MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio continues to build his program, signing for the third time in a row an outstanding—likely his best—class. Dantonio continues to take no shortcuts and he keeps winning. It speaks for itself. Certainly over the next five years we will learn how well this class transitions from high school to college, but based purely on signing day, this is the best and deepest class Dantonio has EVER signed.
Dantonio said it best last year, “When we came here back in 2007, the reality of the situation was that we were selling hope. Our facilities needed to be adjusted. We had not been to a Bowl game in a couple years. It’s to a point now where we are selling results and that’s a big difference.”
Each year when I compile ratings for the incoming recruiting class it is an exhaustive effort, and this year is no different. I try very hard to call coaches who coached for or against, and to do as much research as possible including speaking to multiple different (non-MSU) division one coaches to help me analyze each player.
Why so much emphasis on recruiting? One NFL coach, when talking about his time as a college coach, expressed it better than anyone I’ve ever heard when he said, “It’s like getting 25 first round draft picks each year.” What a great analysis! Now MSU doesn’t sign 25 a year, but you get the point.
Please take into account that I do not use other rating systems, stars, or whatever may be available. A recruit’s true value is based upon need of the program, his ability to fill that need, his character, and finally what other schools offered him. For example, Jim Tressel told me that he has never been around a coach that can evaluate talent like Mark Dantonio. Dantonio’s track record at OSU, UC, and here at MSU proves that. When Dantonio extends an offer, time and time again he has proven recruiting rankings wrong.
As far as character issues, there are definitely some kids that would come in and fill a need and get lots of hype but wouldn’t last because of weak character or academic indifference. Mark Dantonio told me, “We recruit character first. If a guy can’t stay, he can’t play here.” Locker room issues, arrests, disrespect for team rules and personnel are issues simply not tolerated by Dantonio.
How hard are the rankings? When Glenn Winston arrived we praised his character. Coaches from his high school and MSU talked about what he had endured and what he had overcome to become a top-flight recruit. Yet, Glenn had two well publicized, off-field issues. You just can’t predict future behavior with certainty.
I like Winston. Still do. He had issues, but in the end he was a great player with off-field problems to deal with. We dig as much as we can. Even coaches can’t be certain in the end where a kid will fit. They do all they can to recruit character and talent, and then as kids develop they make their fit.
When LeVeon Bell arrived, many bemoaned Dantonio taking a no-star kid. No one knew how big LeVeon’s heart was. As you know he departed early for the NFL. Because of how Spartan Nation rates players, we had him more highly valued than ANY traditional ranking services, and we were right!
Character and academics are of major importance with this staff. Will they get it wrong sometimes? Without a doubt, but unlike in the past, they won’t take kids KNOWING they are rolling the dice.
Lastly, what other programs have offered the kid? Does a kid come from a school with a proven track record of developing talent? Do they take unheralded players, make them stars, and put them in the NFL as high draft picks? When I see a kid that is an OL or a RB and has an offer from a school that is proven there, he gets great points in my system.
I want to add one caveat to this list. In all of my years doing this, without question this was the most difficult. There isn’t ONE player on this list that I would be shocked to see at #1 on the same list in five years from now! This is Dantonio’s best class and it isn’t even close. There isn’t one school in the country that doesn’t look at this list and covet multiples, if not all, of the players listed.
So after hours of work and effort, we here at Spartan Nation excitedly present to you the 2016 MSU football recruiting class.
- Josh King DE 6’6” 230# Darien, IL King could be the best player that Dantonio has ever signed. He has a high motor and a total commitment to being great. Blessed with not only talent, but a will to improve and practice, he is a star in the making. A coach’s take: “We loved King. I can only imagine how high his ceiling is. We offered and wanted him. He would have been an instant starter here and I will be blown away if he comes in healthy and redshirts for Mark (Dantonio).” Weakness: King needs size and how he adjusts to carrying that new size is important. He is only 230 pounds, but he has the frame for more. Having the frame doesn’t equate to being able to carry it without thinking about it. Dantonio says, “Josh King is a defensive end with great size and athletic ability. He has a tremendous ?rst step, and with his 6-foot-6 frame, he can carry a lot of weight. Josh is another multi-sport athlete, who won the Illinois state wrestling tournament as a junior at 220 pounds. That translates well to the defensive line with his ability to disengage blockers. He’s a high-level athlete, who projects as a strong side defensive end. Josh has a chance to become a big contributor very early in his career at Michigan State. We had an opportunity watch him perform in person. He’s a Level 1 player.”
- Donnie Corley WR/CB 6’3” 185# Detroit, MI Corley enrolled early and has already impressed his teammates with his amazing acrobatic catches, speed and work ethic. Corley is the real deal. A coach’s take: “Donnie may be the best high school wide receiver that I have ever seen in all of my years. He is a touchdown thread with every catch from anywhere on the field.” Weakness: Corley is a big impact big time player. He has to learn that he doesn’t have to do it all anymore. He is going to be on a team with great players at every position. He has had to carry his teams before, but that won’t be the case and he struggles occasionally when trying to make more out of something than he needs to. Love the drive, but sometimes you take what you can get. Dantonio says, “Donnie Corley is a tremendous athlete, with outstanding speed, quickness and agility. Donnie has incredible instincts for the football plus the ball skills to match. At 6-foot-3, his height gives him an advantage against most opponents, and he de?nitely possesses the speed to pull away from defenders. His recent commitment quali?es this receiving class as possibly the nation’s best. Donnie also possesses outstanding cornerback skills, so our long-term plans include utilizing him on both sides of the football.”
- Naquan Jones DT 6’4” 320# Mount Prospect, IL Naquan Jones is teachable. He is coachable and he is a star. He plays so aggressively and is a wrecking crew. You have heard the old adage of a bull in a china shop? That is Jones. A coach’s take: “Jones has all of the tools. Attacker. Tough. Rough. Great teammate and you can see that on film.” Weakness: I have talked with Jones about this in the past and he agrees with me that he can at times relax against competition that he is dominating. At this level he has to approach each play like the Super Bowl. I was told that ‘if I were his coach I would do something to piss him off before every game about his opponent so he doesn’t relax.’ Jones will be fine, but when he is angry, he is the best player on any field he has every played on. Dantonio says, “Naquan Jones is a disruptive defensive tackle, who plays with a tremendous motor. He has great feet and an explosive ?rst step, which allows him to get vertical and disrupt plays before they get started. While Naquan has the size and length to play in a phone booth, what makes him special is his athletic ability because he can make plays in space. He’s powerful and quick-bodied, so we believe he has a chance to be a high-impact player moving forward. We had a chance to watch Naquan play in person, and he’s a Level 1 player.”
- Messiah deWeaver QB 6’4” 215# Huber Heights, OH Messiah isn’t impressed with himself and that is refreshing. Humble and talented Michigan State has not had a natural leader like him since Drew Stanton. Able to take command a lot like Draymond Green, deWeaver’s greatest talent his that he not only has a will to be great, but the willingness to prepare to be great. A coach’s take: “deWeaver will be the next Kirk Cousins as MSU. Natural leader and great player. We just fell in love with his ability to lead. You can’t teach that and we saw it watching film, live and even at practices” Weakness: This will make you laugh, but like every player on this list he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He has been able to make plays and win games with sheer determination and will up to this point. He won’t be able to do that just yet at MSU. He has already wowed with his talent as an early enrollee, but after he has time to prepare he will compete immediately.” Dantonio says, ““Messiah deWeaver is a big, talented quarterback, who has displayed great decision and playmaking ability. Messiah has very good accuracy and arm strength as well as the mobility to extend plays. He’s an excellent game manager, who led Wayne High School to the state championship game as a senior. Messiah performed at an extremely high level during our summer camp. He’s also a real student of the game, so we’re really excited for him to join our talented quarterback meeting room.”
- Cam Chambers WR 6’3” 203# Sicklerville, NJ Chambers is incredibly talented, deceptively fast and with the way he can use his body to create separation from the defender you would think he was 220#. He is an NFL player all the way. A coach’s take: “If there is something he can’t do, I have never seen it. We offered him early knowing that there was no chance we would get him. He is the complete package.” Weakness: Chambers must learn to block down the field. It is NOT that he can’t or won’t, he just hasn’t been asked to do it and it is an art to learn. Once he adds that to his repertoire, look out. Dantonio says, “Cam Chambers is a big, strong and fast receiver. At 6-foot-3, 200-plus pounds, Cam is physically imposing on the football ?eld, plus he has the speed to take the ball all the way to the end zone on every catch. He has exceptional ball skills combined with an impressive football IQ. He has a hunger to be the best.”
- Brian Randle LB 6’2”205# Battle Creek, MI Randle is a football playing machine. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him at any position. The greatest compliment you can give Randle is that he is a football player. He’s an old school throwback that reminds you of Dick Butkus one play and Jack Lambert the next. I totally love this kid and his game. He is a wrecking machine that is 205 pounds of pure attacking, human destroying flesh. Lost in his physical talent is the fact that he has a very high football IQ and is a smart player. He is scary good. A coach’s take: “Under the radar player that we hoped to get simply because he was under the radar. No doubt he deserves to be at a place like MSU and good for them finding him.” Weakness: Randle has been able heretofore to be able to simply out hustle, out muscle and out effort people. At this level Randle must learn to just play his position without trying to play all of them because he will have great players around him. Dantonio says, “Brandon Randle is a long, quick-twitch athlete, who has the ability to rush the quarterback as well as to drop back into pass coverage. He showcased his athleticism and versatility as a punt and kick returner. Brandon played running back and wide receiver in high school. Defensively, he gets off blocks and plays with a great motor. Brandon is a multi-sport athlete, who excels in track as well as basketball. We watched him in person; he’s a Level 1 player.”
- Kenny Lyke S 6’2” 185# Hoffman Estates, IL Lyke is a thumper. He loves to hit and is very aggressive at the point of attack. He has a high football IQ and motor. He has played all over the field and understands the game. The way he hits reminds me of former Spartan head hunter Nehemiah Warrick. A coach’s take: “When we competed against Kenny you had to watch every play to know where he was at. He could play just about any position and be a difference maker at it.” Weakness: Lyke has had to do so much that he hasn’t been able to master one position. That is a weakness, but not a failure. He will thrive under DC Harlon Barnett, but like stated above for another player, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Dantonio says, “Kenney Lyke showcased his football talent by playing multiple positions in high school. As a senior, he really excelled on the offensive side of the football. Kenney is a tough, physical and aggressive safety, who has very good speed to go along with the ability to tackle in space. He’s a hard-hitting safety with great length and good ball skills. Kenney has a great frame to build on the attacking mentality that we teach in the defensive secondary.”
- Mike Panasiuk DT 6’3” 305# Roselle, IL I love this kid and his game. Turn on the film and it is captivating, must-watch glory for the eye. He can move side to side, north and south and plays with reckless disregard for his body or anyone else. He is as strong as an ox and nimble. Strength and intimidation are part of his game, and he plays it at a high level. Some people play football because they have the talent, some because they love it. Panasiuk plays like his life depends on it. Like he requires it as much as oxygen to breathe. He is fun to watch. A coach’s take: “Mike just overpowered our guys.” Weakness: Panasiuk has made his name overpowering people. At this level he won’t be doing that right away. He will have to develop his technique to go with his strength. That won’t be an issue as he is hard worker, but it is his weakness for now. Once he develops technique, along with Coach Ken Mannie turning him into a machine, look out. Dantonio says, “At 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, Mike Panasiuk has the size, strength and quickness to play inside on the defensive line. Mike plays with great leverage, snap and push, along with a ?erce tenacity to his game. He has tremendous upper-body strength, so he can really disengage blockers. As a senior, Mike showcased his athleticism and versatility by playing in the offensive back?eld at times. He comes in with the skill set that will enable him to compete from day one. We watched him play in person; he’s a Level 1 player.”
- Demetric Vance DB 6’2” 193# Detroit, MI If you love physical football you will love Vance. He has never met anything or anyone on the football field that he won’t attack. Add to it the speed factor and he is a prototypical DB. Imagine him at 215 pounds and still able to play corner! WOWZA. A coach’s take: “Vance can play a lot of places. We thought of him as a linebacker because of the way he plays. It is a scary thought of him with that physical ability at the corner.” Weakness: Vance is so physical and at this level he won’t be able to disengage the wide receiver simply with a big hit. He will have to improve his technique that but you can teach that. You can’t teach the football IQ and willingness to attack. Dantonio says, “Demetric Vance is a long, fast, tough and physical safety. He has great instincts for the football, outstanding deep-ball judgment along with the speed to take an interception the distance. Demetric is a big-time contact player, who really brings power when making a tackle. He has the ability and foot skills to play both corner and safety. Demetric attended the MSU summer camp, and we watched him play in person. He’s a Level 1 player.”
- Trishton Jackson WR 6’3” 190# West Bloomfield, MI The Spartans stole Jackson. He went under the radar early, but he has the ability, talent and work ethic—even with so many great wide outs in this class—to be the best. He is so fluid with the ball, but what many don’t pay attention to is that he does amazing things without the ball. Blocking, routes and attention to detail are all things he exceeds at. A coach’s take: “Trishton does so many things well, but his best strength is that he is 100% coachable. We loved the young man and hoped with the depth of receivers MSU took in this class and last we had a shot.” Weakness: Needs to develop the use of his body as a weapon. He has a nice frame and needs to learn to use it to create space between him and the defensive back. Against a more physical defender that he will face at the next level he needs to develop that skill in order to create space. Dantonio says, “Trishton Jackson is an explosive athlete, who has displayed his skills on both the football ?eld and basketball court. The starting quarterback, he also showcased the great instincts for the wide receiver position. He can run by a defender or make the tough catch in traf?c. Trishton has excellent ball skills for a young receiver, plus he’s showcased great change of direction and body control. We also love his competitive nature. As a three-sport athlete, Triston has a very high ceiling and with his all-around ability, he will make a smooth transition into college football. He performed at an extremely high level at our camp and ran a 4.44 40. We also had the opportunity to watch him play football and basketball in person. Trishton is a Level 1 player.”
- Justin Layne WR 6’3” 170# Richmond Heights, OH Layne is very smooth. Almost a deceptive speed that can lull you to sleep, yet he can go up and make the big play. You will love his ability to get the ball at its apex and at 6’3” the thought of him on a fade route in the corner of the end zone should put fear in defenders minds. A coach’s take: “Layne plays like an old school Raider. Some of those catches you would think he had stickem and his hands are like magnets to the ball.” Weakness: Layne is so talented that he hasn’t had to be as crisp on his route running. That will come, but he hasn’t had to be a disciplined route runner. I have no issues with his worth ethic so I wouldn’t let that concern you. Dantonio says, “Justin Layne is an extremely talented all-around athlete, who has excelled at football and basketball. He has all the tools: size, speed and ball skills. Justin is one of the fastest players to enroll at Michigan State in quite some time. The only thing that matches his skill set is his work ethic. He was an outstanding player on offense and defense as well as an exciting punt and kick returner. He’s a Level 1 player.”
- Matt Allen OL 6’2” 265# Hinsdale, IL He is underrated because he is an Allen. Perhaps the most talented of all the Allen brothers, but because he is the third I don’t think he gets the respect he deserves. He is an overpowering technician who is as strong as an ox. I wouldn’t be shocked if he is the best player in the class when all is said and done. Just like Jack and Brian, he is a better person than a football player, and he is a star. A coach’s take: “Certainly we loved Allen, but I don’t think anyone had a doubt where he would play football. Being honest he was an MSU guy all around that didn’t look for attention or he wouldn’t have been underrated.” Weakness: Allen has a great skill set. He can play up and down the line. He has been playing football and wrestling so he has to get his body in football specific shape. He will improve his football work when he plays football 100% of the time. Dantonio says, “The tallest of the Allen brothers, Matt has perhaps the highest ceiling. His wrestling background allows him to play with great leverage, snap, pad level and tenacity. He’s a natural center, with the toughness and determination that comes with his bloodline. Matt is tireless and relentless and is in pursuit of a state heavyweight wrestling championship as well. He’s already familiar with our system, so he has a chance to come in and become a leader within this incoming freshman class. Matt camped at Michigan State, and we saw him play in person. He’s a Level 1 player.”
- Auston Robertson DE 6’5” 250# Ft. Wayne, IN If Robertson didn’t have off field character issues, he could easily be competing for number one on this list. I am not one who thinks the mistakes of a young person tell us their life story, but they can tell us to be concerned. Robertson is benefitting from a coaching staff that refused to give up on him; he now needs to prove them worthy of trusting him. A coach’s take: “Had a lot of interest in Robertson. A great player, but it was clear early that he was going to a bigger school than us. If he can stay out of trouble he will play on Sundays.” Weakness: Character. He needs to develop it. I want to reiterate that he has a lifetime ahead of him, and he gets to right his own story. But now he is going to be making adult decisions and this is his time to grow up. The ceiling is for him to decide and not many folks get that blessing. Dantonio says, “Our decision to accept Auston Robertson’s signed National Letter of Intent and Big Ten Tender has been evaluated over the last three months while utilizing all resources available to us to thoroughly review his situation. Our relationship with Auston began last summer when he committed to Michigan State. When we accepted his verbal (commitment), we also made a commitment to him and his family. We elected not to sign him in early February, and since then he has been accepted into a pretrial diversionary program and must continue to satisfy those requirements. Given all the information available to us, we believe Auston should be provided with an opportunity to begin his education and playing career at Michigan State.”
- Joe Bachie LB 6’2” 225# Brook Park, OH Bachie is a stud. Yet again we are at #14 on this list and he could be #1 when all is said and done. He has superb instincts. Great vision and footwork that would make a ballerina jealous. A coach’s take: “Joe flew under a lot of attention until MSU caught wind of him. It was over once MSU got in his wake, he is a gem.” Weakness: Bachie has some extraordinary skills with vision and speed as mentioned above BUT he has been able to use that speed, power and vision to overpower people. At this level everyone is talented and he will need to improve his technique. That isn’t a slam that is simple reality. You can see something and have the speed to get there, but he also needs to develop the technique. He will be fine. Dantonio says, “Joe Bachie is an outstanding all-around athlete. Joe was the top leader on defense from his inside linebacker position as well as being a major contributor at running back in addition to returning punts. As a junior, he was an all-conference performer on his basketball team. In addition, he was a solid shortstop and an outstanding hitter in baseball. He’s a very tough and intense competitor, who also maintained a better than 3.0 grade-point average. During our summer camp, Joe displayed outstanding explosiveness and jumping ability.”
- Luke Campbell OL/DL 6’4” 275# Lewis Center, OH I really like Campbell. I like his motor and drive. He is a tough player with exceptional intangibles. He is pure athlete at 275 pounds and if you listed all of the athletes on this list, at 275 pounds he might be the best athlete. A coach’s take: “He just dominates at the point of attack. What is really interesting is that he doesn’t get stopped, he sometimes stops himself because he has to play so much. Great shape and great kid.” Weakness: Campbell hasn’t been able to settle in at one position to just play and learn. He has used brute force strength for his career. That said he has a super football IQ, but he has had to play all over. He will benefit greatly from being able to settle in and learn one spot. Dantonio says, “At 6-foot-4, 275, Luke Campbell has a good frame, with room to grow. He’s very aggressive and ?nishes plays. Luke plays with great snap, pad level, and leg drive and he can really move in space. We feel he can play at a high level on either side of the ball. Luke was one of the most explosive players in our camp last summer, with a 30-plus-inch vertical and 9-and-a-half-foot standing broad jump. He’s a Level 1 player.”
- Noah Davis TE 6’5” 242# Cincinnati, OH In my opinion he was underused in high school. He can do so much. He could easily add weight and strength and be a dominant LT with that athleticism or simply stay at TE and be a complete game changer with the way he catches the ball. A coach’s take: “Davis is a twenty-first century player. With his size and speed he is a force of nature. He made it a point to make everyone on our team aware of him and where he was at on every player. Terrible to play/coach against, but fun to watch if you love the game.” Weakness: As said many times already he is big and strong, and has been able to overpower people in high school. Davis has to work on his pass routes and blocking technique but he has talent and heart to succeed. Once again, he could easily be #1 on this list. Dantonio says, “Noah Davis comes from St. Xavier in Cincinnati, a program with a rich football tradition. At 6-foot-5, and 242 pounds, Noah has blocked on the line of scrimmage a great deal and he’s also been utilized in motion. He’s an extremely hard worker and competitor, who has shown quickness and excellent hands. We’ve seen him in action at our summer camp, and he displayed outstanding potential in playing all phases of the tight end position. Noah is a Level 1 player.”
- Austin Andrews CB 6’ 175# Columbus, OH If you looked up the word football player in the dictionary you would see Andrews’ picture. He can play all over. He is one of those players who you watch play the game and it is so abundantly clear that God has given him a talent. A coach’s take: “He is a jack of all trades player. Every single play you had to know where he was and what position is he playing now. A real game changer.” Weakness: Andrews, as the previous coach mentioned, is a jack of all trades. It’s a compliment that he is willing to do anything to help his team win. Having stated that, he must now learn to master one position. He will get that chance. Under the tutelage of Harlon Barnett this young man has the potential to be a work of art. Dantonio says, “Austin Andrews is a talented all-around athlete, who sometimes played nearly every snap in this high school games. He got the bulk of the carries on offense and turned right around and play every down on defense. Austin has great change of direction and acceleration. He has great ball skills, deep-ball judgment and tackling ability in space. He’s a very tough, competitive and intelligent cornerback. A highly recruited player from Ohio, we watched Austin play and perform in person. He’s a Level 1 player.”
- Thiyo Lukusa OT 6’5” 330# Traverse City, MI Lukusa is a mountain of a man. He is a big, bruising player that can flex his body in angles that should be illegal for a person of that size at this age. He is dominant at the point of attack. A coach’s take: “He is so big and powerful and you can’t teach those things. Offered early, with our hope of landing him being he went unnoticed. Clearly that didn’t happen.” Weakness: Lukusa is big and powerful, but he needs time with Ken Mannie. With a strong work ethic his ceiling is scary good. Hard to find big men like him that are willing to go at it in practice and the weight room, but he is. Once Ken Mannie gets to sculpt him, I dare say look out. Dantonio says, “We ?rst got to know Thiyo Lukusa between his freshman and sophomore years when he competed in our summer camp. We followed up shortly thereafter and offered Thiyo a scholarship, and he has continued to grow and develop physically. He has outstanding footwork that he’s helped de?ne through his success on the basketball court. Thiyo is a big, strong athlete who wants to be great. Enrolling early will provide Thiyo with an opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge to compete for playing time early in his career.”
- A.J. Arcuri OL/DL 6’7” 274# Powell, OH Arcuri is the most intriguing of the 2016 class. He is a super young man, but he plays with an edge, a toughness that is hard to control. A coach’s take: “He is a tough kid that just blows up offensive lines. We had a mandatory double team on every play against him, even if the play was going away from him. A real high drive.” Weakness: Arcuri was strong for his age. Arcuri is a smart young man and driven, but he will benefit from a red shirt in order to get stronger and learn more about how to play his position. You can’t teach the intangibles of football, but with a love for the game you can learn everything else. Arcuri loves the game. Dantonio says, “AJ Arcuri excelled as a tough, hard-nosed defender at Olentangy Liberty, but he can play on either side of the ball. He’s very long and agile. AJ attended our camp as an offensive tackle last summer, and he immediately took the coaching points and showcased his ability to play offensive line at a very high level. We had an opportunity to evaluate him in our summer camp as well as watch him play in person. AJ is a Level 1 player.”
- Matt Coghlin K 5’10” 185# Cincinnati, OH Coghlin is an accurate kicker that reminds me a lot of Martine Gramatica, the former NFL kicker. He can drill the ball and seems to handle pressure with ease. A coach’s take: “Really like how he really has the ball explode off of his foot. That tells you someone is an artist and not just a kicker.” Weakness: Coghlin within his range is deadly. He has to get stronger to extend that range. I have no worries that he will, but as of this moment a red shirt is a giant deal for him so that he can extend his range. Dantonio says, “Matt Coghlin really impressed our staff with his competitiveness during our kicking camp last summer, and he proved to be money in pressure situations. He also became a YouTube sensation last fall, with his onside kick in a game-ending situation. He is cool under pressure; has great lift on his kicks; punts and has the ability to kick-off deep as well. Matt is a Level 1 player.”
Two additional notes:
*) Mufi Hunt DE 6’6” 215# Sandy, Utah was rated in the last class even though his scholarship counts for this one. Originally Hunt was going to go on a Mormon mission and enroll in 2017. That changed and he is on campus now. Here is what we wrote about him last year: Hunt is a fierce defensive lineman who plays with a high motor. He is a rare combination of speed and power and plays both rush and pass with ease. A terrific player who after a two-year mission trip will have some adjustment but will be a big impact player. A Coach’s take: “Mufi is a special player and an even more special person. A high motor for a lineman that really should set him up for an NFL career should he not go backwards while out of football for two years.” Weakness: Mufi is brute force strength. He just owns the line of scrimmage. Won’t be able to do that and he will have to add weight and strength ASAP upon returning. Here is what Dantonio said of Hunt in February of 2016, “Muffi Hunt was one of the most highly recruited players who came out of the West a year ago. He’s a long, rangy, athletic defensive end, with unlimited potential. Mu? is a quick-bodied lineman, who can play multiple positions on our four-man front. He has shown great acceleration off the football. As a midyear enrollee, Mu? will be provided with the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge early on, both on and off the ?eld.”
*) Cole Chewins OT 6’7” 250# Clarkston, MI entered with last year’s class, but was a gray shirt, which means that he got his scholarship as part of this class. Here is what we wrote last year, and he has done NOTHING to dampen expectations: Technically not part of this class (2015), Chewins will enroll with this class, but not get his scholarship until January. Thus, he will be part of the 2016 class and be considered a gray shirt. I love his game. If he was really a 2016 player he could be the best player in the state of Michigan for next year. Chewins is WITHOUT A DOUBT the real deal. Not technically the 19th player in this class, he is here because he isn’t technically part of the class. Just think Jack Conklin 2.0 and you will get Chewins. A Coach’s take: “Cole is a great player. Will have to bulk up, but the kid plays on the line like a work horse. We saw him as a three year starter for us, but an immediate player. Thought we had a shot because he has to pay his way the first semester, but it didn’t work out. This was a great get for Dantonio.” Weakness: Cole has the mean and the nasty, but he needs strength and size. He will get it with Ken Mannie, and when he does, look out. Dantonio’s take, “Cole Chewins from Clarkson High School is a young man with great growth potential. 6?6 or 6?7, much like Conklin when he came in, very athletic, defensive end, could really run, has good strength, upper body strength. Plays basketball, two?time state champion on their football team, as well and again, another young man when you go in that high school, what people say about him on an everyday basis, as the leader and as a doer, are things that are extremely impressive to you as a coach as you go through the process there. So he will be an outstanding player for us, as well, was defensive MVP on their team.”
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