Michigan State Football: Where does the 2022 class go from here?

With fall camp finally here after a long, hot summer, the dead period is once again in effect as coaches around the country are begging to prep their squad’s for the upcoming season.

Michigan State football has had much success on the recruiting trail, as it’s managed to secure plenty of ‘Plan A’ commits while also getting a footprint in plenty of new states like California, Tennessee, Minnesota, and continuing the pipeline in Georgia.

Plus, the Spartans have gotten commitments from some top in-state talent including four-stars Jaden Mangham, Alex VanSumeren, and Antonio Gates Jr. Michigan State also sits very well with West Bloomfield’s Dillon Tatum who’s down to two schools. Michigan State and in-state rival Michigan. The race for Tatum seems to be about 50/50 right now. One could argue the Wolverines have a slight edge, or one could also argue Michigan State has a lead by a small margin.

Mel Tucker’s 2022 class has 19 commits as we speak. That includes basketball pledge Tre Holloman who is a top defensive back prospect but is undecided if he will play football at the next level.

Where does Michigan State football’s class go from here?

So, let’s say Holloman says no to football, Michigan State has 18 commits then. It has secured a quarterback, three wide outs, two tight ends, four linemen, and a kicker on offense.

Besides one more offensive lineman, the class seems to be pretty much finished on that side of the ball. Four-star tackle Ryan Baer seemed to be a Spartan lean but eventually committed to Pitt. Chris Kapilovic will have to identify another offensive tackle target when senior film becomes available.

It seems Tucker and Co. are still working on top 100 recruit Kiyaunta Goodwin who is committed to Kentucky as of now. I wouldn’t bank on a flip here but recruiting is fluid, as we saw with Baer, so anything can happen. In the meantime, the staff will need to identify some new targets while keeping tabs on Goodwin for the last offensive line spot.

It’s been pretty well noted the staff will only shoot for the stars this class at tailback. Kaytron Allen took an official visit to East Lansing that seemingly went well, but it wasn’t enough at the end of the day to get him in the class as he committed to Penn State a few weeks later.

The defense is where things can get a little tricky.

Tatum is the top defensive back target lest for most likely the last spot there. Jeremiah Caldwell from Belleville just de-committed from Kentucky. He seems to be on the staff’s radar, but not someone they’re actively making a run for. Audavion Collins from Georgia took an official to Michigan State but had recently gotten crystal balls to Mississippi State.

If the staff loses Tatum the defensive board will need to be reset, but the staff isn’t having the mentality of losing him.

The defensive line has plenty of upperclassman on the roster. Drew Beesley, Drew Jordan, Jacub Panasiuk, and Jack Camper are all seniors. Given this, the staff can only sign 25 players in one period so the plan will most likely be to save a few scholarships for transfer portal players.

Assuming 22 is the magic number, with 18 current commits, the staff has room for one offensive lineman like stated above. Then, we have the last defensive back spot that is seemingly for Tatum. That puts the Spartans at 20 commits. Chase Carter and VanSumeren are the lone defensive line commits, so another new target there will emerge as high school ball gets underway.

After getting the third defensive lineman in the class, it leaves Tucker with one spot if he wants to hit 22 commits this year. That final spot could be used for a second linebacker like in-state four-star Michael Willams, or it could be used to secure a punter. Even if the staff hits 23 commits, it still leaves them room for two transfer players to secure in the portal.

It’s not uncommon for Tucker to have decommitments in his classes, as that could be on the horizon. Now there hasn’t been any speculation of this, but anything can happen in recruiting. The 2021 class under Tucker had five players de-commit. As unfortunate it would be if Tucker lost someone in this class, it would be foolish to not rule it out.

As this class winds down the staff can also begin to focus on its 2023 pursuit. With a good showing this fall, Michigan State could once again improve their overall recruiting as they did from 2021 to this year’s class.