Michigan State has grown accustomed to reeling in strong recruiting classes, which are typically supplied with talent and potential. The 2014 class already has secured two recruits and 2015 has one verbal commitment. However, the Spartans are among the final suitors for numerous revered high school juniors.
Considering the team’s current standing in regards to remaining eligibility and future NBA talent, these upcoming recruiting classes will hold a considerable level of responsibility regarding the team's future well-being.
Keith Appling and Adreian Payne are two of the team’s primary standouts, but the senior counterparts won’t be returning next year. Gary Harris is another difference-maker who is making his case for Big Ten Player of the Year, and he will likely forego his remaining two seasons to play in the NBA.
Normally, a program would plummet in subsequent years after suffering from those losses. However, Tom Izzo is a fantastic recruiter, and he’s even better at progressing young talent.
Michigan State has already secured their point guard of the future in 2014 commit Lourawls Nairn, who will be joined by 3-star recruit Javon Bess next year.
But it’s never too early to look even further ahead.
Deyonta Davis is the lone verbal commit from the 2015 class, but the Spartans are in the running for additional high-profile recruits.
These are the Spartans’ eight primary targets for the 2015 class, all of whom have been offered.
Deyonta Davis, a 6’9”, 215-pounder from Muskegon, Mich. committed in early December and serves as Tom Izzo’s first verbal commit from the class.
The high school junior is a steady, reliable scorer with fantastic length and athleticism. Most impressive, however, is his ability to score from the low post and mid-range.
Currently, ESPN has Davis listed as a 4-star recruit and Yahoo rated him as a 3-star. But as one of the most improving players on the circuit, those ratings could certainly increase as time goes on.
Expect Davis to excel under Tom Izzo’s tutelage.
Trevor Manuel- Originally from Lansing, Mich., Manuel has made it apparent that the Spartans are among his top choices. One of Izzo’s most targeted recruits, the 6’9” power forward has already taken several visits to Michigan State.
Per 247sports.com, Michigan State is the consensus destination for Manuel, as voted on by the site’s recruiting experts.
Landing Manuel would be paramount for the Spartans, as he is ranked 51st on ESPN’s 2015 rankings. The Oak Hill Academy product is a versatile scorer with endless potential on the offensive end, and indications state that he may join the Spartans in future years.
If it wasn’t for Kentucky’s pressing influence, Gill-Ceaser could easily become a Spartan in 2015. Lucky for Michigan State fans, he hasn’t been officially offered by the Wildcats yet.
Michigan State remains as one of the small forward’s leading candidates and is at the top of his list for the schools that have already offered.
A 5-star recruit and ranked 19th on ESPN, Gill-Ceaser is an athletic wing who will contribute immediately. He is college-ready, which is evidenced by his consideration to forego his senior year of high school.
The Spartans are definitely one of the prominent candidates to land the highly touted junior. However, his pending relationship with Kentucky may ultimately decide it.
For Brunson, the decision has been narrowed to opposing nemeses: Michigan and Michigan State. However, up to this point, it has appeared that the Wolverines have taken the upper hand.
It’s understandable why both programs are intrigued by the explosive point guard, as Brunson currently ranks 32nd on ESPN’s class of 2015 rankings.
The prospect of Brunson sporting the green and white remains in limbo, and it will be that much more devastating if the Spartans’ in-state rival capitalizes.
Whichever school is fortunate enough to gain Matthew’s services will improve tremendously. Ranked as the No. 11 recruit in ESPN’s rankings, Matthew is one of the most sought after high school players in the nation.
And for good reason, too. Matthews boasts a well-rounded game, which has captivated the nine schools that have offered him.
The big-time recruit has concealed most information regarding his future school, but the Spartans remain as one of his several of interest.
The talented Arkansas native is a recruit in high demand by a number of schools, mostly stemming from the SEC. Purifoy is mostly interested in Kentucky, though Michigan State is still in the hunt.
The chances for the Spartans to land Purifoy are slim, but they do exist. He would certainly be a tremendous asset.
The 10th ranked ESPN recruit has a plethora of schools after him, one of which is Michigan State. The Spartans have offered, however Bragg hasn’t expressed reciprocal interest.
But, miracles do happen. If Michigan State is lucky enough to somehow swipe him away from the other interested schools, then Bragg will be a force in Tom Izzo’s offense.
The sharpshooting lefty from Ohio has had his sights set primarily on Kentucky. However, Kennard has garnered considerable attention from many top programs, including Michigan State.
Similar to Bragg, Kennard is a popular commodity. The Spartans did extend an offer, but it appears unlikely that he will accept.