The No. 1 player in the 2015 class, five-star defensive end Byron Cowart, is
waiting to see Florida this season. So are other five-star prospects. And
four-stars and top 2016 and 2017 prospects.
In a roundabout way, Michigan State could still be studying Stanford game tape
even though it's been months since the Spartans beat the Pac-12 power in the
Kyonta Stallworth committed to Michigan State in
the Spartans head to Eugene this weekend for one of the best, if not the best,
early-season showdown in college football.
Michigan State and Stanford have similar playing styles -- tough,
grind-it-out, take-no-prisoners and so there could be tremendous value in
evaluating what the Cardinal have done to be so successful against their
This is a national showdown of regional powers. It's big for many reasons and
one is so Michigan State can further solidify itself as not only the state's
best team but also a legitimate contender on the national stage.
The playing styles of Oregon and Michigan State couldn't be further apart. Their
recruiting ways are similar, though. Both go after prospects not solely based on
recruiting rankings but what fits their respective system best. And it's paid
off in a big way.
Michigan State currently has the sixth-best class in the Big Ten by Rivals.com,
an average star rating of 3.15, hardly the stuff of world beaters. Oregon has
moved up to No. 3 in the Pac-12 but has no in-state commits, always a difficulty
for the Ducks who are isolated from major pockets of football talent.
These two teams do things their own ways. It works. But this weekend is an
opportunity for both of them, on a national stage, to solidify their status and
that could only help in their recruiting efforts.
"Michigan State has already shown the ability to take advantage of their growing
brand on the national college football scene, grabbing several commits in this
class from Texas -- a state they have not recruited heavily in the past -- and
getting their quarterback of the future from Arizona. A win in Oregon, though,
almost certainly will strengthen their brand nationally and regionally. The
regional part may be most profound. Pulling off back-to-back wins against
Stanford and Oregon in the Pac-12's backyard shows local recruits not only that
they will be able to play in big, national games, but they can win them, and
expect to win them, consistently."
-- Josh Helmholdt, Rivals.com Midwest recruiting analyst
"Michigan State has the opportunity here to really take the next step. Oregon is
Oregon. Everybody knows they play fast, they have great facilities, they're in
the corner of the United States so geography is difficult for them but they're
used to be being Oregon over the past few years. Michigan State has a chance to
win a big game on the road and send a message that the program in the state of
Michigan is Michigan State. They were better last year, they won the Big Ten and
this is a huge national game for them to take it to the next step. I don't
understand why more kids aren't seriously looking at Michigan State. There
should be numerous four-stars around the country looking at this program because
the coaching is so good." -- Farrell
West Recruiting Analyst
National Recruiting Director
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