Sense of family leads to big recruiting weekend for MSU

The Spartans added two big commitments to the 2013 class last weekend.

Chicago Julian defensive end Demetrius Cooper and Cass Tech offensive tackle Dennis Finley decided to join Michigan State’s class and both cited the feeling of family at Michigan State as a big reason for their verbal commitments.

“It was the best spot for me,” Cooper said to Spartan Tailgate. “It was like a family up there. I’ll be able to play early. With Will Gholston going to the league next year I’ll have a chance to play early. They’ve had a lot of success with players similar to me and I want to be the next one to go to the league.”

**More after the jump**

On a side note, it appears part of the way MSU recruited Cooper was around Gholston leaving early — so it looks like the staff expects that.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound defensive end is the first product of the Illinois-based training center Core6 Athletes, which has players for 2013 committed to schools such as LSU, Michigan and Notre Dame.

Cooper also had offers from Notre Dame, Iowa State and Purdue among others. He is unranked by Rivals, but is a three-star recruit on Scout. He is the second defensive lineman committed to Michigan State, joining defensive tackle Devyn Salmon.

Cooper is the epitome of the pass-rusher MSU wanted to add to this class — a long frame and quickness. He will need to fill out his frame, but he was so impressive in his performances at the Sound Mind-Sound Body camp in Detroit and MSU’s one-day camp, he earned an offer.

At the start of the highlights, Cooper is lined up against his future teammate Finley.

The Cass Tech product Finley is a big get for Michigan State — both in size and significance. Finley is listed at 6-7 and 280 pounds, but as a Cass Tech player, his commitment carries weight for the Spartans.

Michigan State had not pulled a player from the powerhouse program since 2000, as its coach and former Michigan running back Thomas Wilcher funnels players to Ann Arbor. Cass Tech has multiple players in the class of 2014 that are looking strongly at Michigan State such as linebacker Deon Drake and cornerback Damon Webb, so the door opening to MSU is a very good thing moving forward.

“Michigan State is a place where I can feel comfortable for the next four or five years,” Finley said to Rivals. “I like the coaching staff. The staff reminds (me) of (my) staff at Cass Tech, very family oriented.”

Finley also had offers from Ohio State, Purdue, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. He is the first offensive lineman in the class.

He has only started for one year at Cass Tech, so his skills still are raw, but he has the things you cannot teach such as size. His cieling is high and that makes him a very great prospect for Mark Dantonio and Co., which loves to let players develop for two to three years in East Lansing before seeing the field.

The Michigan State class for 2013 now has 13 members and should top out at 15 — with the remaining spots likely reserved for a defensive lineman and a safety.