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Colby Wooden lands Michigan State offer
Dave Warner kept busy on Wednesday in the Atlanta area.
Michigan State had already offered Archer (Lawrenceville, Ga.) safety Jalyn Phillips, a 4-star junior in the 247Sports composite ratings, on Monday. But the co-offensive coordinator was on campus Wednesday to extend another offer to an Archer High standout.
Colby Wooden was the recipient this time. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound junior strongside defensive end ranks 28th among 2019 prospects at his position and 47th overall in the state. Warner dropped in with “the good news,” as Wooden referred to it.
Blessed to receive a offer from Michigian State pic.twitter.com/CF1wELK66k
— COLBY W (@CJW_21) November 29, 2017
“They’ve been watching me for quite some time and like what they see,” he told Land of 10, “and they wanted to offer me.”
Wooden said he was told his character, aggression, speed and nose for the ball led to the offer. Warner didn’t need to see him practice in person. Film told the story of Wooden’s improvements from his sophomore to junior year.
“I got a lot stronger,” he said. “I’m able to stay inside with the big boys and take on the run block. I also got faster. I just physically got bigger, and I’m better with my hands and technique.”
Georgia, Auburn, Duke and Virginia, which Wooden said have shown the most love, have all offered. Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest have also jumped in the race.
After Indiana and Rutgers, Michigan State became Wooden’s third Big Ten offer. He noted the conference’s propensity to produce top offensive linemen, which would allow him to face top competition. The Spartans’ recent history has also stood out.
“I know that they’ve been on a roll, that they’ve beaten Michigan two out of the last three years,” Wooden said. (That record can actually be expanded to four of the last five years.) “I know that they’re competing year in and year out, and they’re sending several players to the league.”
Wooden still has more than a year before he signs, but he knows what he wants. He plans to study physical therapy, and in terms of football, he wants to go somewhere he will have a chance to play as a freshman. But he doesn’t want an opportunity handed to him.
Warner spoke about getting Wooden up to Michigan State for a visit, but nothing has been planned. For now, the talented edge rusher is just relishing his latest offer.
“I was just glad and excited when [Warner] said it,” he said. “I know I worked hard.”
And he wasn’t the only Archer junior offered on Wednesday. Four-star cornerback Andrew Booth, the No. 17 cornerback in the nation, shared news of his offer later that evening.
— Andrew Booth Jr. (@andrewbooth21) November 29, 2017
Booth would be a tough grab for Michigan State because of all the powerhouse programs after him. Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Wisconsin have all jumped in the race — six of the top eight teams in the College Football Playoff rankings.
But the Spartans will continue to push, just as they have consistently done in the state of Georgia recently.
Full day for Dave Warner
That wasn’t it for Warner. He also checked in on Buford (Ga.) High, a regular stop for Michigan State.
There he took in practice, which led to an offer for 2019 defensive tackle Jalar Holley. Though unranked and unrated at this point, Holley already holds offers from Auburn, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky and Louisville as well.
— Jalar holley (@JalarHolley_90) November 29, 2017
Michigan State had offered a handful of Buford juniors on offense already, including 4-star running back Derrian Brown, 4-star offensive lineman Harry Miller, 3-star OL Riley Simonds and 3-star OL Carter Colquitt, who visited campus in September for the Spartans’ game against Notre Dame.
“We’ve always been a heavy, heavy, heavy run team, a heavy 21-, 22-personnel team,” Buford recruiting coordinator Fyrone Davis told Land of 10. “And now we’re going to a lot of 11-, 12-personnel. We still run some 21-stuff, but we’re so big and we’re so physical up front, I think that makes everyone want to offer our guys due to what we do offensively.”
Later on that day, Warner met up with one of the four 4-star prospects committed to Michigan State’s 2018 class: Woodland (Stockbridge, Ga.) offensive lineman James Ohonba.
— Dr. Sharon Ohonba (@DrO2010) November 29, 2017
The 6-4 tank of a lineman held offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and more before committing to the Spartans following an official visit in late September.
Mark Dantonio visits top-rated commits
Two of the other 4-star prospects committed to Michigan State received visits on Tuesday. And since they attend the same school, coach Mark Dantonio and his staff could take care of it all at once.
— T-Gill™♀️ (@T_Gillison8) November 29, 2017
Dantonio and his Ohio recruiters, co-offensive coordinator Jim Bollman and co-defensive coordinator Mike Tressel, dropped in on Pickerington (Ohio) Central tight end Trenton Gillison and defensive back Xavier Henderson, the two top-rated commits in the Spartans’ 2018 class. Henderson, seen directly in front of the tree above, plans to enroll early in January.
Gillison and Henderson are two of the three seniors committed to the Spartans whose high school seasons are not yet over (Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) offensive lineman Jacob Isaia is the third). Pickerington Central will take on Mentor for a state championship on Friday.
Michigan State’s 18-player class ranks 30th in the nation and fifth in the Big Ten.
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