Breaking down Michigan State's 2022 football recruiting class
Detroit News contributor Allen Trieu, who covers Midwest recruiting for 247Sports, breaks down Michigan State's 2022 football recruiting class.
Highest-ranked player: DL Alex VanSumeren, Essexville (Mich.) Garber
247Sports’ No. 3 prospect in the state and a top 200 overall player, VanSumeren is an extremely hard worker who plays with motor and explosiveness. His ability to move his 300 pounds like a smaller player should make him an asset in East Lansing and he should not be ruled out as a potential early impact player either.
Best senior year: WR Antonio Gates Jr., Dearborn (Mich.) Fordson
Gates Jr. was the opposing team’s priority every week and he saw double, triple teams, bracket coverage, whatever the opponent could scheme up to stop him. He was still, weekly, one of the best players in Michigan. He was a Mr. Football candidate and came up big in several games that helped Fordson reach the playoffs.
Three-star most likely to succeed: WR Jaron Glover, Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview
Receivers who are 6-foot-3, 195 pounds and run 10.9 in the 100-meter dash do not grow on trees. Glover is also a dangerous return man. There is a lot of size and physical ability here and he has produced. He is more than raw talent.
Biggest: OL Kristian Phillips, Conyers (Ga.) Salem
At 340 pounds and 6-foot-6, Phillips is the largest player in the class. 6-foot-8 Ashton Lepo is the tallest. 6-foot-7 Braden Miller joins to give the Spartans some big bodies in the offensive class. Phillips also has the distinction of being the first commit in the class.
Best recruiting win: QB Katin Houser, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Houser was committed to Boise State and at the time the Spartans reached out, he had only Mel Tucker and his staff’s first season to consider. For him to trust the staff and commit to MSU at that point was a leap of faith that paid off for Houser and a great job by MSU to build that trust. It worked out for both sides as the Spartans went 10-2. Houser is one of the cornerstones of this class and became an Elite 11 finalist who rose in the rankings as a senior.
Strength of the class: The defensive backfield
This is an athletic class with many multi-positional players. A good portion of that group could end up playing in the secondary. Jaden Mangham is a long, four-star with excellent ball skills. Dillon Tatum brings track speed and experience at several positions but projects as a prototypical nickel. Virginia Tech flip Malcolm Jones is one of the more intriguing additions, a 6-foot-1 ballhawk of a safety. Caleb Coley’s recruitment and ranking was affected by missing his senior year with an injury. But the Vanderbilt flip was a sticky cover man as a junior. Ade Willie, a physical 6-foot-2 prospect who saw good competition at IMG Academy, completes the group.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.