Recruiting snapshot: Michigan State

February, 5, 2009
2/05/09
5:14
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Arguably no team in the Big Ten made a bigger one-year improvement in recruiting than Michigan State, which comes next in our recruiting review.

Number of recruits: 23

Key needs: Running back, wide receiver, defensive line, linebacker

Highest-rated player (Scouts Inc.): David Barrent (No. 8 nationally among offensive tackles)

The quote: "When you do your work, I guess you get the grade you're supposed to get. You get an 'A,' and I would grade this class an 'A.' I say that because of the quality of player, the quality of academic student that we have here, which will reflect in graduation rates down the line, and the quality of athlete that we have here. We have nine or 10 four-star players." -- Head coach Mark Dantonio

Quick take: After improving its victories total the last two seasons, Michigan State got a crucial bump in recruiting this year. The Spartans boast only two ESPNU 150 prospects -- Barrent and running back Edwin Baker -- but they added quality depth across the board, particularly at offensive line, linebacker and defensive back. Baker and Larry Caper will compete right away to fill Javon Ringer's spot, and tight end Dion Sims should see the field very soon. A class rooted in prospects from the state of Michigan and the Midwest included quarterback Andrew Maxwell and linebacker Chris Norman.

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