Monday was a successful day for Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Football program as it got verbal commitments from a pair of 2015 recruits.Felton Davis III, a wide receiver from Virginia, and cornerback Josh Butler from Texas both committed to the Spartans Monday and will be the ninth and 10th members of the Spartans 2015 recruiting class.
Both players represent recruiting wins for Michigan State in multiple ways. The first, obviously, is that they’re both solid players who will hopefully make an impact in the not-so-distant future. The second, which is even more important, is that the Spartans are starting to extend their recruiting reach outside of the midwest. Going into SEC/ACC territory and coming out with big name recruits is rare for Michigan State, but on Monday the Spartans were able to do just that–twice.
Felton Davis III is a 6-foot-3, 175 pound receiver whose best attribute is his ability to run after the catch. At 6-foot-3 Davis III’s height makes him an intriguing recruit because it’s difficult to find players with that kind of size who have the ball skills to play wide receiver in college. If he can add a little more weight onto his frame he has a chance to be a big time player for the Spartans, especially since MSU will be losing Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphery (two big targets) after this season.
As for the newest member of the “No Fly Zone”, Josh Butler, he is a 5-foot-11, 175 pound cornerback who, according to 247sports.com, has decent speed and above-average ball skills. It’s easy to imagine Butler as the next cornerback in line to step in and become a lockdown defender for the Spartans. With all the young talent MSU has in the secondary it will be tough for him to earn playing time as a true freshman in 2015, which could lead to him redshirting. If he decides to go that route, he could be in line for a full-time starting job by the start of the 2016 season.
While the raw recruiting numbers aren’t overly impressive for either Davis III or Butler (both 3-stars who rank outside the top 300 recruits nationally) if you look at the schools that each of them turned down in favor of the Spartans, you will be impressed. Davis III spurned Virginia Tech, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Missouri, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, West Virginia and Wisconsin in favor of Michigan State. Notice the three ACC schools, including his hometown Hokies, and two SEC programs that he turned down in favor of the Spartans.
Josh Butler’s list of suitors is even more impressive as he turned down Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson, Maryland, Notre Dame, Miami (Fla.), Tennessee and Oklahoma State.
What all this means for Michigan State is that the sustained success of the program under Mark Dantonio is starting to really pay off on the recruiting trail. The Rose Bowl victory last season has certainly helped the Spartans in recruiting, but the thing that helps draw in recruits more than anything is the certainty that they will be playing for a nationally respected program. While Michigan State still isn’t on the level of Ohio State, Michigan or Notre Dame in that respect, Dantonio has put MSU on the path to becoming a marquee program by continuing to win football games.
Monday was a great day for Michigan State football, and if the Spartans can keep up their winning ways there will be many more days like it in the near future.
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