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Michigan State offers more 2019 standouts
In just about any scenario, Michigan State won’t play its bowl game for at least another month. The Spartans won’t even find out their destination until Sunday. And with no Big Ten Championship Game to prepare for, they’ve got plenty of time to get ahead on the 2019 recruiting cycle.
As noted in our last notebook, Michigan State extended an offer on Monday to Salt Lake City East linebacker Tennessee Pututau, a 4-star senior in the 247Sports composite. Late that night his teammate, 3-star junior defensive tackle Siaki “Apu” Ika, announced his own Spartans offer.
— Siaki Ika'🦁 (@Jackfish801) November 28, 2017
Ika, ranked as the 27th-best defensive tackle in his class and the No. 3 junior overall in Utah, has been committed to BYU since June. However, he has continued to pick up offers and take visits elsewhere.
At 6-foot-3 and 360 pounds, Ika is a downright massive individual. His talent is pretty undeniable as well, and it has earned him offers from Cal, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt and Washington, among others.
That offer was part of Michigan State defensive tackles coach Ron Burton’s fruitful trip through Utah on Monday. He also met with 3-star Provo Timpview defensive tackle Jackson Cravens, a top target in the 2018 class.
And on Tuesday, the action continued. Four-star Parkway North (St. Louis) junior safety Jalani Williams announced that Michigan State had offered.
— Jalani Williams™ (@jalaniw9) November 28, 2017
Williams ranks 40th nationally among safeties in the 2019 class and fourth among Missouri juniors. He attends the same school as Michael Thompson, a 4-star senior defensive tackle whom the Spartans offered nearly a year ago.
The 6-2 Williams, though seen by some as a wide receiver, became the second 2019 safety offered by Michigan State in as many days, joining 4-star Archer (Lawrenceville, Ga.) star Jalyn Phillips. Williams already has a formidable offer list that includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin, among others.
And later in the day yet another junior safety landed an offer: 4-star Imhotep Institute (Philadelphia) standout Tykee Smith. The No. 22 safety in the 2019 class follows 3-star offensive tackle teammate and current Oregon commit Justin Johnson in picking up a Spartans offer. Johnson landed his in February.
— 2k (@TykSmith) November 28, 2017
Smith also holds offers from Maryland, Missouri, Rutgers, West Virginia and others.
Michigan State is set to lose safeties Khari Willis, Grayson Miller, Matt Morrissey and Jalen Watts-Jackson by the time the 2019 class arrives, making the position a big area of emphasis. The Spartans have two juniors committed to the class already, but both — quarterback Dwan Mathis and offensive tackle Spencer Brown — are projected to play offense.
In focus: Michigan State commit highlights
The list continues to shorten. Only three Michigan State commits remain in contention for their respective state championships. After this weekend, that number will be at zero.
Three-star linebacker Edward Warinner and Olentangy Liberty (Powell, Ohio) fell in the state semifinals, eliminating the possibility of a matchup between Spartans commits. On the other side of the bracket, 4-star defensive back Xavier Henderson, 4-star tight end Trenton Gillison and Pickerington Central held up their end, beating Colerain (Cincinnati), 41-28. The Tigers advanced to the championship game and will take on Mentor, which beat Warinner and Liberty.
Against Colerain, Henderson got it done in all three phases. He ran a kick back into opposing territory, recovered a fumble, picked off a pass and set up a game-sealing touchdown with the return. He carried 12 times for 66 yards, per ThisWeek Community News.
Gillison was no slouch, either, providing stout blocking on offense and ferocious pass rushing on defense. He recorded a sack and forced the fumble that Henderson recovered.
And how about the last of the three Michigan State commits still in action? Three-star offensive lineman Jacob Isaia and Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) advanced to the state title game in Nevada on Friday. The Gaels, who are in search of their eighth straight championship, knocked off frequent victim Liberty (Henderson), 35-13, while allowing the most points they have since Sept. 8.
Gorman will take on Reed (Sparks) for the title on Saturday.
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