Michigan State website’s poor Wolverines recruiting review backfires

Michigan State website’s poor Wolverines recruiting review backfires

The difference between Michigan and Michigan State’s football programs is astronomical right now. The Wolverines are coming off three straight Big Ten championships and a national title to cap off a stellar three-year run. The Spartans, meanwhile, fired their previous head coach Mel Tucker amid an embarrassing scandal and start over in 2024 with Jonathan Smith after going 4-8 last year.

Oh, and Michigan beat Michigan State 49-0 in East Lansing last season in a game that was a sideshow for the Wolverines en route to the sport’s ultimate prize.

Still, even that isn’t enough for some in the MSU circle to get a hint. Such is the case with Spartan nationone of our sister sites within the Sports Illustrated network. The site recently published several articles on how Michigan and Michigan State’s 2025 recruiting classes are shaping up, and to say they’re missing the mark is an understatement…

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Spartan Nation published the above article referencing Michigan missing guys as defensive lineman Maxwell Roy (Ohio State), offensive lineman Hardy Wattsedge rusher Marco Jones (Texas A&M) and offensive lineman Seuseu Alofaituli (Miami) in early July. At the time of writing, the Wolverines’ 2025 recruiting class was ranked No. 21 in the nation, while the Spartans’ was ranked No. 53 nationally. But that’s just the beginning…

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Spartan nation

While Michigan missed out on a handful of targets in early July, Michigan State had its own issues landing many lower-rated prospects. The Spartans watched as linebacker Beerman Award commit to Purdue, offensive linemen Darius Afala And Houston Kaahaina-Torres commit to Oklahoma and Nebraska respectively and play running back Jon Denman commit to TCU — all players Michigan State heavily targeted.

Meanwhile, Michigan pulled off a huge recruiting campaign Monday by signing the four-star safety from Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange Ivan Taylor from rival Notre Dame and signing four-star Center Valley (Pa.) Southern Lehigh tight end Andrew Olesh within the span of about an hour. Those two additions propelled the Wolverines’ 2025 class all the way up to No. 11 in the nation. The Spartans, meanwhile, are still waiting for their first commitment in July.

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When you’re doubting and struggling, pull out the coping mechanisms. Yes, it’s true that some of the best players from the Mark Dantonio era were overlooked as prospects that Michigan State developed and molded into good players. The reality is that even if Jonathan Smith is able to do something similar in East Lansing, it will be years before the Spartans see the benefits. Smith and MSU will likely rely heavily on the transfer portal in the coming years to try to be competitive in the new, tougher Big Ten Conference, but the Spartans have a ton to make up ground in order to reach the top of the rankings.

Recruiting rankings may not be the be-all and end-all of college football, but they certainly matter. Programs that regularly played in the four-team College Football Playoff were often loaded with four- and five-star prospects. Of course, Michigan had its share of overlooked high school prospects who blossomed into stars, such as former three-star recruit Mike SainristilBut the Wolverines also had certified studs at cornerback Will Johnson (five star), quarterback JJ McCarthy (four/five stars), Donovan Edwards (four/five stars), Blake Corum (four-star) and countless other guys along the offensive line and on defense who were four-star caliber prospects.

Look, Jonathan Smith is a good football coach and I think he can eventually turn Michigan State back into a program that can’t be overlooked in the Big Ten. That said, the Spartans aren’t in the same universe as the Wolverines in terms of where the two programs are right now. Michigan head coach Sherrone Moore has yet to prove himself as the leader of a high-profile program, but the 38-year-old has gotten off to a strong start in Ann Arbor with the recruiting staff and class he’s assembled so far.

– Enjoy more Michigan Wolverines coverage at Michigan Wolverines On SI –

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