Saturday, April 16 at 14:00 Michigan State Spartans open the gates to the public for the Spring Game 2022. Although not a traditional game, the enthusiasm and energy for the event is unwavering. The enthusiasm is reflected not only through the fan base, but also by looking at recruits around the country. A look at our VIP Visitor list for spring games 2022 shows how truly unprecedented this event is for the Michigan State program.
MSU head coach Mel Tucker knows the significance of Saturday’s spring match in relation to his staff’s recruitment efforts. In return, he wants fans to show up and create a lively atmosphere for his recruits, touching on how the recruits will compare it to other spring matches in which they participate. “It makes a difference because recruitment, we compete for the players, we compete against other programs. When recruiting, the competition, a lot of it, is about comparison. So they want to compare their experience here with the experiences they see elsewhere, so we must put our best foot forward. “
Last year, MSU had a lot of prospects for visits to the spring match of 2021 despite the fact that there were major obstacles. There was a participation limit due to COVID, which forced all spectators to obtain tickets to participate, which was difficult due to the scarcity. And since the pandemic had also induced a recruitment period, the coaching staff could do nothing to ensure that their recruits got these tickets. Still, MSU had over 15 scholarship goals to participate in the game and it was considered a very successful result.
The positive result last spring led to the growing belief that this year’s match will be an even bigger spectacle as the aforementioned obstacles are gone and the program comes out of an 11-2 season that has created massive excitement. Well, that belief is definitely becoming a reality.
MSU is to host nearly 40 scholarship goals for this year’s spring game, where the talent level is significantly higher than last year’s game. The top three expected visitors to the game are 247Composite Five-Star prospects, in DE David HicksRB Rueben Owensand OT Francis Mauigoa. While wildly impressive enough that they are five star, they are starting to be from Florida (Mauigoa) and Texas (Hicks & Owens) to highlight the point that t.The geographical composition of the entire visitor list is almost as impressive as the talent found on it.
Remember that spring game visits are considered unofficial visits, which means that a school’s staff cannot pay for the prospects’ travel, accommodation and food expenses as they can on official visits. So when you have players from across the country on unofficial visits to Michigan State, it really underscores how the nationwide profile of the program is rapidly rising. It might be the most important takeaway from all of this weekend if you try to use it as a barometer to assess the trajectory of the program.
Plus, the impressive theme outside the state also continues well past the five-star section of the visitor list. Only one of the top 11 highest-ranked 2023 visitors come from Michigan, while only two of the top 11 at all are from the Midwest (Depaepe and Thompson). These are nine of the 11 best leads coming from the SEC country. That would be impressive even for a traditional, long-term recruiting force, let alone a school that is currently preparing to make noise during Mel Tucker era.
Let’s look at some more numbers behind the entire visitor list (from 4pm on Thursday):
- 106 – # of “collected stars” when added together
- 37 – # of famous visitors so far (only counts children who already have P5 offers)
- 16 – # of five-stars and four-stars present
- 11 – Number of states represented (Texas, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, New Jersey, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, Alabama)
- 5 – # of current commitments that will participate (which are all of them)
It is important to note that visitor lists often grow to the last minute. Children in the region have the opportunity to make plans right away as they drive up to campus, while some children outside the region may be missed in our research phase just because it is a very wide network to cast. As the game gets closer, these gaps fill up and these numbers will only grow for the next 48 hours.
All in all, it’s inevitable to make fans wonder about the star power of East Lansing this weekend: If that’s it, the staff will be cooking after just one winning season and ahead of groundbreaking at the new multi-million dollar Tom Izzo Football Building, how high is the ceiling for the program below Mel Tucker?
Although there is only one way to find out the answer to that question, one thing is still certain. For Michigan State to win a national title in this era of college football, the Spartans must have unprecedented success on the recruiting track. Well, the weekend’s visitor list certainly meets the description. If Mel Tucker, Saeed Khalif and the staff can start landing these guys when they officially visit season, then this weekend can be looked back on as the true catalyst for a special era of Michigan State football.
To hear more about how recruitment in Michigan State has gone over the past month, as well as how big the Spring Game visitor list is, check out the latest episode of SPARTAN SPOTLIGHT, no matter where you listen to podcasts. The Apple Podcasts stream is attached below.
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