Mel Tucker and the Michigan State football staff will begin the process of formally welcoming their third recruiting class to East Lansing Wednesday on National Signing Day. Wednesday marks the beginning of the three-day Early Signing Period in which prospects are able to sign their binding National Letters of Intent, officially minting them as future Spartans.
The majority of FBS recruits ink their paperwork in this initial window, but those who do not can delay until the late signing period in February.
Coming into Wednesday, MSU’s 2023 high school recruiting class stood at 14 commitments following the Tuesday-night addition of three-star receiver Jaelen Smith from the Houston area. Smith was one of five recruits to verbally pledge to MSU within the past week.
MSU’s 2021 class, Tucker and Co.’s first recruiting cycle, featured 18 high schoolers and ranked 46th nationally. The Spartan staff had roughly a week to recruit that group face-to-face, as COVID-19 restrictions limited almost all recruiting activities to remote contact such as Zoom, FaceTime and phone calls. The following cycle, with the ability to recruit in a more normal fashion, MSU signed 23 recruits for a class that finished No. 23 in the country.
This page will be constantly updated throughout the day with the latest signings as MSU announces them. Tucker is scheduled to speak with the media around 2 pm Wednesday. Be sure to check out the 247Sports National Signing Day Showwhich will be nine hours packed with content starting at 9 am
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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY UPDATES
7:21 am — The first NLI in the bag is four-star, in-state offensive lineman Cole Dellinger of Clarkston. Dellinger has been committed to the Spartans since July 8. He is one of two offensive linemen committed to the Spartans as of Wednesday morning.
7:32 am — MSU’s first commitment of the 2023 cycle, in-state tight end Brennan Parachek, is officially a Spartan. The four-star prospect has been verbally committed to MSU since September 2021. Listed at 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, the Dexter High School standout is expected to moonlight as a baseball player in East Lansing.
8:07 am — Andrew Depaepe, a four-star defensive end from Iowa, is officially in the fold. Depaepe committed to the Spartans in February shortly after the hiring of pass rush specialist Brandon Jordan. The 6-5, 245-pounder put together a strong senior year and looks like one of the best-equipped incoming freshmen to contribute right away.
8:21 am — The first official transfer addition is in, as MSU announces the signing of kicker Jonathan Kim from North Carolina. The Spartans lost kicker Jack Stone, a scholarship signee in the 2022 class, to the transfer portal after the season. Kim is originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia.
8:31 am — Another transfer has been signed as MSU announces the addition of Semar Melvina cornerback from Wisconsin.
8:43 am — Jaelen Smith, MSU’s newest commitment, is officially in the class. The three-star prospect from the Houston area is one of two wideouts in the class. Smith was part of a small group of receivers the Spartans targeted late in the cycle, and he came to East Lansing on an official visit earlier this month.
9:05 am — The Spartans acquire a transfer running back for the third year in a row, as Connecticut’s Nathan Carter submits his paperwork to MSU. Carter spent two seasons with the Huskies, appearing in 17 games and rushing for 983 yards and three touchdowns.
9:15 am — Norfolk State transfer tight end Ademola Faleye is on board. He’s one of several transfer tight ends MSU is bringing in this cycle.
9:49 am — MSU’s second wide receiver, Aziah Johnson of Richmond, Virginia, has officially signed. Like Smith, Johnson was one of a select few receivers MSU honed in on late in the cycle.
9:51 am — MSU secures perhaps its biggest win of the day with the commitment of Coffeyville Community College offensive lineman Keyshawn Blackstock, giving MSU three O-linemen in the class. Blackstock is 247Sports’ No. 1-ranked junior college offensive line prospect.
9:53 am — The Spartans have secured a commitment from Liberty defensive tackle Dr. Butler. He is the first new transfer commitment of the day for the Spartans. MSU is also set to add former Florida State defensive tackle Jarrett Jackson from the transfer portal.
9:54 am — MSU formally announces the addition of Blackstock. The Spartans might not land a more important signing today than Blackstock, who should compete immediately for a starting tackle position.
10:02 am — MSU officially lands its top-ranked in-state commit in Cass Tech defensive lineman Jalen Thompson. A longtime target of the staff, Thompson committed to the Spartans in August before enjoying a standout senior season. He is expected to enroll early.
10:14 am — Sean Brown of Simi Valley, California, is officially on board. Brown is one of the new commitments MSU landed over the past week. He’s a former Arizona commit who can play multiple positions in the secondary.
10:19 am — Jay Johnson lands his quarterback for the 2023 cycle with the signing of Sam Leavitt. MSU successfully flipped Leavitt off of a commitment to Washington State. The four-star passer is the No. 1-ranked prospect in Oregon and one of the biggest senior-year risers at the position. Johnson has now signed four-star quarterbacks in back-to-back classes.
10:27 am — MSU lands a speed back from California in Jaelon Barbarin. Just like at wideout, MSU refocused its efforts at running back late in the cycle, and Barbarin was on the shortlist. He made it to East Lansing for an official visit earlier this month and committed shortly after.
10:34 am — Transfer defensive tackle Jarrett Jackson has been officially announced by the program. He spent the past three seasons at Florida State after originally signing with Louisville out of high school. Expect him to provide immediate depth on the defensive front after MSU lost Dashaun Mallory and Jalen Hunt to the transfer portal.
10:40 am — Another transfer portal addition is finalized as former Boise State tight end Tyneil Hopper become a Spartan. Hopper brings some seasoning and blocking ability that MSU will welcome in that room after the departures of Tyler Hunt and Daniel Barker.
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