Spartans Impressive 2010 Class Favors Defense

Joe BrownCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 25: Head coach Mark Dantonio of the Michigan State Spartans yells from the sideline while playing the Michigan Wolverines on October 25, 2008 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan State won the game 35-21. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Michigan State football program landed a highly-regarded class last year with players like the one-two backfield duo of Larry Caper and Edwin Baker, from Battle Creek and Oak Park-Mich., respectively. Coach Mark Dantonio's staff also convinced one of the top pro-style quarterback's in the nation, Andrew Maxwell, to come aboard.

On the defensive side, they signed Chris Norman, linebacker from Detroit and lineman Blake Treadwell a stone's throw away at East Lansing High School.

Two notable recruits outside of Michigan were offensive linemen Nate Klatt (C, Ohio) and the towering Iowa-based product and future bookend, David Barrent (6'7", 285).

In all, nine of their fourteen recruits were offensive players. It was by far Dantonio's best class since replacing John L. Smith. However, despite his successes over in-state rival University of Michigan, disappointing bowl-game losses and an inability to beat ranked teams are causing whispers of waning job security.

Michigan State's 2010 season will be a defining point in his future. Most, if not every, player on the roster will be his recruits when they kickoff the season against Western Michigan in early September.

The incoming class includes a five-star defensive end and an obvious focus on defensive talent. It's one of the best back-to-back classes Spartans fans have seen in a while.

The incoming class includes a five-star defensive end and an obvious focus on defensive talent. It's one of the best back-to-back classes Spartans fans have seen in a while. Here is a quick glance at the defensive-only recruits likely coming to East Lansing next year.

5* William Gholston (DE) 6’7" 250 (Detroit, MI)

Not many defensive players in the last 10 years with this much hype has joined the Spartans. His cousin is New York Jets linebacker Vernon Gholston.

With imposing size and rare speed, look for Gholston to challenge for Big 10 Freshman of the Year. 

4* Max Bullough (MLB) 6’3" 225 (Traverse City, MI)

Hard-nosed linebacker has MSU bloodline. Old-school approach in terms of toughness, Bullough is a very smart, disciplined player and candidate for team captain his Junior and Senior seasons. Paired with Chris Norman will give Spartans best LB duo in Big 10 for three to four years.  Had offers from Iowa, Notre Dame and UCLA too.

4* Mylan Hicks  (CB) 5’11" 180 (Detroit, MI)

Almost identical to fellow-recruit and cornerback, Christian Bryant, but Hicks is faster. Hicks and fellow DB Lewis (two spots below) were both selected to the All-American East/West game.  (Also had offers from Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Purdue, and reportedly Miami pulled an offer, which led to MSU locking him up).

4* Isaiah Lewis (S) 5’11" 190 (Indianapolis, IN)

Had a season-ending injury in October but should bounce back. He looks a little bit like a smaller version of Bennie Blades on tape. Watching his film, I see a serious hitter with bad intentions and dependable tackler. Biggest knock is below-average speed.  (Other offers included about half of the Big 10 and a couple SEC teams)

3* Marcus Rush (DE) 6’3" 240 (Cincinnati, OH)

Another recruit who many consider a Four*. Fast, mean and one scout said his best role might be as a hybrid (Demarcus ware type). (Other offers: Nebraska, UofM, Virginia, Cincinatti, Boston College and Wisconsin)

3* Justin Wilson (LB) 6’0" 220 (Davie, FL)

Most recent commitment (1/16) the staff stole out of Florida. Wilson flew under the radar during his career to the scouting sites but not with college coaches. Not even one of the Top 40 LBs (probably because of the scouting websites lack of knowledge & film) in the 2010 class. But he might be No. 1 in intensity which will mix well with Norman and Bullough. Has a very impressive offer list from traditionally-strong defensive teams. (Offers include: TCU, Missouri, Purdue, West Virginia, and South Florida) Spartans got lucky because he was waiting on an offer from FSU—which never came.

3* Kurtis Drummond (S) 6’3 190 (Hubbard, OH)

Helps solidify MSU’s 2010 defensive back class as one of the better in the nation. Star basketball player too. (Other offers include: Michigan, Purdue, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Boston College, and Cincinnati)

Waiting with Baited Breath....

With the official signing day quickly approaching Michigan State is holding out hope a recruit or two may flip from their soft verbals to other programs.

3* Mike Dorsey (S) 6'3 215 (Warren, OH)

Dantonio and his staff are capitalizing on the inroads established while coaching the Cincinatti Bearcats before heading north. Dorsey is another talented defensive back from Ohio and would be a heck of a grab, should he switch his verbal to West Virginia to an official for State.

The film Dorsey has out there clearly shows the atypically large DB plays his position with a linebacker's mentality.

3* Bruce Gaston (DT) 6'3 310 (Chicago, IL)

Very big body who stands out on film as being, surprisingly, one of the quickest players on either side of the ball.

While Notre Dame and Illinois originally seemed to have the market cornered for Gaston's services, reports and recruiting experts claim Michigan State may have jumped ahead of them both--especially the Fighting Irish.

Like Dorsey, he was sitting behind the Spartans bench two weeks ago on a visit and looked to be having a great time.

Check back in one week for the offical list of signings!


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