Michigan State: 2012 college football recruiting

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Demetrious CoxMichigan State head coach Mar Dantonio has never had a top recruiting class. He’s never even had a class ranked in the top 25, but he thinks the lack of attrition is a good thing.

Dantonio stressed how important the team needs and how a player fits the organization is more important than star ratings. “We have not signed a big class since we got here, I think we have a lack of attrition, that’s a good thing,” Dantonio said about his time at Michigan State

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Whether you want to believe that Michigan State can’t recruit the big 5-star prospects or if you think Dantonio and staff just have a unique process to get the guys they want, you have to agree with this; whatever they are doing, is working.

The stars have aligned for Dantonio and his coaching staff the past few years hitting big on a few prospects that nobody had interest in. A few examples: 3-star recruits Jerel Worthy, Kirk Cousins, Greg Jones, B.J. Cunningham, and Keshawn Martin. But don’t forget about the 2-star recruits: Le’Veon Bell and Trenton Robinson.

Dantonio and company don’t care about what people have to say. They know what type of players they are looking for, and rightfully so, they are good enough coaches to handle them. So let us take a look at this year’s class where again, you probably haven’t heard talked about much:

Defense:

Coach Dantonio was especially happy about the defensive backs brought in. Leading that group is Demetrious Cox, who will most likely play safety for MSU. Cox, a very athletic guy, could play a number of positions for State and benches around 365 lbs.

Cornerback Jermaine Edmundson, also a great kick returner, was an all-state player from Ohio who will play in the Ohio All Star game later this year. Mark Meyers, a player that Dantonio said was talked about at every single high school he went to in Ohio, is an athletic, hard hitting safety expected to make an early impact for the Spartans.

“Can’t think of a secondary that has more promise than this secondary coming into Michigan State at this time,” Dantonio said of his incoming freshman defensive backs.

Coming in at linebacker is brother of current starting linebacker Max Bullough, Riley Bullough who brings the same type of toughness as his brother. Jamal Lyles is a 4-star linebacker who, according to Dantonio has a tremendous upside and could possibly grow into a defensive end.

  • Looking at the class coming in on defense, remember this, Michigan State only had one player not redshirted from last year’s class. Essentially there will be five freshman linebackers coming in so don’t be surprised to see a few redshirts out there. Overall I believe Cox will make a huge impact on this team. The void left from Trenton Robinson is there for Cox to fill and he seems like he has the athletic ability to make it happen.

Offense

With the departure of so many weapons on offense, it’s going to be tough to replace them but the coaching staff did a fine job of doing that. Headlining the offense is a transfer from Tennessee University.

Wide Receiver DeAnthony Arnett spoke at the MSU press conference. When asked about why he chose Michigan State over Michigan, when he was granted his release from Tennessee, he came up with the quote of the day.

“Looking at Michigan, you know, Denard is going to do Denard,” said Arnett.

Along with Arnett is wide out Aaron Burbridge, a top prospect out of Michigan, who has the play making ability to find the field early. Dantonio mentioned that Burbridge has everything you want in a wide receiver and sees him playing early.

Coming in to be the number three quarterback on the depth chart is Tyler O’Connor. O’Connor, out of Ohio, a 3-star recruit that was invited to an Elite 11 Quarterback Camp out in California. Josiah Price and Evan Jones are two tight ends coming in that could really make an immediate impact at a position of need.

  • Michigan State did a real nice job reloading at positions of need on offense. The guys they brought in at wide receiver should make an impact very early. Arnett may very well start and Madaris, as long as he signs, and Burbridge are three guys I could see getting a pass on the red shirt and making an impact immediately. Either Jones or Price will also work at becoming a key to the 2012 offense due to the departure of senior tight ends.

Both coach Dantonio and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said there still could be a few adds late but for the most part, the class is wrapped up. I think State did a fine job with recruiting and the more successful seasons that happen, the more those big name recruits will want to find MSU before MSU finds them.

Here is a look at the whole class that has signed with MSU.

WR: Monty Madaris, 6-2/190 (No NLI yet) ; Aaron Burbridge, 6-1/190; Kyle Kerrick, 6-3/183; Macgarrett Kings Jr., 5-11/178; DeAnthony Arnett, 6-0/170

QB: Tyler O’Connor, 6-3/202

RB: Nick Tompkins, 5-10/185

OL: Zach Higgins, 6-5/305; Kodi Keiler, 6-6/305; Benny McGowan, 6-4/290

TE: Evan Jones, 6-6/240; Josiah Price, 6-5/239

DB: Demetrious Cox, 6-1/192; Jermaine Edmundson, 6-1/170; Mark Meyers, 6-0/174; Ezra Robinson, 6-0/174

LB: Riley Bullough, 6-2/220; Jamal Lyles; 6-3/215

DL: David Fennell, 6-3/274

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