Free Press special writer Chris Nelsen spoke to Vernon Carey Jr., the No. 2 overall recruit in the 2019 class, who has MSU, Duke and UNC in his final three. Carey had 18 points and 10 boards in a season-opening win Nov. 27, 2018, in Davie, Fla.
Free Press special writer Sean Merriman dishes on Michigan and Michigan State football and basketball recruiting in his latest mailbag:
Besides Eric Gray, are there other Michigan recruits you think will de-commit? – Jeff M
I don’t think so. As it relates to Gray, it’s no secret he is looking at other schools, despite being verbally committed to the Wolverines. A 4-star running back from Memphis, Tenn., Gray is looking to potentially play his college ball closer to home. He has already visited Tennessee and will likely take two more official visits to Alabama, Ole Miss or Texas A&M. The good news for Michigan is that several of its top recruits are not only solid on their commitments, but are set to enroll early. That list includes 4-star prospects Zach Charbonnett, Mazi Smith, Jalen Perry, Cade McNamara, David Ojabo and Erick All.
What is your read on Anthony Edwards? Has MSU in his Top 5. Big development. – Ken Stanecki
My initial thought here is that MSU’s first task will be to get Edwards, who has just been reclassified for the 2019 class, on campus for an official visit. If that happens, the possibility of MSU landing the elite 5-star shooting guard from Atlanta is real. Edwards has a final eight of Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, MSU, North Carolina and UCLA. He will now work on setting up his visits, and I fully anticipate him to take all five of his official visits. Because of that, no one should expect any type of decision from Edwards until the next signing period. Florida State is considered the early leader simply because of Edwards’ relationship with FSU coach Leonard Hamilton. But with his list of finalists, it’s challenging to speculate on where Edwards is leaning until those visits.
How is the recruiting trail with top prospects? Has Michigan completely lost out due to the huge Ohio State debacle? – Jason P
The big name to keep an eye on here is Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange defensive end Zach Harrison. While there are other top recruits who are still looking at U-M, Harrison is the highest-ranked recruit of the bunch, and more importantly, he has Michigan and Ohio State as his finalists, along with Penn State. I don’t think one game is going to sway Harrison’s decision. The Wolverines appeared to have momentum on their side and had actually moved ahead of Ohio State in their pursuit of Harrison. Now, that momentum has faded. We should expect a decision from Harrison soon, and while Penn State is still in the mix, I think this really comes down to the Wolverines and the Buckeyes.
The next Michigan State basketball recruit is _______? – tenn sparty
… going to be a 5-star big man. Vernon Carey, Isaiah Stewart and Trayce Jackson-Davis all have the Spartans among their final schools, and I firmly believe MSU will land at least one of them. The challenging part here is choosing which one. Carey has announced a final three of MSU, Duke and North Carolina, but this is really a two-way race between the Spartans and Blue Devils. The same can be said with Stewart, but add Kentucky into the mix. Jackson-Davis has a final three of MSU, Indiana and UCLA, but I think this really comes down to the Spartans and Hoosiers. Adding any one of these three prospects to the Spartans’ 2019 class, along with Rocket Watts and Malik Hall, would give Tom Izzo one of the top classes in the nation.