Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has had a defensive back drafted in three consecutive NFL drafts — a streak that is set to continue for the next few years and is paying off in recruiting.
Michigan State picked up a verbal from Solon, Ohio cornerback Darian Hicks on Wednesday night.
“I just called coach (Mark) Dantonio and told him I want to be part of the family,” Hicks said. “He was fired up and excited that I’m coming to Michigan State.
“He said I’ll get the chance to play early and we will be a successful team.”
The 6-foot, 175-pound Hicks picked MSU over offers from Boston College, Iowa, Penn State and West Virginia. He is rated as the No. 62 cornerback in the nation and the 48th-ranked player in Ohio for 2013.
Hicks’ highlights show the ability to contribute in many ways — while primarily as a cornerback — from special teams to wide receiver. In his defensive film, he is a good, physical corner who makes good jumps on the ball and really beats receivers to the ball off their routes — something MSU fans are familiar with from watching Johnny Adams.
Michigan State added a recruit from Solon High School as a preferred walk-on in 2012 — wide receiver Tres Barksdale. Hicks is the second defensive back — joining Jalyn Powell — in what currently is a seven-member class for the Spartans.