With hype hopefully settled down, let’s take a final look atMichiganState’s 2012 recruiting class. With only 18 players signed – 19 if you count transfer DeAnthony Arnett – the class wasn’t ranked as high as some might hope, but it speaks to the depth Mark Dantonio has built since arriving in 2007.
We talked plenty about the outstanding receivers the Spartans brought in on Wednesday, now we’ll take a look at some other highlights.
Demetrious Cox, S, 6-1, 192, Jeannette, Pa.
Aside from a receiver or two, Cox likely has the best chance to contribute right away. He is an outstanding athlete who selected Michigan State over Penn State and Ohio State. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said, “He’s going to be a great player for us.” Here’s what Dantonio had to say about whta:
“It is something we talked about. We talked about making him a guy that learned how to play the secondary and then also be a guy that we can teach some things at the wide receiver position or even the tailback position. I think he has tailback ability. Certainly, if we put him in the wildcat position. He’s done that, he’s played quarterback throughout his career at Jeannette. When you see him and you watch him on a basketball floor or on a football field, he looks like a guy that’s ready for NFL camp. He’s a guy that’s extremely explosive. He has great demeanor about him. He’s got a great sense of confidence about him. That confidence is also, there’s a sort of humbleness as well. He’s got great leadership ability. He’s extremely calm. I look for him to have immediate impact on this program in a lot of respects. I think that he’ll show up in August ready to go.”
Jamal Lyles, LB, 6-3, 215, Southfield-Lathrup
It might be tough for Lyles to crack such a talented group at linebacker, but he could also make the move to defensive end. The Spartans have plenty of talent at both spots, but this kid’s ability might be too great to keep off the field. Here’s what Dantonio said:
“He played quarterback, wide out, tight end and linebacker, which shows you how athletic he is. He has great ability to run, he’s explosive and has good ball skills. He’s also extremely tough.”
David Fennell, DT, 6-3, 274, Portland, Ore.
The most interesting story of the class, Fennell moved to Portland from Canada before his senior season and turned into an All-State player. Dantonio called him a “sleeper.”
Mark Meyers, DB, 6-0, 180, Toledo
My darkhorse pick to become the next three-star to become a great player at Michigan State. A lot like B.J. Cunningham and Kirk Cousins, Meyers had only MAC offers late in the recruiting process before getting the Michigan State offer. A good return man that could help fill the void left by Keshawn Martin’s graduation.
One more quick non-recruiting note. I asked offensive line coach Mark Staten about the status of guard Blake Treadwell and tackle Skyler Burkland, who were both lost for the season to injuries suffered in the Notre Dame game.
“They’re doing good, they’re coming along,” Staten said. “They know gonna be in a fight to crack the lineup. But that’s what we want from spring ball. All the starters from last year, they’re gonna be in a fight to stay starters.
“Tread is back full force, we’ll know more about Skyler when we have winter conditioning coming up and we’ll see how far he can push himself. He’s generally a very hard worker, that’s one of things we really like about him. Now he’s got to deal with some lingering pain from the injury. He’s got to be able to know the difference between pain and injury. That’s a huge thing in your development as an athlete. He’ll be fine and he’ll be competing, wether it the right or the left side. We’ll see. It will be interesting.”