Michigan State will have at least nine official visitors on campus this weekend, the first chance for Mel Tucker and his staff to have hosted a group of official visitors since they took over in East Lansing.
The group comes from seven different states.
► Antonio Gates Jr., WR, Dearborn Fordson: At one time, Gates Jr. had set a commitment date and it was believed that favored the Spartans. He held off on that, wanting more time to process recruiting. As that happened, he continued building a relationship with the new MSU staff which has resulted in this visit getting scheduled. The son of former NFL tight end Antonio Gates, Gates Jr. is a physical prospect who has played on the Fordson varsity since he was a freshman.
► Chase Carter, DE, Minneapolis (Minnesota) Minnehaha Academy: At one time, Carter was a Division I basketball recruit and held an offer in hoops from Minnesota, where his father played basketball. It is actually Iowa and Iowa State that the Spartans are competing with more than the Gophers, though, who have yet to offer in football. Following his trip to East Lansing, he will head to Iowa State next weekend and then Iowa the last weekend in June. He has spoken highly of his relationship with the Spartan staff, particularly defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton and defensive line coach Ron Burton.
► Nicco Marchiol, QB, Chandler (Arizona) Hamilton: A recent de-commitment from Florida State, Marchiol had this visit scheduled even when he was still a verbal to the Seminoles. Jay Johnson has had a long-standing relationship here, as he (and Tucker) were Marchiol’s first offer when they were at Colorado. Arizona State is getting healthy buzz as a strong contender and West Virginia also will get an official visit, but this will be MSU’s opportunity to impress.
► Braden Miller, OT, Aurora (Colorado) Eaglecrest: This is another prospect the Spartan staff has a relationship with from their time at Colorado. He is a big, true tackle prospect at 6-foot-7 and pushing 300 pounds. His offer list includes Stanford, Tennessee, Michigan, Okahoma State and more. Michigan State is currently the only known official he has planned, but he has said he would visit other schools before making a summer decision.
► Jaylen Lewis, CB, Brownsville (Tennessee) Haywood: Lewis is part of a Tennessee crew Michigan State has been aggressively recruiting. A long, athletic prospect who has been looked at by school as an athlete, safety and even receiver, his size and ball skills could project well to corner. After MSU, Lewis will take officials to Auburn, Arkansas and Indiana.
► Shannon Blair, athlete, Knoxville (Tennessee) West: Similar to Lewis, Blair is a Tennessee native who can play all over the field, but his length and twitch are intriguing in the secondary. The Spartans lead on his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions over offers from Duke, Purdue, Wake Forest, Virginia and more.
► Jack Nickel, TE, Alpharetta (Georgia) Milton: A one-time Notre Dame commit, Nickel is a prospect Michigan State came at quickly once he was back on the market. He will get to Virginia Tech and California for official visits following his trip to East Lansing. A well-rounded player at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, Nickel would be a great addition for the Spartans.
► Kevin Winston, athlete, Hyattsville (Maryland) DeMatha Catholic: The Spartans have a good relationship at DeMatha, having just signed teammate Antoine Booth in the previous class. Now they come back in for Winston, a big 6-foot-2, 190-pound recruit who is likely to be a safety in college. MSU gets the first at-bat with him with Penn State, Maryland and Notre Dame to follow.
► Alex VanSumeren, DT, Essexville Garber: Alex is the younger brother of Ben VanSumeren, who transferred to Michigan State in the offseason. A strong, intense competitor on the field and in the weight room, VanSumeren has seen his recruitment take off since de-committing from Michigan. Texas A&M, Penn State, Alabama, Clemson and more are in pursuit.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.
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