Which New Michigan State Spartans Will Have the Biggest Impact?
With the 2011 season quickly approaching I want to know who will stand out from this year’s recruiting class. This article will be devoted to identifying who from the 2011 recruiting class will make the biggest impact on this team both this season and throughout their (hopefully) four-year careers at Michigan State. This last season it was William Gholston and LeVeon Bell.
But no one wants to be the guy who picks the five-star recruit that is already expected to make a difference. So no Lawrence Thomas this year. Here are the five players from this class who will be considered impact players in the near future.
5. Donovan Clark
Donovan Clark is a four-star offensive lineman out of Cincinnati who Dantonio has already stated will get playing time early. Best utilized as a run blocker, he is very explosive and has a great reaction time. He has tremendous strength and good, low form that allows him to drive defenders. His pass protection could use fine tuning but he will absolutely hold a place on this team in the near future.
4. Fou Fonoti
Photo Courtesy of DetFreep
Fonoti is a 3-star offensive tackle who transfered from a junior college in California, so it could be argued that he is the most college-ready. He stands tall at 6'5" and is 295 pounds, with incredible strength that has already seen a higher level of competition than most.
Dantonio said in February, “Fou Fonoti was an outstanding junior college offensive lineman who is capable of playing either guard or tackle. He should be an immediate contributor. He plays with great feet and great aggressiveness, and is an outstanding technician. Fou comes from an outstanding junior college program with great structure.”
3. Damon Knox
A 3-star defensive end out of Muskegon, Michigan, this kid stands tall at 6’5″ and 265 lbs. Greg Johnson of the Grand Rapids Press reported that, “Three years ago he was still catching up with his growth spurt, and really started to shine on the field in his senior season.” Always a good sign. He already has the size to play college defensive end but by adding a little more weight he could easily move to defensive tackle.
His speed is decent but has room for improvement as he ran a 4.9, good enough for a defensive lineman. He may not see much immediate playing time because of the depth of Michigan State’s defensive line. Still, learning under players like Jerel Worthy, William Gholston and Tyler Hoover will aid his development tremendously.
2. Arjen Colquhoun
Despite my having no clue how to pronounce this kid’s last name, I am very, very excited for his commitment. Arjen is a three-star cornerback from Ontario who stands 6’1″ and runs a 40 time of 4.39 seconds! He is a tall, fast, aggressive defensive back who is every defensive coach’s dream and every offensive coach’s nightmare.
Here’s a snippet from a Yahoo! article regarding Colquhoun at a camp at Notre Dame: “Taller safety prospects usually have a rough time in one on ones against quicker receivers, but Colquhoun was fearless in breaking on the ball and being aggressive with receivers. On several occasions, he disrupted a shorter route, or broke on the ball to record a pass breakup.”
1. Juwan Caesar
A three-star wide receiver out of Miami, Florida, this kid is the one I am most excited to see play. Let's start with his other offers: Florida International, Illinois, Minnesota, South Florida, UCF and West Virginia. His tremendous size at 6’4″ and 190 lbs. makes him already fit to play at the college level.
Scout has his forty time listed at 4.65 which, when you see the video posted, seems inaccurate. I would not look at this kid as slow by any means. His incredible size and natural athleticism translates to a great jump ball receiver. He has good instincts and a good ability to track the ball in the air over defenders. With three wide receivers graduating this year (Cunningham, Nichol and Martin), look for Caesar to have a tremendous impact early in his Spartan career.