One of the top prospects in Kentucky for the class of 2007 is Brent Slusher of Pineville, Bell County High School. Michigan State is very interested in the 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect and Head Coach John L. Smith was recently in Kentucky watching Slusher perform at a local combine. We spoke with his mother last night and she gave us some information on his recruitment.
Slusher has been making the rounds this spring stopping into colleges and attending several combines. His performance at the combines has caught the attention of numerous college coaches. Several schools, including Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati have already extended him a scholarship offer. Michigan State is one of several BCS schools actively recruiting him.
As a junior, Slusher was a force on both sides of the ball. He averaged over 25-yards per catch from the tight end spot and had over 150 tackles playing linebacker. He was recently selected to the prestigious Tremendous 26 Team. That team is comprised of the top prospects in Kentucky.
Bell County Assistant Coach Tom Greer told Rivals.com analyst Jeff Drummond the following about Slusher:
"The first thing the college coaches and scouts see is a kid who's 6-3, 225 pounds and runs really well. He's just a really nice athlete for a kid that size. Down at the Army combine, he had a 35-inch vertical, which shows his explosion, and a 4.19 shuttle, which is good lateral movement. He's a kid who can dunk a basketball - a great all-around athlete. When he puts the pads on and gets on the field, he's really aggressive. He'll come up and strike you. Some players have the physical tools, but don't always play aggressive. Brent's a kid who really goes hard all the time."
Slusher was recently at the NIKE Camp in Athens and his performance there against numerous high level prospects was impressive. Slusher was a physical mismatch working against smaller defensive backs as a wide-out. StudentSports.com praised Slusher for his ability to go up and get the ball as well as making catches with his hands and not his body. You can see some video of him at the camp on their website.
Slusher had a 37-inch vertical jump at the Athens NIKE Camp, which was second out of over 300 athletes. In addition, his 86.18 SPARQ rating was the top result for players at his position.
Slusher is a legit 6-foot-3+ and weighs in at around 220-pounds. This spring he has clocked numerous 40-times in the 4.6 range. His size and speed makes him a versatile prospect and he could end up playing on either side of the ball. Some schools see him as a linebacker, others as a tight end. With his frame and ability to run, he could also play some stand-up defensive end in college.
The Spartans had a strong showing last year in Kentucky signing two prospects. They are hoping to continue the trend of bringing a player or two every year from the Bluegrass State to the Big Ten. Both Spartan classes of 2006 were members of the Tremendous 26 team, Sam Gardner and Enrique Shaw.
Slusher is in the process of finalizing some camp plans for the summer. Since he has made the rounds to many southern schools, it is possible that a trip into Big Ten Country will take place.
According to Mrs. Slusher, Michigan State has not talked about what position they like her son at. They see him as a big athlete who could help the team at multiple spots. It is likely that Coach Smith is hoping to have Slusher at camp to work with some of the various position coaches. One of the coaches he would certainly work with is linebacker coach Mike Cox, who also serves as Slusher's primary recruiter. Coach Dave Baldwin would certainly like to work with the sure-handed Slusher at tight end as well.
Slusher is currently participating in track for Pineville, Bell County. He is athletic enough that he competes in the shot-put, the high jump and the 4x100 relay. That is a rare combination of events and a testament to his athletic ability.
Slusher is also a solid student who is already easily qualified.
SpartanMag.com will have more details on Slusher in the near future.
Rivals.com has video of Slusher in action. The video shows him on both sides of the ball, playing tight end and linebacker.