September 29, 2006

Recruiting: The HOT List

Recruiting for the class of 2007 is in full swing. Michigan State is already off to a solid start with eight commitments. Coach John L. Smith is looking to bring in a stellar class this year and has put together our newest feature, The Hot List. Who are the top recruits on the board at this particular point in time?

NOTE: This information is compiled from our own research. It does not reflect the actual opinions of the Michigan State coaching staff. We will update this list frequently to show the increased level of interest of Michigan State toward key prospects and key prospect toward Michigan State.

If you are a recruit that has high interest in MSU and has an MSU offer and are not on this list, please e-mail at so we can update this list.

The Hot List contains a Baker's Dozen (13) of players that not only have a Michigan State offer, but are obviously plan "A" recruits for Smith and his staff based on the information we have acquired from recruits themselves, high school coaches and various recruiting updates.

We are not going to list recruits that have a Spartan offer, but are not listing MSU as one of the schools they are seriously considering.

The Hot List will be updated every two weeks. Players who commit to Michigan State will move to the commitment list.

Latest News:

The Spartans scored BIG when defensive tackle Ryan Wheat officially committed to Michigan State last weekend. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Wheat is a powerful player and should push for early playing time at Michigan State.

The commitment of Wheat gives the Spartans another solid in-state recruit. As of right now the Spartans have six in-state commitments. All of the commitments are ranked in our top twenty and three of them are ranked in the top 10. has all of the in-state Spartan commitments ranked as three or four-star recruits.

This weeks edition of the Hot List has several changes. The Notre Dame visit weekend had a big impact on recruiting. In addition, it is becoming more and more obviuous which prospects are stock on the rise and which ones are on the decline. Needless to say, The Hot List is all about recruits that are moving up.

Here is the most recent edition of THE HOT LIST!

Defensive Tackle Joseph Barksdale of Detroit Cass Tech High School, MI

At 6-foot-6, 323 pounds Barksdale is a freak of a defensive lineman. He has scholarship offers from every major school in the nation. Barksdale is not even close to narrowing down his list and his recruitment will likely go right up to signing day. Spartan defensive line coach Derrick Jackson is the primary recruiter of Barksdale and will certainly be spending as much effort as possible to be the person that gets the privilege of coaching Barksdale in college. He will play right away in college.

Update: The commitment of Ryan Wheat is a positive for the Spartans. In-State DT's Barksdale and Wheat would provide a heck of a combination. Though Barksdale has not talked about an official Michigan State, we have heard that the massive DT will be in East Lansing this weekend checking out the game. He won't be difficult to miss.

Primary Recruiter: Derrick Jackson

Joseph Barksdale scouting video

Safety John Dempsey of Cardinal O'Hara High School, NJ

The Spartans are looking for a solid safety prospect and Dempsey is high on the list. Don't let his 2-star ranking fool you. He is a better recruit than some of the other players who have more stars than him. Dempsey officially visited Michigan State last weekend and informed us he was very impressed with what the Spartans have to offer. He does not have any other official visits scheduled as of right now. The West Virginia Mountaineers are also actively recruiting him. Dempsey will return to action tonight after battling a high ankle sprain the past 3 weeks.

Primary Recruiter: Jeff Stoutland

John Dempsey scouting video

Cornerback Cedric Everson of Detroit Mumford High School, MI

Wanted: Lockdown cover corner. Must have great hips, speed, and the confidence to cover the best. If that was an ad placed in the paper, Cedric Everson would be someone you would want to hear from. The Mumford speedster is looking for a school that has a favorable situation from a depth standpoint. Everson has more offers than he can count and Coach Jackson is on the job.

Update: Everson was on campus this past weekend for the Notre Dame game. With the Spartans graduating both starting CB's the opportunity for someone like Everson could be significant.

Primary Recruiter: Derrick Jackson

Cedric Everson scouting video

Linebacker Anthony Fein of Scottsdale Community College, AZ

The Spartans hosted Fein on an official visit last weekend. spoke with him and he had a lot of positives to say about his time in East Lansing. The Spartans see Fein as someone who can come in an compete for the playing time that will be available due to the graduation of David Herron. With almost 4 years of military service and two years on JUCO football behind him, Fein is a mentally and physically mature player. Fein is a mid-year enroll player. At a legit 6-foot-3, 245-pounds, Fein has the size to stand up to the rugged play of the Big Ten.

Primary Recruiter: Mike Cox

Anthony Fein scouting video

Defensive Tackle Antonio Jeremiah of Hillard Darby High School, OH

Jeremiah is the top defensive tackle prospect in Ohio for the class of 2007. He has over 20 offers on the table including Michigan State. The interesting this is that Ohio State has not offered him. The rumor is that Ohio State actually is waiting to see what happens with Barksdale before making the offer to Jeremiah. Jeremiah has stated that he will commit to the Buckeyes if they offer. The is a classic case of an in-state kid being plan B for the Ohio State. Jeremiah, along with Wheat and Barksdale, was very impressive at the NIKE Camp as far as DT prospects.

Primary Recruiter: Dan Enos

Antonio Jeremiah scouting video

Defensive End Ishmyl Johnson of Milford Academy, NY

Johnson is new on The Hot List. He is the only official visitor scheduled this weekend. Johnson has excellent size at 6-foot-5, 250-pounds. He already has a Michigan State scholarship as well as offers from Illinois and Temple. Johnson is originally from New Jersey, and Michigan State has been keeping an eye on him for quite a while. The official visit to East Lansing will be his first and could be his last. In high school Johnson was an outstanding basketball player. Though his prowess was on the hardwood, he future is on the gridiron.

Primary Recruiter: Jeff Stoutland

Ishmyl Johnson scouting video

Defensive Back Ronald Johnson of Muskegon High School, MI

"RoJo" is the #1 prospect in Michigan for the Class of 2006. He can do a little bit of everything on the football field and do it all very well. UM sources are saying this one is as close to being wrapped up as can be for the Wolverines. Michigan State, however, is continuing to plug away at Johnson, and the idea of adding a player like him to go along with Keith Nichol would send shockwaves throughout the Midwest. Johnson is rated a five-star recruit by and the #20 in the entire nation. He could go higher before all is said and done.

Update: Lots of buzz around "RoJo's" recruitment this past week. News broke that Ronald's younger brother, Corey, committed to Michigan State. Lots of speculation about whether or not the commitnemt of Corey Johnson helps or hurt MSU's chances with RoJo. Our take: Ronald Johnson is still going to make his choice based on where he feels most comfortable. His brother's commitment to the Spartans can't hurt MSU chances, but will not be the deciding factor. RoJo decision will be based on numerous factors.

Primary Recruiter: Chuck Driesbach

Ronald Johnson scouting video

Linebacker Darran Kinsey of Miami Gulliver Prep High School, FL

As the Hot List evolves this fall fully expects several Florida prospects to be on the list. Kinsey is the first of what will certainly be several Sunshine State players to be featured. The reason we added Kinsey to the list is that linebacker is a position in which the Spartans want to upgrade the overall athleticism. At 6-foot-1, 235-pounds with 4.57 speed., Kinsey has the type of size to be that physical sideline-to-sideline player that Spartans are looking for in the class of 2007.

Primary Recruiter: Mike Cox

Darran Kinsey scouting video

Defensive Tackle Donald Langley of Seneca Valley High School, MD

Langley is a top of the list type of recruit for Michigan State. Langley visited Michigan State last weekend. He came away very impressed. The Tennessee Volunteers also made a strong impression the week before. Langley has future visits set up with Texas A&M and Penn State. This recruitment is far from over. What makes Langley even more valuable of a recruit is that he is a December graduate. With David Stanton and Cliff Ryan graduating, a mid-year enrollee like Langley could be the perfect medicine for the Spartan D-Line.

Primary Recruiter: Ben Sirmans

Donald Langley scouting video

Defensive Lineman Steve Matas of Mentor High School, OH

Michigan State has had plenty of success with defensive lineman out of Ohio, under Coach John L. Smith. The Spartans will start two Ohio products this year and another will be a key back-up. Matas is an interesting prospect due to the fact that he has the ability to projects as a strongside defensive end or defensive tackle. At 6-foot-5, 250-pounds he has the frame to easily carry more quality weight. He reminds us of the Rasmussen brothers who had a lot of success in the Big Ten at the DE and DT spots.

Update: Matas was on the Michigan State campus unofficially last weekend with is family. Click his profile for the latest news.

Primary Recruiter: Chris Smeland

Steve Matas scouting video

Safety/Linebacker CJ Peake of Trotwood-Madison High School, OH

Peake is one of the top prospects in Ohio for the class of 2007. He is rated 4-stars and a top 250 player. The 6-foot-1, 216-pound safety has a long list of offers, including the Spartans. Peake is the type of athletic player Coach Smith has indicated he wants more of on defense. Peake's recruitment is interesting in that the in-state Buckeyes have yet to offer him a scholarship. Many recruiting analysts and OSU fans are wondering what they are waiting for. The Buckeyes did MSU a favor a few years ago by slow-playing Javon Ringer, could that happen again? Peak was unable to make it to Michigan State last weekend due to having his high school homecoming.

Primary Recruiter: Dan Enos

CJ Peake scouting video

Defensive End Jeff Reiskamp of Cincinnati Elder High School, OH

Just the other week reported that the state of Ohio would be crucial to 2007 recruiting success. We profiled a dozen players from the Buckeye State that we believed to be high priority recruits. Jeff Rieskamp was on that list. The latest information is that Rieskamp was just offered a scholarship by Coach John L. Smith. He attended a session of the Michigan State camp and impressed the coaches. Rieskamp comes from a powerhouse high school program known for producing quality players.

Update: Rieskamp was supposed to attend the Notre Dame game last weekend, but a weather cancellation caused his game to be moved from Friday to Saturday. Rieskamp will likely set up his official visit soon.

Primary Recruiter: Dan Enos

Scouting video coming soon

Running Back Mason Robinson of Somerville High School in, NJ

Robinson is making his second appearance on The Hot List. The Spartans view Robinson as a Javon Ringer type of player. Robinson could play running back and kick returner for Michigan State. Robinson was on campus last weekend for his official visit. He came away very impressed, giving his visit a "10". Robinson still plans on taking a few more visits and schools like Iowa, Boston College and Rutgers are in the mix. The Spartans already have one talented Somerville High School product on the roster, Jesse Miller. Considering they did not take a RB last year, Robinson could earn early playing time.

Primary Recruiter: Jeff Stoutland

Mason Robinson scouting video

See you in two weeks

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