November 12, 2009

SpartanMag.com Recruiting Q&A

Do you think MSU is serious about Greg Hayes of Saginaw?

Yes I think they are serious about him, but with that being said I am not sure he will receive a Spartan scholarship offer.

I cannot stress how tight scholarships are at this point. Hayes would likely project as a defensive back or wide receiver. Right now Michigan State has scholarship offers out to players like Christian Bryan and Dior Mathis. Those guys are plan-A high-priority types. I don't see MSU offering anyone else until those players make a decision.

The plan for Michigan State would be to not offer anyone else. However, we all know how recruiting can be a crazy "science".

Hayes has plenty of talent and he has elite speed, however, he has not played the positions he projects at much. Now some have said that Keshawn Martin had never played wide receiver. Stop right there, Keshawn Martin is a special athlete. SpartanMag.com ranked him 7th in the state coming from pretty much nowhere. Having a kid come out of nowhere like Martin is a once in a decade type of occurrence. Hayes is more of a top 25-30 type of player.

Hayes is a very good player and he may very well end up in the Big Ten. I am surprised a team like Indiana is not all over him. Hayes showed a lot of speed at the Spartan summer camp. He was not a polished receiver, but he did have the ability to get separation.


How good an OL class would MSU have if they add Sykler Schofner?

In a word: very. I had the opportunity to scout Schofner last winter at the US Army All-American Combine. I walked out of the Alamo Dome and told SpartanMag.com subscriber "Amie" that I just saw some kid from Ohio that has no scholarship offers outperform a host of highly ranked linemen.

Schofner has a great frame. He is not a skinny kid and moves well for someone his size. If I had to compare him to someone else that MSU has signed the last 10 years I would say he probably reminds me a bit of Sean Poole.

Add Schofner to a class that includes Travis Jackson and Michael Dennis and I think you have 3 offensive linemen that are more athletic than any other class the staff has brought in. Dennis is athletic enough that he is still playing tight end for his high school team and Jackson was just named District Defensive Player of the Year in Division III.

If Schofner becomes a Spartan, the combined classes of 2009 and 2010 should provide the Spartans with the type of talent that should allow tem to build a dominant offensive line. Right now the Spartan OL is adequate, but not dominant. The best line Mark Dantonio had was his first year. That line had "monsters" like Shane, Clifford and Gyetvai, Martin and Miller. That line overpowered most Big Ten teams. The 2009 and 201o classes are meant to get the Spartans back to that level.



Where do you think MSU will end being ranked in the Big Ten and nationally?

It all depends on how you look at things. From a basic rankling standpoint Michigan State will likely not be top 20 simply because they are not going to signed 20+ players. The SEC schools will sign 27 or 28 players and be ranked highly. Of course half a dozen won't qualify and have to head off to Prep School or Junior College.

If you look at Michigan state per recruit, the ranking should be very high, especially f the Spartans can reel in a few of the players still out there like Mathis, Bryant, Schofner, Cadogan, Gaston and Thomas. The average star ranking of Michigan State recruits should place the Spartans near the top of the Big Ten.

An ever better way to look at it is as follows: How does it meet the team's specific needs. For example, the Spartans needed some pass rush ability. They have commitments from William Gholston, Marcus Rush and Taylor Calero. That is a great combination of players. Gholston is the freak of the group. Rush is a relentless type of player and Calera has a chance to be a lot like Brandon Long.

The Spartans needed to bring in some talent at the safety spot. They have commitments from Kurtis Drummond and Isaiah Lewis. Does anyone on Midwest currently have a better pair of safeties?

So far the strong suit of this class is how well it meets the needs of the team. If they are able to add another high-level cornerback or even two they will have addressed that position as good as anyone on the nation.

Mark Dantonio does as good a job as anyone at identifying the specific needs of the team and finding players that fit that need. Could there be higher rated prospect the staff passes on? Of course, but the goal is to win football games, not recruiting rankings.

A former MSU coach once told me…give me a bunch of kid that want to be a Spartans, like Kyle Cook, and I will beat at team full of All-American any day of the week. Bring in guys that want to bleed Green and White and the wins will take care of themselves.


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