It is pretty common knowledge to MSU fans that the Spartans are looking for a RB who has the ability to make an impact immediately next year. With the whole OL returning along, future All-Americans Jeff Smoker and Charles Rogers and probably the best blocking FB in the Big Ten, the offense has lethal capabilities. What the team needs is a RB who can not only take it to the house, but also get the tough yards when you need to break a team's will. A player who the Spartans staff apparently believe has the ability to do just that is, 6'2 218 pound RB Chris Vincent from Philadelphia PA.
Vincent might be somewhat of a sleeper in recruiting circles, but coaches are well aware of him. All in all, Vincent has over 15 offers from some of the top D1 programs in the country, including Oregon, LSU, West Virginia, Colorado and of course Michigan State. The Spartans had Vincent in a few weeks ago for a visit, and Spartan Magazine heard that Vincent was not only impressive physically, but also in his demeanor and character. Those attributes make a player with Vincent's ability even more attractive.
Vincent will be an early enroll player, so he will be available for spring practice. That is why the Spartan staff is obviously so excited about recruiting Vincent. With the depth chart showing extremely limited numbers at the RB position, the right player would have a chance not only to see some action, but also possibly be the "man".
When Spartan Magazine spoke with Vincent last night, he was very upfront about the recruiting process. Vincent is not a player who is going to be wooed to any particular school by recruiting double talk. Vincent comes from a football family and is very familiar with the recruiting process. He is looking for a school that will offer him the best opportunity on and off the field. Vincent plans on making a decision toward the weekend.
Vincent told Spartan Magazine that he enjoyed his visit to East Lansing. He spent time with numerous players, including Ryan Woods, who he has known for quite some time. Woods, will get his red-shirt this year and should be a mainstay at the TE position for years to come. Interestingly the TE position and RB positions are the two positions that will more then likely be up for grabs comes spring.
Vincent graduated High School in 99 and then attended Valley Forge Academy in 2000. He was set to go to Colorado in 2001, but a clearinghouse snafu messed that plan up. Now everything is taken care of and he is ready to get down to business. During the two years out of high school Vincent has added 20 pounds of solid muscle and reduced his forty time by 2 tenths of a second. Currently Vincent is clocking 4.4 on a regular basis.
As someone who has Philadelphia roots, the inclusion of Penn State into the Big Ten has really been a positive impact on the city. Philly has not only provided PSU with some very talented RB's, but players like Eddie George also hail from the City of Brotherly Love. Southeastern Pennsylvania has become a fertile recruiting spot for the Spartans the past few years. Players like Jeff Smoker, Jaren Hayes, and Michael Bazemore all are from that region. The fact that MSU is within driving distance, but still away from home makes it ideal for players who want exposure but also want family have the opportunity to see them week in and out. Traditional Spartan opponents such as Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Michigan are all easy day trips from Philly.
The Spartans are looking for RB's who can make an impact. Who would have thought that talented Tyrell Dortch would have a career threatening injury while playing CB and will "hopefully" be back for the 2003 season, or that several top RB's last year didn't look closely at MSU due to TJ Duckett being here? Now the cupboard is bare, and MSU wants a couple of top backs to come in and compete for reps. In addition, MSU believes that you always need at least 2 productive backs in your stable. This past year it was Duckett and Flowers, in 99 it was Clemons and Duckett, in 98 it was Sedric Irvin and committee.
Spartan Magazine will be sure to update Michigan State fans on the recruitment of Chris Vincent as soon as we hear anything. Vincent is the type of young man that will make a fine addition to any program. He could be the piece of the puzzle that will help Michigan State make a run to the Rose Bowl over the next few years. Bobby Williams and his staff have assembled a wealth of young talent at many positions, Chris Vincent would certainly add to that.
SPARTAN MAGAZINE'S TAKE: MSU would certainly like to get a RB like Vincent. LSU sources have been reporting that it is a LSU vs MSU recruiting battle. It is no doubt that their has been a lot of spinning going between these to "friendly" foes. Spartan Magazine checked out the depth chart, and LSU is deep at the RB position. Top Soph RB Brandon Toefield who set numerous LSU records this season, just had surgery and LSU Sport Information is reporting today, "The surgery went very well and we expect a full recovery......Brandon will begin and aggressive rehabilitation program by the end of the week" Behind Toefield, LSU has a Soph and a Jr returning who also saw significant action. LSU has recruited the RB position well the past two years. Obviously both schools would love to land a premier player like Vincent. We at Spartan Magazine fully expect Michigan State to have a one of the best offenses in the nation next year, Rogers and Smoker should be the top QB/WR combination in the Big Ten and possibly the country, the only question is who will be running the ball!