NCAA FB

Michigan State signs 18 in 'quality' class

Share This Story

   
 

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)

Michigan State's recruiting class is relatively small.

Mark Dantonio insisted that's not a bad thing.

''I don't get too concerned about the size of the class as much as the quality of the class,'' Dantonio said after the Spartans received 18 national letters of intent Wednesday. ''A lot of these guys were targeted early on and have remained consistent throughout the process.

''People tested the waters to see how firm they were in their commitments, and they stayed firm.''

Michigan State is soft at some key positions because three standouts are skipping their senior seasons for the NFL draft.

Running back Le'Veon Bell, tight end Dion Sims and defensive end William Gholston left voids that became opportunities for others, including some incoming prospects.

The class includes three running backs: Michigan's Gerald Holmes, Pennsylvania's Delton Williams and Wisconsin's R.J. Shelton.

''It's a position that can be played by a freshman,'' Dantonio said. ''I think all three of these guys physically are very gifted.''

The only tight end signed was Dylan Chmura of Waukesha, Wis. Chmura's father, Mark, was a three-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Green Bay Packers from 1993-99.

''There's a need at that position, so he's going to have opportunities,'' Dantonio said. ''He's a confident young man, and he has a great background, with what he's been exposed to at the high school level or the fact that his father played that position at high level.''

Chicago's Demetrius Cooper seems to have the best shot to play as a freshman at defensive end.

Michigan State kicker Dan Conroy was a third-year starter last season as a senior, creating an opportunity next season for high touted Michael Geiger from Ohio.

''He'll be a guy that'll compete for the position right off the bat,'' Dantonio said.

The Spartans don't have glaring needs at linebacker, but that's the position of perhaps their top two recruits - Ohio's Shane Jones and Michigan's Jon Reschke - and Dantonio said he'll continue to put the best players on the field.

Damion Terry might test that policy next fall.

The three-year starting quarterback for Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Pa., where Williams was a teammate, could be talented enough as a thrower and runner to compete with returning starter Andrew Maxwell.

''Damion has the physical skills to play at this level - right now,'' Dantonio said. ''Now, the rest of it is up to him and our coaching staff, and obviously he has to fit the situation. A lot of this is timing and opportunity.''

Michigan State didn't have much of a chance to sign a large class. Dantonio said he lost just nine players who were seniors, and that may have played a part in recruiting analysts ranking the group in the middle of pack among Big Ten schools.

''The bottom line is if you recruit 25 guys, you've lost a lot of players,'' Dantonio said. ''When you don't lose as many players, that's a good thing when spring ball comes around.

''But I think this is a talented class, top to bottom.''

Dantonio was proud to say that none of the recruits wavered in their commitments despite some schools, including some in the Southeastern Conference, trying to lure them away.

''We're going to invest in these guys,'' he said. ''We're going to make their dreams come true.''

---

Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrylage

Tagged: Dan Conroy, William Gholston, Michigan, Michigan State

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash