~ ~

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The 2014 Class Gets Great Start: 2 Top Recruits For One Scholarship

The Only Colors Blog...

Welcome Aboard - Drake Harris

Michigan State football AND basketball obtained their first recruit for 2014 today as Grand Rapids Christian standout Drake Harris committed to the Spartans. Harris, a wide receiver in football and a two-guard in basketball, is generally thought of as a top-100 recruit in both sports, but don't take my word for it:
24/7 - #11 WR, #2 in Michigan, #83 Overall
...and that's the only Football ranking I could find for Harris. Harris's successes on the gridiron were attracting attention last year; as a freshman Harris scored 30 touchdowns on Grand Rapids Christian's JV team, and analyst Allen Trieu had this to say about his football ability:
Star-divide Midwest regional manager Allen Trieu was on hand for Harris' biggest game thus far — a nine-reception, 254-yard, two-TD showing versus Muskegon Reeths-Puffer in Week 4.
"He had 160 first-half receiving yards, showing great ball skills, speed and athleticism," said Trieu. "He went high, showing his leaping ability, to snare one pass over the top of a defender and simply ran past the defense on an 89-yard touchdown. It was not great competition that he was going against, but his package of physical skills is very intriguing, and he's certainly a high-level football prospect, as well."
He recently visited Michigan's camp and was offered there. He was about to be offered by Michigan in basketball as well but...
"Michigan was about to offer me in basketball, too," Harris said. "I just had to go down and talk to Coach (John) Beilein, but I went to the Spartan Showcase and talked to Coach Izzo for a little bit and I just made up my mind from there and felt like Michigan State was the right place for me."
Harris goes on to say in the article that he planned on waiting until the end of his Junior season to make a decision. Now about his basketball potential...
SCOUT -- #14 SG, #65 Overall
Harris isn't ranked in 24/7's top 15, or ESPN's top 60, so 65 sounds about right. Intrpdtrvlr will have more on Harris in his next recruiting update coming very soon, so I'm just going to reiterate what he wrote in the 2014 Hotlist, as there'll be more later:
Perhaps the first thing to know is that Drake is a true two-sport prospect. He claims football invitations from Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame. That is not a group of pigskin lightweights.Though the early talk was that Drake was likely to focus on basketball and do it at MSU as a quick verbal, the recent developments have become more complicated. It's open secret that some close to Drake are very intrigued by the Hoke regime and are interested in him exploring his opportunities. Still, Drake is a confessed Michigan State fan since childhood and the Spartans are in an excellent position. A lot has already been written about his game because Drake was identified as a major prospect at an early age. He's been the overwhelming pick as the top in-state player in his class since people paid attention. It could be said that his rankings haven't exactly lived up to the hype but Drake had a good summer last year and UMHoops is already glowing about his new campaign. It appears likely that this player will stay in state with one of the two biggies. Whether he ends up a Spartan, Wolverine, or none of the above, whoever gets him will have the bonus of saving a basketball scholarship if Harris decides to play football as a freshman. (Intrpdtrvlr)
For football, it's way too early to tell. Michigan State took four wide receivers for the 2012 class and two for the 2013 class, so some attrition might occur. Stab in the dark -- Dantonio takes at least one more receiver, if not two.
As for Izzo, Harris has no effect on the class since he'll most likely be on a football scholarship. That means basketball gains a top-100 wing player, and still has plenty of spots (at least three as of today) for Tyus Jones, Cliff Alexander, Jahlil Okafor, JaQuan Lyle, and others.
Harris's Dad Mike Harris said at the press conference that the Spartans were (and I'm paraphrasing) on track to land the #1 basketball player in the 2013 class, Jabari Parker. When asked how he knew, he replied:
"He hasn’t given me any leads or anything like that, but just around the AAU circuit, you hear people talking," Mike Harris said with a laugh. "It’s just talk. Just talk."
It's definitely not bad news, but it's inconclusive. Parker has kept his cards close to the vest closer than any other #1 prospect I can remember.
So welcome Drake to Michigan State. Get ready to get compared to Matt Trannon (you didn't think you were going to get through this article without at least one Matt Trannon mention, were you?) a lot, even though your styles of play are very different.


Wait a minute
Matt Trannon played football and basketball?
Please go back and check again.
“Matt Trannon” is a pretty common name.
I think it’s safe to say every young two-sport star in the Midwest grows up dreaming of on day becoming the Evolutionary Matt Trannon. It’s just natural.
But how is he going to handle the overlapping seasons? I can’t remember how that worked out for Trannon. It will be especially tOugh if we continue doing things like playing in Europe. All around great news though, go green!
Not sure
I imagine some sort of time share will be worked out, but if I had to guess I’d say it’d be a lot like it was with Trannon — he’s on the football team until the season’s done, then basketball.
It worked for Trannon because...
It worked for Trannon because the football team missed bowl games. Therefore, Trannon was able to Join the basketball team in November instead of January. Therefore, Trannon got into a groove with the team before Big Ten season starts. I do not see the football team missing bowl game, therefore, I am skeptical on his impact on the basketball team unless he quits football.
Are you really telling me that he needs to spend all through November and December focusing only on a bowl game? I think not. He can still start in November once Big Ten season wraps up.
Also I think he’ll go the Trannon route and choose one by his senior year, whichever one gives him a better professional opportunity.
If he's a key player
I bet noted football fan Tom Izzo wouldn’t want to risk him practicing or playing with the bball team and getting injured prior to the biggest game of the football season.
If they’re playing in Big Ten championship games as well as January bowl games, he likely won’t join the team until conference play is well under way.
it's State everyday, No Days Off
That's what I was getting at
Practicing with the bball team in October won’t be able to happen, and depending on the bowl game (I.e. how important it is) I wonder if coach D would make him miss out on the nom-con bball games as well. Guess we shall see.
And by nom-con
I’m of course referring to the annual snack food convention.
by StickyGreen on Jun 27, 2012 10:54 PM CDT via mobile up reply   1 recs
I don't think he can do both
This is just my opinion but I see him making a “choice” early on in his career and I bet it will be football. I think he will come to the same type of realization Gholston had when he “decided” to play DE and not LB.
Trannon was needed on the hoops squad because he had size and could give us defense and 5 fouls if needed. I don’t know what our bball team will look like in 2014 but it just seems like a 6’4 wing won’t be as important.
I wish him luck trying to make them both work.
Welcome to MSU Drake!
2014 has a chance to be a really special year for basketball and football recruiting.
In related news,
PG Monte Morris (remember him?) From Flint committed to Iowa State yesterday. I hadn’t seen that name on here in a while, but it was my understanding that both MSU & M were after him, but his Rivals page shows him with no B1G offers.
What happened here? Did he just fall off the radar, or did other prospects catch up to & pass him?
by MSUDersh on Jun 28, 2012 11:23 AM CDT via mobile reply  
All About Need
Once UM landed Walton and MSU began to favor Jackson, Morris became the odd man out. I don’t think it’s a knock against him (he’s a consensus top-100 player), he’s just a victim of the circumstances. Maybe if he was in another year’s class (like 11’) MSU would have come calling.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spartan Football Recruiting Engine Humming Along

First, here is an interview from The Silver Bullet (a Buckeye Blog) with Shaw Lane Spartans in a series they call, Behind Enemy Lines. The questions focus on the Spartans recruiting class prior to the last few days, what the needs are and who we might be excited about in a couple years.

One week ago: Darian Hicks, cornerback. From 24/7 Sports: Hicks had at least 17 scholarship offers including Penn State, Illinois, Iowa, Boston College, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Minnesota, Virginia and Pitt before selecting the Spartans. See more here.

Over the weekend: Tight end prospect Dylan Chmura, son of former All-Pro Mark Chmura, committed to Michigan State on Sunday. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound recruit stars at Waukesha West (Wisc.), where his father is a coach. He was not ranked due to missing his junior season with an ACL injury. See more at The Only Colors.

This week: Wide receiver Trey Kilgore picked MSU over offers from Boston College, Iowa and Kentucky on Monday. See more at The Little Brother Blog.

This week: Jay Harris, wide receiver: Despite not planning on taking many receivers in the 2013 class, Harris earned an offer from a few months ago. He offer list was small, but Penn State and Pitt also were showing strong interest. Outside of the state of Pennsylvania, he didn't get much exposure, but MSU has been high on him for some time. More from The Only Colors.

Coming Wednesday: Choosing between MSU, chUMps, and ND.
Nearly a year after many thought Drake Harris would be an early commit to Michigan State, Drake plans to announce his decision on Wednesday. This comes from multiple sources including Drake and his father. The tea leaves appear to suggest MSU as the choice but Drake has been in close contact with UM and recently received a football offer from Brady Hoke. Harris attended the 2012 Izzo Shootout last weekend.

Friday, June 22, 2012

VIDEO: In the Bunker Beneath the Pig House (Hitler's Rant)

Adolph scUMbuckler is secretly still calling the shots in bowels of chUMpsville Stadium and has it on video! Isn't this same guy who fired Ernie Harwell? {Receiving this by email? Go to the site to view the video - well worth it.)

Podcast Interview with Mark Dantonio

Click here for a pod cast interview with Mark Dantonio from

Interview Topics:
MSU's rise
Developing teamwork
Goal setting
How Coach D got involved in coaching
Changes over time in strength and conditioning in major college football
Listening to players is the best motivation technique
and more

VIDEO: Inside the Weight Room w Coach Mannie

Ever wonder what goes on in the Spartans football weight room (video)? All this for 13-14 games per year... [If you received this post via the automated email system you will need to go directly to the site to view the video.]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

No Sugar Coated Awards on BTN

While no awards relating to the Sugar Bowl were presented, C-Mann 79 did make it a point to submit the following via email:

Michigan State was a part of four winning awards at the Big Ten Network Awards, which were announced tonight.

Draymond Green became the second Spartan to win the Jesse Owens Men's Athlete of the Year and the first since 2001, when hockey standout Ryan Miller won.

A grateful Green took to Twitter after learning he won the award.

"Thanks to everyone for the congrats and all that voted I am honored to be the recipient of the Jesse Owens athlete of the year! GO GREEN"

Green averaged 16.2 points and 10.6 rebound per game for MSU this past season, leading the team to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and the Sweet Sixteen, where it lost to Louisville.

Also, Michigan State's Hail Mary pass to beat Wisconsin in 2011 won "best finish," offensive lineman Arthur Ray won "most courageous performance" and the Big Ten championship game between the Spartans and Badgers won "game of the year."

The Wolverines were shut out of the awards.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2011 Spartans Football Video

Enjoy a little taste of fall this summer. Occasional guest author C-Mann 79 sent in this video for your pleasure...
[If you receive this message via the automated post-by-email system, go here to see the video.]

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Johnny Adams Prepares with a Chip (R2G Comments)

MSU football: Adams takes serious tone

Cornerback leads Spartan secondary

Rexrode, LSJ: 6/14/12

EAST LANSING — There was a scowl on Johnny Adams’ face, and Pat Narduzzi was glad to see it.

After briefly considering an early jump to the NFL, Adams decided to return to Michigan State for his senior season. The 2011 All-Big Ten first team cornerback is an offseason subject of prominence on preseason All-America lists and 2013 NFL mock drafts.

He’s also less prone to care, from what Narduzzi has seen.

“He’s just so much more mature — I think on the field and off the field,” Narduzzi said of Adams. “He’s a different character than he has been. A lot of times he’d come in and smile and kid around. He’s got a serious attitude now.

“I saw him in the weight room (a couple weeks ago) and said, ‘What’s wrong, Johnny?’ He looked mad. I just think he’s focused on what he needs to do.”

After a terrific 2011 season, the MSU secondary faces the task in 2012 of replacing free safety Trenton Robinson. Sophomore Kurtis Drummond will enter preseason camp with a slight edge on redshirt freshman RJ Williamson — with others, such as incoming freshman Demetrious Cox, expected to compete.

“It’s gonna come down to who gets it done in games, really,” Narduzzi said of the lone open spot.

Everything else is spoken for and in good hands as long as injuries don’t hit. Isaiah Lewis returns at strong safety, where he will take over some of Robinson’s communication duties as a junior.

“He’s so steady in everything he does,” Narduzzi said of Lewis, an All-Big Ten second team pick as a sophomore. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, and I just think he’s gonna continue to get better, too.”

Darqueze Dennard will start again at the field corner as a junior, opposite Adams at the boundary corner. Dennard is coming off two critical interceptions to help MSU beat his home-state Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl, after he received All-Big Ten honorable mention.

This defense starts with those cornerbacks, Narduzzi said.

“Those guys, being able to lock people down and us being able to play the coverages we like to play with those two, they’re great players,” Narduzzi said. “They’re the key to our defense, quite honestly. I think we all know that.

“When those guys play like they can, it gives our safeties the ability to do things we like to do with our defense. Isaiah Lewis and those other guys, we can turn them loose a little bit. Honestly, when you have a guy out there that can cover a No. 1 receiver, you’ve got yourself a pretty good defense.”

Preseason camp will be about depth development at the position. Senior Mitchell White is the No. 3 cornerback, but redshirt freshmen Trae Waynes and Arjen Colquhoun are progressing.

return2glory comment: With dominating D-ends and LBs, confidence in both returning cornerbacks, look for safety and LB blitz packages (some with Golhston dropping into coverage). I think there is a chance that Adams could reap the benefits of QB hurries and bad decisions with record breaking interceptions. As a bonus, Adams can rack up the return yards too.