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Are the Floodgates Open for Jonathan Smith’s In-State Pipeline?

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Are the Floodgates Open for Jonathan Smith’s In-State Pipeline?


Michigan State coach Jonathan Smith had many recruiting goals when he arrived in East Lansing.

Smith wanted to keep his West Coast pipeline — something he carefully built during his time at Oregon State — intact.

Smith had a goal to rebuild Michigan State through prolific recruiting in the Midwest.

His most important goal was to make the Green and White the premiere landing spot for Mitten-state talent.

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This week, it has become apparent Smith could be on his way to achieving that goal.

Smith had already secured a commitment in April from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s three-star linebacker DJ White. White was the No. 2 linebacker in the state behind Dakota High School’s Di’Mari Malone, another three-star.

White is the No. 14 player in the state, per 247Sports. White, a former safety and quarterback, has great size — 6-foot-3, 190 pounds — instincts and speed for a linebacker. Defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Joe Rossi will have plenty to work with. It is a very real possibility White outplays his three-star rating when he gets to East Lansing.

Smith secured Malone on Mother’s Day.

Malone was graded even higher than White by 247Sports. The site has him as the No. 1 linebacker and the No. 9 player in the state. Malone’s tape is electric. He shows uncanny ability in coverage, a combination of ball-skills and athleticism.

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On Tuesday, Michigan State landed the state’s No. 1 running back in East Lansing High School’s Jace Clarizio. Clarizio is the No. 64 running back in the 2025 class and the No. 10 player in the state, according to 247Sports.

National recruiting analyst Allen Trieu touted Clarizio’s potential:

“Solid receiver out of the backfield although that is something he can keep getting more reps at,” he said. “All-around back with no real glaring deficiencies and should be a starter at the high-major level.”

Michigan State has received interest from other top in-state recruits.

The No. 1 athlete in the state, three-star Desmond Straughton of Roseville High School, has Michigan State among his top teams. Straughton plays safety and running back, and excels at both. He will likely find his home at safety. Straughton is the No. 6 player in the state and No. 18 nationally as an athlete.

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The top tight end in the state, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Jayden Savoury, has Michigan State among his favorites as well. The 6-foot-6 basketball player-turned-football standout has a high ceiling. Savoury has an offical visit set for May 31.

Lately, Michigan State has been on a roll when it comes to securing 2025 in-state talent.

It could just be getting started.

Don’t forget to follow the official Spartan Nation Page on Facebook Spartan Nation WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE, and be a part of our vibrant community group Go Green Go White as well WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE.



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Michigan

Trump narrowly leads Biden in key state of Michigan: poll

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Trump narrowly leads Biden in key state of Michigan: poll


Former President Donald Trump narrowly leads President Biden in a new head-to-head poll of the key state of Michigan — but the race is slightly closer than it was two months ago.

The Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc. survey published Monday showed Trump getting 49% support compared to Biden’s 47%, with the remaining 4% of voters undecided.

The race is even tighter when a trio of third-party candidates are introduced, with Trump at 46%; Biden at 45%; independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at 5%; and the Green Party’s Jill Stein and independent Cornel West each receiving 1%.

“Trump leads in the two-way race because he has solidified the Republican base better than Biden
has solidified the Democratic base,” Mitchell Research President Steve Mitchell said. “Trump is getting 92% of the GOP vote compared to Biden’s 89% of the Democrats.

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Biden is slightly behind Trump in Michigan, a state he won in 2020 by less than 3%. REUTERS

“More importantly, Trump is getting 9% of the Democrats while Biden is getting only 4% of the Republicans. Biden is leading with the important group of voters, independents 49% –43%.”

In the five-way race, Kennedy, who will be on the Michigan ballot Nov. 5, takes 4% of his support from would-be Trump voters and just 1% support away from would-be Biden backers.

A poll conducted in March by the same organization showed Trump, 77, leading Biden, 81, by 47% to 44% head-to-head and 44% to 42% in the multi-candidate race.

Biden won the Mitten State by 2.78 percentage points in 2020, while Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 0.23 percentage points four years earlier.

Trump has focused his efforts in Michigan to reach out to auto workers who could be hurt by Biden’s electric vehicle mandates. REUTERS

Both major party contenders have been targeting Michigan, with Trump most recently holding a rally in the battleground state on May 1 that focused on on electric vehicles, immigration and the economy.

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Biden last visited Michigan on May 19, also focusing on the economy.

The economy ranked as the No. 1 issue for Michigan voters in the poll (34%), while “threats to Democracy” and immigration placed second and third with 21% and 17% each.

Biden’s smaller share of support among Democrats compared to Trump’s backing among Republicans could be attributed to the anti-Biden protest movement among the state’s large population of Muslims and Arab Americans, who called for voters to mark themselves “uncommitted” in the state’s Feb. 27 Democratic primary due to his handling of the war in the Middle East.

Ultimately, more than 100,000 voters followed through with the protest.

The poll also shows Michigan Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin leading Republican former Rep. Mike Rogers in the US Senate race that could help decide the control of the chamber.

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Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Freeland, Michigan, U.S. May 1, 2024. REUTERS
President Joe Biden takes photos with supporters during a campaign event at Cred Cafe in Detroit, Michigan on May 19, 2024. AFP via Getty Images

Slotkin, who jumped into the race after Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced she would retire, is polling at 40% compared to Rogers’ 36%. Another 17% percent said they were undecided while 7% said they would favor another candidate.

The poll of 697 likely voters was conducted via text message May 20-21 and has a margin of error of 3.71%.



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Jim Harbaugh brings another staffer out west as Michigan adds young recruiting specialists

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Jim Harbaugh brings another staffer out west as Michigan adds young recruiting specialists


Former Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is not quite done purging the staff of his alma mater.

Late Monday evening, Christina DeRuyter, previously the director of football operations at U-M who also held an integral role in the recruiting department, announced she is heading to join Harbaugh as the next director of football logistics in Los Angeles.

Or, as DeRuyter put it on her social media post, “Michigan West.”

“Forever grateful for the last 3 life changing years @UMichFootball,” her post began. “3x BIG10 Champs, 3 Wins vs OSU, Natty Champs, countless relationships & memories made. I’m thrilled to join Coach Harbaugh at the Chargers (Michigan West) as the Director of Football Logistics. BOLT UP⚡️& GO BLUE〽️”

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Current wide receiver I’Marion Stewart responded to the tweet saying “I was looking for you today” before she replied it “hurt my heart” not to be in Ann Arbor any longer.

The move continues what has been a mass exodus from Ann Arbor to Los Angeles for those affiliated with last year’s team.

When Harbaugh left just weeks after helping lead the Wolverines to their first 15-0 season in program history and its first out-right national championship since 1949, he took with him nearly the entire defensive coaching staff.

Defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, his father Rick Minter (who served as an analyst much of the past two years before finishing last year as interim linebackers coach), defensive line coach Mike Elston, and defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale, despite the wide-held belief he would stay on staff at Michigan.

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That is without mentioning edge specialist Dylan Roney or strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert, who Harbaugh called the “x-factor for years” and whose name he was shouting to come join him when confetti rained down at NRG Stadium in Houston.

“People have choices to make, man,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel told the Freep in a sit down earlier this spring. “Jim knows what he wants to do at the Chargers, he made the offers and people had decisions to make. The mark of great success of people is when they come to a program or organization and leave it better than they found it. Jim did that. Those coaches did that. Whomever from the staff wants to go with Jim, I’m not going to have any animosity toward them.

MANUEL 1 ON 1 INTERVIEW: Michigan AD Warde Manuel exclusive interview: The hardest thing he has done in career

“As I told Sherrone (Moore) as we were dealing with it, on the flip side, ‘Look, now you can make it the way you want to make it, whatever that is,’ and he’s done that and I believe has a great staff he’s put together across the board.”

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Manuel said the department was instead focused on adding new, young talent to the mix, which seems to have happened this past week. Over the past few days, the Wolverines announced the addition of a handful of new analysts and recruiting staffers.

Two of the new analysts, Reid Kuhn and Richard Perry, recently studied at Michigan, while the other faces come from some of the top football programs in the country like Preston Sagan (Clemson), Aidan Young (Oregon), Jacob Weber (Indiana) Jack Turner (Wake Forest), and Jacob Sakk (Pittsburgh).

Also as part of the staff movement, Albert Karschnia has taken over as Director of Player Personnel, while Sam Popper, previously the assistant, will fill Karschnia’s previous role as Director of Recruiting. It comes in the same time frame as Michigan nabbed a Michigan State graduate, Kayli Johnson, the older sister of All-American DB Will Johnson, to take over DeRuyter’s role, according to her social media profile.

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Johnson was Rutgers’ assistant director of recruiting operations under Greg Schiano last year and an operations intern with the Detroit Lions the year before that, which comes after a standout track career at Michigan State (undergrad) and Texas Tech (grad school).

There’s hope around the program the influx of young talent can help kick start a month of June that is going to be incredibly important in terms of creating the foundation of U-M’s 2025 high school recruiting class.

Currently, Michigan has just five verbal commits, three of whom were pledged to the previous regime. As a group, Michigan ranks No. 41 in the nation, per 247Sports composite rankings.



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A pair of Boston players with Mid-Michigan ties are headed to the NBA Finals

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A pair of Boston players with Mid-Michigan ties are headed to the NBA Finals


BOSTON (WILX) – On Monday night, the Boston Celtics finished off a sweep of the Indiana Pacers with a 105-102 victory. That means that the Celtics are on their way to their second NBA Finals in three years, and a pair of players on the team with local ties are looking to become NBA Champions as well.

NBA veteran Al Horford is a Grand Ledge High School legend and graduated there in 2004. After becoming a two-time NCAA champion with Florida, Horford was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 2007. He has been named an NBA All-Star five times and is now looking to add NBA Champion to his accolades as well.

Former Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman Sr. is also on the Celtics. Tillman is from Grand Rapids Michigan and was at MSU from 2017–2020. After spending his entire career with the Memphis Grizzlies Tillman was traded to the Celtics in February.

Boston will be in action in game one of the finals on Thursday, June 6, and will play the winner of the Timberwolves and Mavericks.

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