Rewind Look at the 2011 Michigan State Football Recruiting Class…
1. TAIWAN JONES LB • 6-3 • 220 • New Baltimore, Mich. Anchor Bay Original class ranking: 1 Jones reminds a lot of people of Carl Banks and unseated four year starter and team captain Chris Norman.
2. FOU FONOTI OL • 6-5 • 295 • Lakewood, CA Cerritos College Original class ranking 6 Prior to being injured Fonoti was the rock of the OL. If he can return healthy and make some technique adjustments, could be Mark Dantonio’s first drafted OL at MSU.
3. JACK ALLEN C • 6-2 • 262 • Hinsdale, Ill. Hinsdale Central Original class ranking: 5 We told you from day one that Allen was the real deal. Such raw talent, but sadly was making the same technique mistakes in first start as he did in the BWW Bowl. That is on the coaching, he has NFL talent.
4. RJ WILLIAMSON DB • 6-1 • 190 • Middletown, Ohio Dunbar Original class ranking: 7 Came on strong in 2012. Has a monster upside, but also has big time competition.
5. SHILIQUE CALHOUN DE 6-5 • 225 • Middletown N.J. Middletown North Original class ranking 21 The real deal. On many big situations last year he was in and Will Gholston out. Fully expected to come out in 2013 and give the Spartans an upgrade as he takes over for Gholston.
6. LAWRENCE THOMAS LB • 6-4 • 245 • Detroit, MI Renaissance HS Original class ranking: 1 Struggled to find a home, but may be settled at DL. He is an athletic young man, who has a spot, just has to settle on one.
7. DONAVON CLARK OL • 6-4 • 305 • Cincinnati, Ohio Finneytown Original class ranking: 4 Another physical player with monster raw talent. Came in the UM game and started. Has NFL tools, does MSU have the coaching to develop him?
8. ED DAVIS LB • 6-3 • 214 • Detroit, MI Southeastern Original class ranking: 12 Physical player and strong player. Not playing more because he won’t unseat Denicos Allen.
9. CONNOR COOK QB • 6-3 • 197 • Hinckley, Ohio Walsh Jesuit Original class ranking: 11 Under used in 2012, but showed glimpses of his athleticism in the BWW Bowl game. Must be given a fair chance to win the starting QB job. He has earned it.
10. ANDRE SIMS, JR. WR • 5-9 • 170 • Snellville, Ga. Brookwood Original class ranking: 16 Matured in 2012 as a WR and won the PR job. Can he keep it in 2013? He is undersized and that means technique must be superb.
11. BRANDON CLEMONS DL • 6-4 • 265 • Milford, Pa. Delaware Valley Original class ranking: 2 Injured in 2012 after redshirting in 2011. If he stays healthy he is a player. Coming off of an injury, how strong will he go to become great? All the God given talent, he will determine how good he gets.
12. JOEL HEATH DE • 6-6 • 250 • Cincinnati, OH Mount Healthy Original class ranking 17 Under used in 2012. I know the staff sees major star talent with the youngster. I think reflecting back the staff would admit they under used him, but don’t expect that in 2013.
13. DARIEN HARRIS LB • 6-1 • 215 • Silver Spring, Md. DeMatha Catholic Original class ranking: 3 Harris should be much higher on this list. It is his fault that he isn’t. Coming out of spring in 2012 he was pushing Norman for his starting job and Taiwan Jones wasn’t close. Jones hunger when the season started propelled him to #1 and Harris disappeared. Sidetracked by off field things (none of them bad or troublesome) he fell out of love with football in my opinion. His ceiling is set by him.
14. ARJEN COLQUHOUN DB • 6-1 • 180 • Windsor, Ontario W.F. Herman Original class ranking: 20 Big, fast, strong and a DB threat. He will compete for the spot left by Johnny Adams.
15. TRAE WAYNES DB • 6-0 • 165 • Kenosha, WI Bradford Original class ranking 13 Waynes can play ball. He has great ball skills. Watching him and Colquhoun compete will be fun in 2013.
16. PAUL LANG TE • 6-5 • 235 • Pittsburgh, PA Mount Lebanon Original class ranking 19 Suffered a major injury to start his career. Lang got good reps in 2012, while still battling back from that injury. He must come in to 2013 ready because the Spartans have stockpiled TE talent.
17. DAMON KNOX DE • 6-5 • 265 • Muskegon, MI Original class ranking 18 Knox is a head scratcher. Ted Gill talked to me often about him and he never played. With more DL talent this year and LT making the move, Knox must have a major off season and spring to get in the mix for 2013.
18. MARK SCARPINATO DT • 6-3 • 270 • Milwaukee, WI Marquette Original class ranking: 14 Scarpinato must have the best off season of his life. He has yet to get in the mix and that has more to do with his motor than talent. A super kid, just like Knox, this is his time right now.
19. JUWAN CAESAR WR • 6-4 • 205 • Miami, Fla. Coral Park Original class ranking: 8 My colleagues and I always laugh at how often the fans bring up Juwan. He has all the God given physical ability to be great, but can make the move. Does he lack the motor to push himself? He had a major opportunity last year with MSU so wounded at WR and he didn’t make a move. He has to show himself, or continue to sit the bench.
No Longer with the Program
ONAJE MILLER ATH • 5-10 • 180 • Lansing, MI J.W. Sexton
MATT RAMONDO DT • 6-4 • 285 • Las Cruces, N.M. Mayfield