4-star LB Dante McClellan puts Michigan State football in top 5, announces commitment date

Michigan State's new football coach Jonathan Smith speaks to the crowd during a timeout in the
Michigan State's new football coach Jonathan Smith speaks to the crowd during a timeout in the / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

Michigan State football and Jonthan Smith have a lot of work to do this offseason, especially now that their spring practice season is almost over.

Recruiting has never been more important in the history of the program, simply because the roster is nowhere near where it needs to be if MSU wants to compete in the Big Ten. But for all the good Smith has done for the program so far, he still has not earned a commitment from the 2025 class yet.

However, one of their top targets at linebacker has announced a commitment date, and it appears that Michigan State is still in the running.

Dante McClellan is an elite four-star linebacker from Canton, Ohio. He is one of the top recruits in the country according to 247Sports as he is the No. 360 player in the country and No. 39 linebacker. He also is the No. 13 player from the rich state of Ohio.

McClellan has a chance to make an immediate impact at whatever school he chooses to attend. He tends to play as a stand-up outside linebacker and is used predominantly as an edge rusher. But he also has the ability to drop back in coverage while still making plays supporting the run.

On a roster like Michigan State's that needs a lot of help, McClellan would undoubtedly be able to make a huge impact immediately.

Recruiting competition

McClellan announced that he will be committing in one week on April 22. He also announced who his top five schools are that he will be choosing from, and the Spartans have made the cut. Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisville are also included in his top five along with Michigan State.

But to take it one step further, MSU appears to be even higher on his top schools list.

The Spartans are one of just three schools so far to have an upcoming official visit scheduled with McClellan, along with Missouri and Minnesota. The Gophers are an interesting name to see here as they were not included in his top five, so this might indicate that this is a two-team race between MSU and Missouri. That doesn't mean his other finalists can't schedule an official visit any day now, so all five teams at this point are still in the running.

Can Jonathan Smith get to the finish line in this recruitment and earn his first high school commitment of the cycle? Thankfully we won't have to wait much longer to find out, but this would be a huge way to start the 2025 recruiting class.