When it comes to recruiting prospects, the most important factor is when you want to take them.
But if you’re looking for the next big thing, the right time to get a player is when it’s really on the rise.
As the 2015 recruiting class entered its final stretch, the recruiting landscape in the Big Ten was in flux.
Michigan State had been the biggest story in the conference and had been a national title contender for nearly a decade.
But the Spartans also had several big losses to Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan and Illinois in the spring and fall of 2015, and now that the program was on the verge of collapse, they were being pushed toward a potential playoff run.
As recruiting continues to take a major turn for the worse, some teams have taken their time to make their plans, or at least make an informed decision, and other teams have rushed to sign players right after the 2017 season.
For MSU, it’s been a little bit of both, as the school’s recruitment process has gotten a lot more intense.
With the departure of several key players and a slew of new additions, MSU has seen its roster size and depth increase exponentially since its 2015 season.
The Spartans have had to adjust their recruiting philosophy from a year ago, when they were one of the nation’s most prolific recruiting classes, to this time around.
MSU is still committed to getting its top-tier talent, and with the addition of four-star linebacker Emmanuel Duron to the 2017 class, the Spartans will likely keep bringing in talent throughout the 2019 cycle.
Duron is the first player to commit to the school since former Michigan State safety and 2018 class of the year Denzel Johnson, and while Duron isn’t expected to make the Spartans’ final 53-man roster, he could see significant playing time in 2017.
Durant, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker from New London, Massachusetts, has an outstanding track record, as he was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 after leading the team with 15 interceptions and 31 tackles for loss.
Duran also spent four seasons at South Carolina before transferring to Miami, where he played defensive back and special teams as a senior.
Duront was a three-year starter in the ACC, where MSU went 6-3 as a four-year starting quarterback, and he finished his career as the ACC’s most accurate passer with a 63.3 percent completion rate.
The Spartans have yet to find a quarterback of Duron’s caliber, but they should be looking to add a passer with some potential to the program.
Durmon is a versatile player who can play both at linebacker and safety, and his speed and athleticism make him a perfect fit for MSU’s new defensive scheme.
Duron also has good size, as his 6-4 frame will be able to add some length to the defensive line.
Durons commitment comes on the heels of two other top-level recruits signing with the Spartans this week.
Rivals rated Duron as the nation the sixth-best linebacker in the 2017 recruiting class, and 247Sports ranked him as the No. 2 defensive back in the country.
Both players will join an already strong MSU secondary, with two-time All-American linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons and 2018 commitment Isaiah Washington already on campus.
Durton also had a strong season as a junior at Miami, as a teammate of the Hurricanes’ D.J. Cooper, a four time first-team All-America and two-year first-round pick.
Durons versatility should be a big plus for the new MSU defense, and the two-way player is going to be a great addition to the unit.