The wait is over.
After months of speculation and intense recruiting, offensive tackle Samson Okunola of five-star Thayer Academy in Blockerton, Massachusetts, has announced a move to Miami. The 6-foot-5-inch, 305-pounder put the Hurricanes into the “Final Four” alongside Michigan State, Florida and Alabama.
MSU head coach Mel Tucker and offensive line coach Chris Kapirowicz went all out in recruiting Okunlola and made a solid five-star impression. The Spartans were in the middle of this battle until the end this summer when he hosted Okunlola on the weekend of June 10th.
Unfortunately, Michigan State fell just short of recruiting the 20th overall player in the nation, according to the 247Sports Overall Rankings.
Miami and Michigan had been trying to get Okunrola from the start, but Florida was a belated five-star winner. This commitment came just days after our recent visit to Florida last week.
While it’s encouraging to see Michigan State University striving for five-star talent outside the Midwest, there are no moral victories in recruiting. This is a big loss for MSU in need of aggressive tackle. The Spartans have regained some recruiting momentum this week, but not enough to bring in Okunlola. Now MSU needs to look to “Plan B” for offensive tackles.
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Luckily, the Spartans are already moving forward with “Plan B”. From Coffeyville Community College in Covington, Georgia, he is Keyshawn Blackstone, a transfer target for a four-star junior college. There is a “Final Five” of Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and USC.
If Tucker and Kapilovic can land the Black Stone, it will alleviate some of the sting from Okunlora’s disappearance.
Since a disappointing 2022 season ended, Michigan State has been very active on the Recruit Trail, vying for some of the best players still on the board. After hosting several five-stars in East Lansing last summer, it failed to land in the 2023 class.
Five-star recruiting battles are hard to win, and the fact that the Spartans fell short in those battles isn’t the end of the world. It’s a shame, though, considering Michigan State gave nine of his top 100 players an official visit. Spartan earned his one of those players, namely his EDGE Baijove of 4 stars (where he ranks 82nd nationally).
With Okunrolla stepping down, we’ll see how Michigan State handles the offensive tackle position in the coming months. Blackstone is the next best option, but Spartans may need to return to the transport portal as well.
With 13 prospects currently working on the 2023 class, Michigan State still has work to do and plenty of room to fill between now and the second contract period in February.
Michigan Oral Pledge, Class of 2023
- 4-star EDGE by Jobecommunity Christian schools;Norman, Oklahoma; #82 U.S., #14 EDGE, #1 Oklahoma
- 4 Star DL Andrew DePepe; Pleasant Valley High School. Bettendorf, Iowa.137th National, 16th Defensive Lineman, 2nd Iowa State
- 4-star LB Jordan HallIMG Academy; Bradenton, FL; 179th U.S., 16th linebacker, 41st Florida State
- 4 star DL Jaylen ThompsonCass Technical High School; Detroit, Michigan; 219th National, 32nd Defensive Lineman, 3rd Michigan State
- 4 star OT Stanton RamillThompson High School; Alabaster, Alabama;222nd overall, 20th in offensive tackles, 17th in Alabama
- 4 Star TE Brennan PalachekDexter High School; Dexter, Michigan; 326th National, 18th Tight End, 6th Michigan State
- Four-star QB Sam LeavittWest Lynn High School; West Lynn, Oregon; 373rd National, 23rd Quarterback, 1st Oregon State
- 4 star LB Javant Brown; St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Fort Lauderdale, Florida.394th U.S., 31st linebacker, 72nd Florida State
- 4 star IOL Cole DillingerClarkston High School; Clarkston, Michigan; #403 U.S., #26 Intelligent Offensive Lineman, #7 Michigan
- 4-star CB Chance LacquerRyan High School; Denton, TX. Ranked 406th in Japan and 40th in cornerbacks.Texas #68
- Mitsuboshi CB Eddie Pleasant Ⅲ; Carroll Wood Day High School. Tampa, Florida; 854th overall, 83rd cornerback.Florida #125
- 3-star ATH Aziah JohnsonThomas Jefferson High School; Richmond, Virginia; 1013th National, 80th Athlete, 28th Virginia State
- Mitsuboshi ATH Jeron BarberinChaminade High School; Simi Valley, California;1116th National, 94th Athlete, 99th California State