Michigan State recruiting: Spartans’ 2018 running back search, commit highlights

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On the banks of the Red Cedar, recruiting never stops. We’re here every step of the way to keep you informed with our daily notebook. Recruiting questions? Comment below or direct them to lucas.srodulski@coxinc.com, and we’ll do our best to get them answered.


Michigan State RB targets stand out over the weekend

In several respects, recruiting has been a waiting game for Michigan State the last few weeks.

With the high school season and the academic year both getting started, many prospects can’t commit to visits to Michigan State, especially if they must travel long distances. But for the Spartans to land their first running back in the 2018 class, they must get players on campus.

“I am planning on visiting soon,” Palmetto Ridge (Naples, Fla.) running back DeMarcus Townsend said when asked over the weekend about Michigan State. But that was it. The 3-star senior in the 247Sports composite hasn’t set a date yet.

Let’s check in on how the Spartans’ top prospects at running back performed over the weekend. Townsend, for starters, had a massive performance in a 41-14 win over Riverdale (Fort Myers, Fla.), scoring 3 touchdowns and piling up 256 yards on just 12 carries.

Townsend’s game film shows several mind-blowing spins and cuts. The lightning-quick senior has a top eight that includes Michigan State, Arkansas, Baylor, Florida International, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Toledo and Virginia Tech.

Another Michigan State running back target from SEC country — 4-star Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.) standout Harold Joiner — had a massive weekend as well. It took him just 12 carries to amass 101 yards and 4 touchdowns, per local publication Village Living.

Michigan State has stiff competition to land the nation’s No. 5 running back, to say the least. Joiner’s latest top six included Michigan State, Alabama, Auburn, Texas, UCLA and USC. But instead of visiting one of those schools, he will be at Clemson this weekend for its game against Auburn. Clemson has not yet offered.

Three-star University of Detroit Jesuit running back Elijah Collins had himself a weekend as well. After struggling with cramps but still recording a touchdown and interception in a season-opening lost, he posted touchdown runs of 55 and 4 yards to lead Jesuit to a 44-6 win over Ann Arbor Pioneer.

In an interview with Scout last week, Collins did not offer much insight into his recruitment, saying, “I’m trying to figure out which days I can go on my officials during the season.”

In focus: Michigan State commit highlights

Last week, we kicked off this weekly notebook feature. We’ve shown you the standout performances of several players in Michigan State’s 2018 class, but let’s take a look at how some of the others performed over the weekend.

1. Olentangy (Lewis Center, Ohio) defensive tackle Jacob Slade showed tremendous speed for a 6-foot-4 tackle who weighs more than 250 pounds, getting to the edge in a flash to make the tackle.

2. His twin, Olentangy defensive end Zach Slade, did the same. He lined up at fullback, caught a pass and bullied his way for a big gain.

3. Chardon (Ohio) linebacker Chase Kline keeps giving Michigan State fans more reasons to be excited. His highlight film is a nonstop showing of his relentless play. Though film doesn’t cover everything, it looks like he plays at 100 percent every second he’s on the field.

The post Michigan State recruiting: Spartans’ 2018 running back search, commit highlights appeared first on Land of 10.

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