Big weekend ahead for past Spartans and future Spartans alike

With no basketball games this weekend, there is plenty to pay attention to when it comes to football.

Not only is it the weekend of the Senior Bowl (4 p.m. Saturday on NFL Network), but it is the final weekend before signing day for incoming recruits.

Following three days of practice — Thursday’s was moved indoors because of inclement weather — three Spartans will suit up for the North team in the Senior Bowl.

Kirk Cousins, Brian Linthicum and Trenton Robinson all had good weeks in practices (Editor’s Note: Read up on Monday’s buzz, Tuesday’s buzz and Wednesday’s buzz.) and now have the chance to show more in front of NFL scouts.

The NFL Draft experts from had positive things to say about the former Spartans in a Q&A on Friday afternoon.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins practices for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., this week. (AP Photo)

How high do you think Kirk Cousins will go?

Q: Scott Wright: “I think Cousins could go as early as the second round and no later than the fourth. Cousins isn’t flashy but he’s been very consistent and is going to ace the interviews with teams. I think Cousins probably had the best week of any quarterback in Mobile this week with the exception of (Brandon) Weeden.”

Q: Which quarterback impressed the most from the North team? And why?

Shane P. Hallam: “Has to be Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins. He has helped his stock some this week. Gritty and throws a nice ball across the middle. Likewise, I am impressed with his character and intangibles. Don’t be surprised if he sneaks into the Top 100. Better prospect than Ricky Stanzi a year ago.”

Brian Linthicum

Q: Thoughts on tight ends?

Wright: ” … Michigan State’s Brian Linthicum looks like a solid backup at the next level. …”

Trenton Robinson

Q: How did Trenton Robinson perform this week?

Wright: “To be honest, I kind of expected more from Robinson this week. It’s not necessarily that he’s been bad, but he really hasn’t stood out either. I just didn’t see a Top 100 pick. I like Robinson in the fourth or fifth round though.”

Hallam: “Robinson has been pretty fiery out there. Despite the lack of size at 5’9 1/2 and 193 pounds, he gives 110% effort and plays very physical. We’ve seen him be the in the box safety in most of the drills, allowing him to go up against bigger linemen and blockers.”

Needless to say, all three can cement themselves as better pro prospects with good showings in the games, but coaches and scouts play plenty of attention to how a player practices, and it looks like the Spartans down in Mobile, Ala., have been making very positive impressions.

For a few recruits — and for MSU — making positive impressions this weekend will have a big impact on how the 2012 recruiting class fills out in the final few days before signing day.

Defensive tackle Terrell Jackson received a Michigan State offer last night, and will visit East Lansing after he indicated he would make his way to Iowa City instead.

Jackson likely will become a member of the 2012 class after the weekend.

Marcus Horne, a running back without an offer from MSU, will be among those visiting as well. He should leave with an offer, as the Spartans likely are looking to add a second running back to the class following the early departure of Edwin Baker.

Top wide receiver target Monty Madaris — yup, him again — still is undecided. He was “supposed” to announce his decision Wednesday, but instead delayed his choice and will visit Kentucky, which had previously been out of the running.

In my opinion, the visit is little more than exploring every option and knowing he made the right decision for his future. He is predicted to choose Michigan State, although it seems little more than a toss up for a player who desires to play early — and Cincinnati lost almost all of its receivers and doesn’t have the same talent coming in already at the position.

Finally, defensive end JaMichael Winston will be visiting. He is an Arkansas commit and also is considering Clemson. This is the player Mark Dantonio and his staff will be trying the hardest to impress.

He is a 6-foot-5, 226-pound prospect who fits a mold like Will Gholston and could fill his shoes after the 2012 season if Gholston leaves for the NFL early. Winston will be a hard player to convince to make Michigan State his home as an SEC and ACC school, both closer to home, appear to be the favorites.

Here’s hoping that Michigan State has a good weekend with all its past and potential players making an impact in their own ways.


Posted on January 27, 2012, in Football, Recruiting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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