April 18, 2008

In-state class has chance to be great

A few weeks ago SpartanMag.com was asked if they class of 2009 was going to be as good as some were hyping it up to be. The latest developments indicate that the class of 2009 may very well be the best in-state group of prospect in over a decade.

In order for a class to be considered special it needs to have three things:

  • 1) High-level prospects: Players that are considered top 100, early impact recruits

  • 2) Depth of talent: At a minimum around 25 prospects that sign with BCS programs

  • 3) Variety of positions: Talent needs to be at all positions offense and defense

    How does the class of 2009 stack up so far? We take a closer look


    A great class will usually have multiple BCS quarterbacks and as of right now it look as if that will be the case in Michigan for 2009. The Spartans already have a commitment from Andrew Maxwell. He will certainly be one of the top 25 quarterback in the nation.

    Prospects like Isaiah Grimes and Casey Blackport also have are great opportunity to get BCS offers. Mike Schaaf is another quarterback that is getting serious looks, his future may lay of the baseball diamond not the gridiron,

    With Rich Rodriguez running the show in Ann Arbor, in-state dual-threat quarterbacks will also get a close look. Thomas Gordon already has a MAC offer and the fact that he attends what many believe is a UM feeder school can't hurt his chances.


    There is not doubt that it is a great year fro running back talent in Michigan. Michigan State has already secured commitments from two of the best ball carriers in the nation, Edwin Baker and Larry Caper.

    Michigan recently received a commitment from running back Teric Jones. Jones has yet to put up huge numbers fro Cass Tech High School, but he has the measurable to be an effective player in the new Wolverine offense.

    Another player to keep an eye on is Hersey Jackson of Allendale. Jackson has put up big numbers the last few years and he defiantly passes the eye test. The big question on Jackson is whether he projects best at running back, fullback or even linebacker. Regardless he will end up at a BCS school.


    The wide receiver position is historically very good in Michigan and this year is no exception. Michigan State already has a commitment from Donald Spencer and the inside word from the Rivals.com analyst is that he has a chance to move up the national rankings this summer.

    James Jackson of Grand Ledge already has an impressive list of scholarship offers and has something that can't be taught, speed.

    Cameron Gordon already has a Spartan scholarship offer and many believe that he could be one of the fastest rising recruiting in the Midwest once more people see him in action. Michigan sources indicated that Gordon was better than Jackson last year at the Wolverine camp.

    Jamone Chester of Redford is another in-state prospect that is not getting the attention he deserves. Chester already has multiple MAC offers and will likely pick up BCS offers this summer when he hits the camp scene.


    Michigan State should be in great shape to sign a top tight end this year. Not only did the Spartans not take a tight end last year, but also Michigan doesn't incorporate the tight end in their offensive scheme.

    The top tight end prospect is Dion Sims of Orchard Lake Saint Mary's High School. He is a dynamic athlete in the mold of a Kellen Davis type of player.

    The other tight end prospect is Reid Fragel. Fragel is an intriguing prospect due to the fact that he is already a legit 6-foot-7, 255-pounds. Some think Fragel could project at offensive tackle, but he does have the athletic ability to play tight end or possibly defensive end.


    If the class of 2009 had an Achilles heel it would be the offensive line. The reason we say "had" is that not only does it looks like a few of the in-state offensive line prospects have the potential to be Big Ten players, but future Spartan Blake Treadwell could be a high 3 or even 4-star recruit before all is said and done.

    Many offensive line prospects will not get Big Ten offers until they camp, but the top ones will usually pick up MAC offers prior to that. In the last few weeks, players like Zac Matthias, Charles Chapman and Jeff Fantuzzi have all picked up MAC offers. All three have a great chance of being Big Ten players.

    As always look for an unknown offensive line prospect or two emerge at camp.


    With William Campbell the state of Michigan has an All-American level recruit. Campbell made an early pledge to the Wolverines and has stuck with his commitment despite the coaching change. Several teams are still in frequent contact with the big fella including the USC Trojans, Ohio State Buckeyes and the Spartans.

    A few other prospects are also getting serious Big Ten looks. Names to remember are Aaron McCord of Detroit Crockett, Orlando McCord of Martin Luther King and Peter Plaskey of Brother Rice.


    Spartan commitment Chris Norman is a 4-star top 150 prospect that could break into the Rivals100 with a strong showing this fall. Norman is arguably the best linebacker prospect to come out of Michigan in several years.

    Other linebacker prospects that are getting plenty of attention are Jeremy Gainer, who already has a Big Ten offer (Indiana), Justin Semmes, who many believe is a better prospect than his brother who signed with Iowa and Chad Setterbo who is the younger brother of Spartan fullback Adam Setterbo.


    There may not be a 4-star defensive back prospect in Michigan, but their are several very solid prospect. Dana Dixon of Detroit Renaissance High School already has offers from Louisville and Northwestern. Shamari Benton of Brother Rice picked up his first two MAC offer last week and will certainly get more once he camps.

    Brock Reynolds of Battle Creek and Torsten Boss of Lowell are two more prospects that college coaches are taking a close look at.

    As you can see the above analysis list over 30 players that either already are committed to BCS level teams, have BCS offers or will likely get them before the recruiting process is over.

    The state of Michigan has plenty of high-level players for the class of 2009. How special the class becomes will be determined by the depth and variety of talent. As of right now the outlook is good, which should benefit a team like Michigan State that under Head Coach Mark Dantonio is committed to using in-state prospect to build a championship foundation.

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