Michigan State Spartans vs. Michigan Wolverines: Football Recruiting Wars

Photograph: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Photograph: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports /

The Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines football programs are in the offseason. But rivalries don’t take breaks, and neither does recruiting.

Mark Dantonio and Jim Harbaugh might like each other personally (you never know, right?), and they appear to respect each other professionally, but, regardless of any surface-level pleasantries, they have to be utterly sick of one another.

Dantonio has built the Michigan State Spartans football program into a national powerhouse since he took the head coaching position in 2007. Harbaugh is in the process of restoring Michigan Wolverines football to its rightful place (in their eyes) among the nation’s elite after just one year at the helm.

And, because they’re both so good at their jobs, they are constantly vying with each other for the title of best college football program in the state.

Even if Michigan isn’t big enough for the both of ’em, neither one is going anywhere any time soon.

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Fans watch the battles unfold on the field. Depending which team you cheer for, this year’s game was either an amazing fairy tale comeback or a horrible nightmare.

And even when the football games end, the battles continue. Currently Dantonio and Harbaugh (and their respective programs) are locked in a heated battle for the next great football stars of tomorrow; welcome to Recruiting Wars 2016.

National Signing Day is February 3rd, 2016, and Dantonio and Harbaugh (and their coaching staffs) continue to recruit plenty and sleep little.

The Spartans have replenished their roster with prized four-star recruits such as Donnie Corley (WR), Messiah deWeaver (QB), Trishton Jackson (WR), and Demetric Vance (DB), just to name a few. Each of those recruits were offered by the Wolverines as well, but ultimately decided to join Michigan State. Additionally, only deWeaver is an out-of-state talent. He previously committed to Michigan, before changing his mind and pledging his allegiance to East Lansing.

The Wolverines have not received as many commitments from in-state talent, but they are putting together an equally impressive class. Kareem Walker (#1 rated RB), Ben Bredeson (OL), and Devery Hamilton (OL) headline a group of talented recruits who are committed to Michigan, but were offered by Michigan State.

Heralded cornerback recruit, Lavert Hill (Detroit Martin Luther King) is yet to make up his mind, but it appears to be a Michigan State/Michigan battle to the finish line. Hill’s own brother (Delano Hill) is a defensive back at Michigan, but even that hasn’t yet been enough to mark a winner in this recruiting war.

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Verbal commitments are non-binding, so anyone can change their mind at any time. You can bet that Dantonio and Harbaugh will do any (and every) thing they’re allowed to, to stay atop in the state of Michigan.