Right now, it's easy to assume that Caleb Swanigan is Michigan State's for the taking.
On most fronts, everyone but the Spartans are considered filler suitors when it comes to courting the 6'8", 265-pound power forward/center out of Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Homestead.
However, while there may be a little something to that notion, it's not necessarily something worth taking to the bank.
While at the LeBron James camp in Las Vegas, Swanigan—the No. 3-ranked center of 2015, per 27Sports—was asked about his favorites. Not only did he say that he didn't have any, but he also subtly downplayed his supposed crush on Tom Izzo's program, via Jim Comparoni of SpartanMag.com (subscription required):
Note: By saying "play with," Swanigan is referencing being a teammate of Deyonta Davis (maybe the next Adreian Payne?) on Spiece Indy AAU.
A lot of people think Michigan State because I play with a Michigan State commit (junior Deyonta Davis) and they were on me early. They've just always been associated with me so that's why everyone thinks that's where I want to go. But the earliest teams to recruit me were Purdue, Illinois and Chicago State. So it doesn't matter who was the primary.
It's not a bombshell, but it's not exactly reinforcing the commonly held belief that Izzo is heads and shoulders above everyone in the race for the nation's No. 17-ranked prospect. However, the fact that the Spartans were early callers during the 5-star's recruitment certainly helps.
Also, having Davis as an AAU teammate could encourage him to choose Michigan State. Sure, that may not be the case now, but it could prove to be an influencing factor.
But Swanigan says—or at least alludes to—that playing with Davis during the summer isn't a big deal. Maybe he's trying to let everyone know that they're reading into that connection too much. Maybe not.
Either way, Izzo's in it to win it—and judging by his current standing with high-profilers of 2015 and 2016, there is reason to believe that he'll indeed land Swanigan. Call it a gut feeling or just plain speculation, but the iron is hot and Izzo seems ready to strike.
According to 247Sports' Crystal Ball, there is a 94 percent chance that Swanigan chooses the Spartans. The remaining six percent was shoved in Louisville's direction.
Again, that's just one poll on one site and not meant to be interpreted as the Gospel of Caleb. But the Crystal Ball's predictions are often in the neighborhood, and an overwhelming tilt in Izzo's favor contributes to an eager fanbase's comfort level.
The soon-to-be senior also has offers from Kansas and Arizona. Michigan, Ohio State, Duke, Notre Dame, Florida State and a host of others are interested in him, per 247.
Per Mike Hughes, publisher of InsideTheVille.com, Swanigan had high praise for two of the game's elite. Michigan State is certainly one of them, but teams that win (recent) national titles tend to stand out and attract the best.
What the Spartans Have to Offer
Well, Swanigan switched classes, and Michigan State happens to have immediate openings for talents such as his, so the decision to exit in 2015 was a wise one for a guy who's ideal for Izzo's frontcourt.
With one scholarship remaining, it's safe to assume that the Spartans are waiting for Swanigan to make the call. One left on the board. An open offer. The shoe fits.
What He'd Bring to the Table
As pointed out by Jason Scheer, publisher of (Arizona) WildcatAuthority.com, Swanigan is difficult to contain.
Athletically, there is a lot to like about Swanigan, who's another nimble heavyweight with great potential. He's also incredibly strong. He imposes his will on opponents every chance he gets. He's a what we call a "fierce competitor."
Think tough-as-nails like Derrick Nix, with a splash of touch something along the lines of Marquise Gray. Now Izzo just has to get the verbal.
Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan State Spartans basketball writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81
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