty good pickup. How often does that kind of thing happen?