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Trayce Jackson-Davis building rapport with Spartans
Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo and his staff like to stay local when it comes to recruiting.
They’ll certainly look to California or Texas when a prospect catches their eye, but they like to dominate their region. In the 2018 class, the Spartans have done so with four in-state commitments and one from Indiana.
The Hoosier State has played a big part in the Spartans’ recent recruiting efforts. Landing Gary Harris from Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers) didn’t just give them two seasons of talent before he entered the NBA draft. Harris has since helped Michigan State reel in Ben Davis (Indianapolis) wing Aaron Henry, a 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite.
Henry’s commitment came a year after 5-star La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) forward Jaren Jackson Jr. pledged to Michigan State. And now in the 2019 class, the Spartans are looking to make it three classes in a row with an Indiana player.
Michigan State hopes Trayce Jackson-Davis will help make that happen. The 4-star Center Grove (Greenwood) forward had already visited campus this fall for the Spartans’ football game against Western Michigan, and he made his return for Michigan State Madness on Friday.
“It was a good time,” Jackson-Davis told Land of 10. “Coach Izzo makes everything fun, and the players are good people and cool to hang out with.”
Jackson-Davis took in the events from behind the scorer’s table at the Breslin Center, standing between Henry and 3-star forward commit Thomas Kithier. Izzo came over during the women’s scrimmage and spoke with the commits and prospects.
When the men wrapped up, Jackson-Davis and 5-star Fort Wayne (Ind.) North Side wing Keion Brooks followed the players and commits off the court and into the locker room. Both players hold Michigan State offers.
Jackson stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 210 pounds. He ranks 49th nationally and 10th among power forwards. Clemson, Indiana, Iowa, Purdue and Xavier have also offered, among others.
East Lansing with Ahennnnnny @henny2x
— Trayce Jackson-Davis (@TrayceJackson) October 20, 2017
Michigan State’s pursuit of Jackson-Davis should be bolstered by his relationship with Henry. The two are close friends and have played together in a fall league and have taken visits to multiple schools together. They’ll go up against one another on Jan. 19, with Center Grove hosting.
“They got us freshman year, but we got him last year,” Jackson-Davis said. “Should be a great battle.”
2018 DE did not take visit, per report
Michigan State was scheduled to get an official visit from 3-star Heritage (Wake Forest, N.C.) senior defensive end Joseph Boletepeli for the Spartans’ win over Indiana on Saturday, per Rivals’ Adam Friedman.
But according to 247Sports’ Sean Scherer, Boletepeli could not make it and had to reschedule. The 6-3 standout told Scherer that he plans to make his official visit for Michigan State’s game against Penn State on Nov. 4.
That weekend could be a heavy one for recruiting. Four-star Winton Woods (Cincinnati) linebacker Christopher Oats told Land of 10 he plans to take his official visit that weekend, and 4-star Samuel Clemens (Schertz, Texas) wide receiver Tommy Bush is likely to do the same.
Michigan State has commitments from a trio of 3-star defensive linemen — Parks Gissinger, Jacob Slade and Zach Slade — but would like to add another to the fold. With 18 recruits already committed to the class, only a few spots remain.
Boletepeli is ranked 58th nationally among strong-side linebackers. He holds offers from Michigan State, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest, among others. All six picks in the 247Sports Crystal Ball project him picking N.C. State.
In focus: Michigan State commit highlights
As the high school regular season winds down, many Michigan State commits are turning their attention to the playoffs. For athletes in the 2018 class, that means playing their final games before heading to college. Here’s what the future Spartans did over the weekend.
4. OK, this wasn’t the toughest interception for 4-star Oak Park (Mich.) junior quarterback Dwan Mathis to make, but it shows that he can make plays on both sides of the ball. Plus, he showed some agility on the return.
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