Michigan State recruiting: Hoops commits take official visits, prospects take in MSU Madness, Indiana win

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On the banks of the Red Cedar, recruiting never stops. We’re here every step of the way to keep you informed with our daily notebook. Recruiting questions? Comment below or direct them to lucas.srodulski@coxinc.com, and we’ll do our best to get them answered.


Recruits take in Michigan State-Indiana

Michigan State didn’t have a particularly noteworthy recruiting Saturday, and it didn’t have to. The Spartans have just a few spots left in their 2018 recruiting class. The fewer uncommitted seniors on campus, the better, as the Spartans can give them more attention.

Over the past weekend, Joe Boletepeli was the one expected to get that attention. Rivals’ Adam Friedman reported that the 3-star Heritage (Wake Forest, N.C.) defensive end would take his official visit to Michigan State for the Indiana game.

As for the younger classes, Michigan State can use remaining home games to build relationships with prospects it may ultimately offer. That’s just what the Spartans did over the weekend — when they weren’t busy earning bowl eligibility.

Longtime NFL tackle Irv Eatman and his son Lucas traveled to East Lansing to take in the game. The younger Eatman, a 6-foot-3 Reagan (San Antonio) outside linebacker, spent time with Spartans commit Dimitri Douglas and met coach Mark Dantonio.

Irv Eatman attended UCLA, but that didn’t stop him from getting decked out in Michigan State gear for the game. “Game day in Sparta …. PERFECT,” he wrote. “Had a great and exciting time at Michigan State!!” his son posted to Twitter.

The Eatmans weren’t the only ones who made the trip from down south on their own dime. Michigan State welcomed Jacob Smith, a Buford (Ga.) guard. The freshman stands 6-3 and weighs 285 pounds.

The Spartans already have offered three of his teammates on the O-line: 4-star tackle Harry Miller and 3-star linemen Carter Colquitt and Riley Simonds. Colquitt visited Michigan State for its game against Notre Dame.

Several in-state players also took in Michigan State’s win over Indiana. Maybe most notably, Northville (Mich.) kicker Jake Moody. The 6-1 senior ranks as a 5-star prospect and the No. 16 kicker in the nation on Kohl’s Kicking.

Moody drilled a 57-yard field goal earlier in the year, per the Detroit Free Press. He holds offers from Air Force, Army, Bowling Green and Central Michigan, among others. Michigan State has brought in a kicker in each of the last two classes, making a scholarship for Moody unlikely.

Michigan State Madness a smashing success

If you attended Michigan State Madness at the Breslin Center, you probably didn’t notice the recruits in attendance. They only took up a small section in an arena filled nearly to capacity.

But as the Michigan State players took the stage and busted moves amid raucous cheers, these recruits took it all in, the commits likely imagining what it will be like when they do the same in a year.

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Michigan State commits Aaron Henry (left) and Thomas Kithier (right) watched the Spartans scrimmage on Friday. Four-star target Trayce Jackson-Davis (blond hair) stands between them. (Luke Srodulski/Land of 10)

All five of the Spartans’ 2018 pledges visited for the event: 4-star forward Marcus Bingham Jr., 4-star wing Gabe Brown, 4-star point guard Foster Loyer, 3-star wing Aaron Henry and 3-star forward Thomas Kithier.

Brown, Loyer and Kithier all spent the weekend on campus for their official visits. Bingham and Henry had already taken theirs.

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Gabe Brown (center) and Marcus Bingham Jr. (right) pose after Michigan State Madness. (Luke Srodulski/Land of 10)

Michigan State also welcomed 5-star Fort Wayne (Ind.) North Side wing Keion Brooks and 4-star Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, among others. Both 2019 prospects have been offered by the Spartans.

After the scrimmage, these recruits spent a few minutes on the court and then disappeared into the locker room with the Michigan State team. Most, presumably, left after that. Brown, Kithier and Loyer stuck around for more fun.

Official visit 🔋

A post shared by Thomas kithier (@__thomaskithier) on

Michigan State’s 2018 class ranks eighth in the nation and fourth in the Big Ten, per the 247Sports composite.

Spartans pursue visits from Tennessee WR commits

Tennessee football’s continuing demise is an opportunity in the eyes of college coaches everywhere.

With Tennessee losing four of its last five games and Butch Jones’ job security an open question, the Vols have lost two commits this month, and others in the 2018 class that still ranks in the top 10 nationally are looking around. Among the Vols’ 2018 de-commits, 4-star running backs Lyn-J Dixon and Jashaun Corbin, hold Michigan State offers.

The Spartans also really want another wide receiver in their class to join current commits Javez Alexander and Julian Major. To do so, they’re looking at a couple of prospects still committed to the Volunteers: 4-star athlete Alontae Taylor and 3-star receiver Shocky Jacques-Louis.

Taylor told 247Sports’ Rusty Mansell that Michigan State is in contention for one of his remaining official visits, but schools like Georgia, Georgia Tech and Louisville want one as well.

Jacques-Louis was more certain, telling 247Sports’ Corey Bender that he plans to visit Michigan State. He likes the opportunity for early playing time in East Lansing.

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