National Signing Day is less than two weeks away. This is typically the day when we tune into ESPN and watch five-star recruits from all over the nation sitting in their high school gyms at a podium. Seated next to them are usually their parents and their future agents (I'm kidding). Placed in front of them are three hats from different schools. When the big moment arrives, the athlete will usually give the old okie-doke fake out towards one of the hats before grabbing for his real choice. Generally speaking, the hats are from the usual suspect schools: Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Alabama, USC, Notre Dame, LSU, etc.
Michigan State fans should not expect anything different this year.
While many of you have commented in previous articles about Mark Dantonio's ability to turn two-star recruits and below into exceptional players for the Spartans (like Le'Veon Bell and B.J. Cunningham), it does not change the fact that the high profile guys still do not typically look towards East Lansing to play their college ball (William Gholston is the only five-star recruit the Spartans have nabbed in over 10 years).
As of Thursday, rivals.com has the Spartans tied for the 49th ranked recruiting class of 2012. http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/teamrank/2012/all/all.
Michigan State currently has 14 committed players, including two four-star recruits.
Aaron Burbridge is a 6'1", 175 lbs receiver from Farmington Hills. He runs a blazing 4.4 40 and is the top rated receiving prospect in the state of Michigan. He will likely fill the void left by the departing Keshawn Martin.
Jamal Lyles is a 6'3", 215-pound defensive end, and was rated as the 19th best defensive end nationally in the 2012 class.
Of course, much will change between now and National Signing Day on February 1st. The Spartans may grab at least one or two more high profile recruits before everything is said and done. I expect the Spartans to move up into the top 30 in terms of recruiting class rank after all the letters of intent are faxed in.
The positive for Spartan fans is knowing that Michigan State has positioned itself as one of the top 10-15 programs in college football over the past two seasons, and they have done it with similarly ranked recruiting classes.