EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Recruiting has changed a bit for Mark Dantonio since he first took over as Michigan State’s coach.
“When we came here back in 2007, the reality of the situation was that we were selling hopes,” Dantonio said. “It’s to a point now where we’re selling results, and that’s the big difference.”
After winning the Cotton Bowl last month and the Rose Bowl in 2014, Michigan State announced a 22-player recruiting class Wednesday. It includes LJ Scott of Hubbard, Ohio, who is considered one of the nation’s top running back prospects, and the Spartans also added a couple in-state defensive standouts — linebacker Tyriq Thompson of Detroit and cornerback Tyson Smith of Southfield.
Defensive end Cassius Peat of Chandler, Arizona, was a late addition to the class, and he reflects the degree to which Michigan State’s brand seems to have improved even outside the Midwest. Dantonio said there weren’t any major surprises toward the end of this recruiting season, and there was no need for him to do any scrambling at the end.
“I went for a run this afternoon because I wasn’t worried about anything. No drama. It was nice,” Dantonio said. “Even in the case of Cassius Peat, I knew for quite a while that this was the direction that he was going to go, but sometimes it’s just for my ears only.”
Michigan State’s class is ranked in the top 20 by Scout for a second straight year, meaning the 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes may be the best of Dantonio’s tenure so far.
“What’s happening now is we’re not sneaking up on anybody, whether it’s on the field or in recruiting,” Dantonio said. “With that comes some stars I guess.”
Top 25 Class: Yes. Rivals No. 22/Scout No. 17
Best in class: LJ Scott, RB, Hubbard, Ohio
Best of the rest: Raequan Williams, DL, Chicago
Late addition: Cassius Peat, DE, Chandler, Arizona
One that got away: Quart’e Sapp, LB, Alpharetta, Georgia (Tennessee)