Michigan State Recruiting: Breaking down Joseph Scates’ film

Michigan State recruiting added a commitment from four-star 2018 wide out Joseph Scates on Tuesday and here’s what he brings to the table.

The second commitment in Mark Dantonio’s 2018 class happened to be four-star wide receiver Joseph Scates from Dayton, Ohio, and he announced his choice on Tuesday evening. It was somewhat unexpected, but after his visit in the fall, it wasn’t all that surprising.

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Scates had talked about how close he was to the staff and how much he enjoyed campus and meeting the coaches and players. It seemed like it was only a matter of time before he became a Spartan, but no commitment was made public shortly after and it looked like he might just enjoy the process.

However, he announced Tuesday that the wait was over and he’d be spending his four collegiate years in East Lansing.

For a team that went just 3-9 in 2016, Michigan State is off to a heck of a start to its 2018 recruiting class. Four-star athlete Xavier Henderson was the first to commit and now Scates has followed his lead a few months later.

What does the four-star receiver bring to the table? After watching his film and looking at his measurables, it’s clear that he could have the same two-way ability that Justin Layne did this year.

Layne stands 6-foot-2, 180 pounds while Scates is 6-foot-3, 175 pounds. Similar body types, both have impressive speed, both can return punts and kicks (if need be) and both can play some cornerback as well as receiver.

Having another Layne wouldn’t be a bad thing. The freshman wide out switched to cornerback halfway through the season and became a starter near the end of the year. The transition was seamless, but he may just go back to receiver in 2017.

Scates brings that same ability to play the defensive side of the ball as well and there’s a play in his highlight reel that reminds me of Layne more than anything. Layne had a pick-six in his first start at corner and it was where he read a short pass perfectly, broke on the ball before it was even out of the quarterback’s palm and took it the other way. Scates did the exact same thing, almost mirroring Layne.

What are the Spartans getting in Scates? An ideal-sized potential red-zone monster with strong hands, great body control and a guy who quarterbacks can just throw the ball up to and watch him come down with it.

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