Feb 2, 2012

Top Spartan Recruiting Snags for 2012

By Sean Gagnier

While their rivals in Ann Arbor stocked up with a full 25 player, nationally ranked recruiting class, the Spartans compiled the 35th ranked class in the country with 18 players - but that's just how Coach Mark Dantonio does things.

In the five years that Dantonio has been the head coach at Michigan State they have never had a recruiting class ranked in the top 25 in the country; and yet the Spartans have compiled the first back-to-back 11 win seasons in school history. Michigan State has consistently turned three and four star players into top players under Dantonio - Greg Jones, B.J. Cunningham, Kirk Cousins.

The 2012 recruiting class is stocked with essential needs for the Spartans - they addressed the wide receiver, tight end and safety positions well and are poised to have another successful year. With the graduation of Cunningham, Keith Nichol and Keshawn Martin, Michigan State was needing at the WR position and it was addressed.

The Spartans wrapped up Tennessee-transfer DeAnthony Arnett, No. 1 ranked player in Michigan Aaron Burbridge, Kyle Kerrick and Monty Madaris. Arnett was a four-star recruit last season before heading to Rocky Top, he transferred to Michigan State for this semester to be near his ailing father and is awaiting a NCAA waiver to play next season. Burbridge was deemed the top ranked player in the state of Michigan as a four-star recruit.

Madaris who signed his letter of intent at 7:35 a.m. on Thursday, is a four-star recruit out of Cincinnati and is ranked as one of the top players in the state of Ohio. Kerrick is a three-star recruit out of Coatesville, PA as is Macgarrett Kings Jr. out of Ft. Lauderdale University School, FL.

Dantonio has stated that Arnett and Burbridge could make immediate impacts with the team meaning that they could both compete for starting positions in 2012. The Spartans also boast Bennie Fowler, Juwuan Caesar and Keith Mumphery in the current receiving corps.

A big get for Dantonio was four-star safety Demetrious Cox, Jeannette, PA. Cox has previously verbally committed to Penn State but after the child abuse scandal surrounding Happy Valley he decommitted and signed up with the Spartans on Wednesday.

Of the 2012 recruiting class, there are about 12 that could have a chance to break into the starting lineup next season - but seeing as the Spartans red-shirted all but one recruit last season, that number could be much smaller than 12. Arnett and Kerrick could break into the receiving corps and tight end's Evan Jones and Josiah Price could compete with Dion Simms for a starting TE job.

Arnett has already settled into the role as a Spartan and has ruffled some feathers in Ann Arbor in a recent interview regarding his recruiting choices. When asked whether he considered Michigan as a transfer location from Tennessee, Arnett said it "wasn't a hard decision. I looked at Michigan and it's kind of thing where, Denard (Robinson) is going to do Denard."

He has not submitted a waiver to the NCAA to play next season with Michigan State and the Spartans have said that there is no timetable for when Michigan State would expect to hear from the NCAA after Arnett officially files his papers. Dantonio has stated that if needed they could wait on Arnett but that he would see the field immediately should he clear NCAA waivers.

Check out the Spartans full recruiting class and the official recruiting video provided by the Michigan State Athletic Department. 


Spartans 2012 Recruiting Class
Riley Bullough            ***     LB     6-2"    220 lbs    Traverse City St. Francis
Aaron Burbridge       ****  WR    6-1"    190 lbs     Farmington Hills Harrison
Demeterious Cox      ****   S       6-1"    192 lbs     Jeannette (Pa.)
Jermaine Edmondson ***    DB    6-1"    170 lbs    Canton (Ohio) McKinley
David Fennell             **     DT     6-3"    274 lbs    Portland (Ore.) Sunset
Zach Higgins              ***   OL     6-5"    305 lbs    Alliance (Ohio) Marlington
Evan Jones                ***    TE     6-6"    240 lbs    West Lafayette (Ohio) Ridgewood
Kyle Kerrick             ***    WR   6-3"    183 lbs    Coatesville (Pa.)
Kodi Kieler               *** OT/OL 6-6"    305 lbs    Gibraltar Carlson
Macgarrett Kings Jr.  ***   WR   5-11"   178 lbs    Ft. Lauderdale University School (Fla.)
Jamal Lyles              **** DE/LB 6-3"    215 lbs    Southfield-Lathrup
Monty Madaris        ****   WR   6-2"    190 lbs    Moeller (Ohio)
Benny McGowan      ***    OL    6-4"    290 lbs   Centerville (Ohio)
Mark Meyers           ***     DB   6-0"    180 lbs    Toledo Whitmer (Ohio)
Tyler O'Connor        ***     QB   6-3"    202 lbs    Lima (Ohio) Central Catholic   -ESPN Elite Eight QB
Josiah Price             ***      TE    6-5"    239 lbs   Greent'n (Ind.) Eastern Jr./Sr.
Ezra Robinson         ***      DB   6-0"    174 lbs   Sarasota (Fla.) Booker
Nick Tompkins        ***     RB   5-10"   185 lbs   Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood 


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