Meet the 2017 Michigan State Football Recruiting Class
Signing Day is here again and all across the country fax machines are buzzing and beeping like crazy as talented high school players make their college commitments official.
As the dust settles, Michigan State's 2017 football recruiting class is set with 22 recruits now officially signed to the Spartans.
As of this writing, Michigan State's "team ranking" has them hovering around the top 30 across the country. Scout ranks their class as 21st best in the country, while Rivals ranks them 29th and 247Sports has MSU at 32nd.
Without further delay here are Michigan State's newest football players.
Rocky Lombardi (QB, 3-star, West Des Moines, IA)
Lombardi is listed as a 6'3" 215 pound dual threat quarterback, he chose Michigan State over both major schools in his home state (Iowa and Iowa State) as well as Western Michigan among others. He's considered the #1 ranked QB out of the state of Iowa according to Scout and joins a very packed and very young depth chart with Brian Lewerke, and Messiah DeWeaver also in the mix, that doesn't even mention senior Damion Terry.
Weston Bridges (RB, 3-star, Copley, OH)
Bridges was the first non-early enrollee to fax in his NLI (National Letter of Intent) today. The six foot freshman had offers from a lot of Big Ten and MAC schools and even chose the Spartans over the chance to play in the SEC with Missouri. Bridges (no relation to Miles Bridges by the way) joins what is becoming a Spartan tradition under Dantonio of running backs from Ohio coming to East Lansing, the last one to do that was LJ Scott.
Hunter Rison (WR, 4-star, Ann Arbor, MI)
Rison was a rare double commit for the Spartans, after committing to MSU back on April 1st of last year he wondered if he made his decision too early and re-opened his commitment. After that schools like Mississippi State and Auburn threw their hat into the ring that included the likes of Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Penn State and 15 other schools. Ultimately, Rison would return to being a Spartan commit and he enrolled early back in January.
Cody White (WR, 3 or 4-star, Walled Lake, MI)
White, who depending on which recruiting service you subscribe too is a 3 or 4 star recruit from Walled Lake reportedly considered Wisconsin as well as Michigan State along with over a dozen other offers. He earned Mr. Football honors in the state of Michigan, the 2nd straight Mr. Football to come to MSU (Donnie Corley). His offers from Yale and Duke are also a testament to his classroom ethic, with a 3.5 GPA coming in to MSU.
CJ Hayes (WR/ATH, 3-star, Bowling Green, KY)
Hayes (a top 5 prospect in the state of Kentucky) was a commit to Purdue up until about 24 hours before National Signing Day. He had committed to the Boilermakers back in late June of 2016, but an official visit to Michigan State four days ago swayed his mind enough to flip the commitment. He officially committed to Michigan State on January 31st.
All's fair in love, war and recruiting it would seem.
Matt Dotson (TE, 4-star, Cincinnati, OH)
Dotson hails from Dantonio's old stomping grounds in Cincinnati and he looks the part of a Dantonio system tight end. 6'5" 235 pounds of blocking power to cap an end of the offensive line and some nice hands to go with it. While he was one of the biggest kids on the field in High School his size should translate on a college football workout plan sooner rather than later.
Jack Camper (TE, 3-star, Bradenton, FL)
Camper comes from the IMG Academy down in Florida. If that sounds familiar it's the place Jim Harbaugh took his team to for a spring break practice and drew the ire of coaches around the country and the NCAA. While all of that was in the news though Camper made the decision to bleed green and did it early as he is another early enrollee to Michigan State.
Connor Heyward (ATH, 3-star, Suwanee, GA)
Heyward was a late commit to MSU, (finally announcing in December 2016), but Dantonio and company are hoping he was worth the wait. An athlete who plays both wide receiver and strong safety mostly and got snaps at quarter back and running back in high school and a 40 time clocked at 4.58 is a strong resume for a guy only given three stars by the recruiting websites.The star count didn't scare away 15 other schools from offering him, but the Spartans got him.
Mustafa Khaleefah (OT, 3-star, Dearborn, MI)
Khaleefah is 6'6" 285 pounds and recruited from right here in the state of Michigan from Northville high school. He's the 3rd ranked tackle out of the state of Michigan and according to his Hudl page has a bench press of 315 and a squat press of 470. As far as offensive lineman go he's a bit ahead of the curve in terms of development to the college game in the physical department.
Kevin Jarvis (OG, 4-star, Park Ridge, IL)
Jarvis is one of three guards recruited this year by Dantonio and staff, and he may have a chance to see the playing field this season, listed at 6'5" 340 pounds with a bench of 335 and a squat of 600 he is already physically at the level of a Big Ten interior lineman. Look for him to factor early in his college career. He won a state championship with Maine South in Illinois
Matt Carrick (OG, 3-star, Massillon, OH)
Carrick is another one of the offensive guards coming into East Lansing in this class and while his physical traits may be lacking right now, there is certainly potential in him. Carrick comes in at 6'4" with weight varying by recruiting website (due to him wresting in high school to make certain weight classes) some as low as 280 others as high as 320. His Hudl page lists his bench press at 405 and squat at 550.
Jordan Reid (OG, 3 or 4-star, Detroit, MI)
Reid at 6'4" and 280 pounds is a little undersized compared to his counterparts in this offensive guard class, but Reid's 4 stars are well earned when you check out his tape. He has a very high football IQ, and won a state championship with Detroit Cass Tech this season.
Jacub Panasiuk (DE, 3-star, Roselle, IL)
A name that should look familiar to Spartan fans, Jacub Panasiuk is the younger brother of Mike Panasiuk who started as a freshman on the defensive line last season. Panasiuk comes in at 6'4" 250 pounds with offers from all around the midwest, Panasiuk made the decision to come to MSU and it looks like there may be another family line running through East Lansing.
Lashawn Paulino-Bell (DE, 3-star, Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Paulino-Bell is another Florida kid making the journey up to East Lansing. Listed as a weakside defensive end, he fielded an offer from Nebraska back in October but his commitment remained true to Michigan State. Paulino-Bell's hands are tremendous according to Dantonio. Though the defensive end class for Michigan State is packed this year, he stands out on film.
Donovan Winter (DE, 3-star, Orlando, FL)*
Winter is another defensive end prospect from Florida making his way up to East Lansing. A kid who got more offers from up north than his home state (South Florida Bulls being the only Florida school to offer) he turned aside Michigan and Tennessee to come play for Dantonio. With a bench of 350 pounds and versatility (played tight end in high school) he'll bring some spark to the program.
EDIT: News has surfaced that Winter was arrested in Florida on Monday and has not signed his National Letter of Intent yet.
DeAri Todd (DE, 2 or 3-star, Lorain, OH)
Todd easily is the most underrated guy of the four defensive ends brought in this year. Only given two stars by Rivals, that shouldn't concern MSU fans as Dantonio's track record of turning these guys into top level talents is superb. Todd visited Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago but remains a Spartan on Signing Day.
Antjuan Simmons (LB, 4-star, Ann Arbor, MI)
Simmons got a lot of praise from Mark Dantonio on his Periscope broadcasts this morning. From Ann Arbor Pioneer high school here in Michigan, Dantonio praises his leadership skills and he's got speed to burn playing running back in high school. Dantonio also mentioned how he works with special needs students at Pioneer High School, an outstanding young man.
Noah Harvey (LB, 3-star, Hartland, WI)
Harvey flipped his commitment 24 hours before Signing Day going from Bowling Green to Michigan State. Considered a top 10 player out of the state of Wisconsin (and the best linebacker prospect in the state) his only other division one offers were from Bowling Green and Buffalo, perhaps Dantonio has found a diamond in the rough here, certainly wouldn't be the first time.
Darien Clemons (LB/ATH, 3-star, Piqua, OH)
Clemons played tailback and linebacker in high school but was recruited as a linebacker by Michigan State, officially listed as an Athlete by some recruiting services, Dantonio loves his defensive ability and he's quick with a 4.51 40 yard dash in high school and a 35 inch vertical.
Josiah Scott (CB, 3-star, Fairfield, OH)
Scott is the last of the early enrollees in this recruiting class coming in in January for classes. An under-the-radar pickup in this class he comes in just inside the top 40 in the state of Ohio according to a couple of recruiting websites. His film speaks for itself as to what Dantonio and staff saw in him to bring him up to Michigan State. Dantonio likes his ball skills, mentioning his return ability as a possible opening for him early in his career.
Tre Person (CB, 2 or 3-star, Atlanta, GA)
Person is another underrated guy (only two stars on Rivals) that Dantonio loves to mold into stars in his program. Reportedly choosing between Michigan State and Virginia Tech, Person comes to the Spartans with some solid physical stats. A 4.51 40 yard dash, 4.35 shuttle and six feet tall.
Dominique Long (S, 3-star, Westerville, OH)
Long is a big jumper and a physical guy according to Mark Dantonio on his official twitter page running through recruits as their NLIs come in. Dantonio also boasted on Periscope that he runs a sub 11 second 100 meter dash, with a high grade point average and a 30 on the ACT. A great student-athlete commitment for Michigan State.
There they are, the incoming freshmen for Spartan football in 2017.
Information from Michigan State's athletic website, @MarkDantonio on twitter, 247Sports, Rivals and Scout were used to put this report together.