Two of the top uncommitted prospects in the state of Michigan for the class of 2014 are offensive tackle Nick Padla and defensive end Jhonathon Williams of Berrien Springs, which isn’t a school known for producing a lot of Division 1 talent.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Padla has added 30 pounds of muscle over the last 18 months and continues to improve his footwork and technique. His progress has landed him scholarship offers from Illinois and Cincinnati. Rivals.com rates Padla a three-star recruit and one of the top 20 prospects in Michigan for 2014.
The Spartans are very interested in Padla, and offensive line coach Mark Staten has been recruiting him for two years. A Michigan State scholarship offer could come soon, and that might be all it takes for Padla to make his college choice.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Williams is a raw athlete with a lot of potential. An outstanding basketball player, Williams recently has recognized that his future might be on the gridiron instead. Missouri, San Diego State and host of MAC schools have offered Williams scholarships.
The Spartans are looking closely at Williams as well and want to see how he progresses this fall. He has some of the same skills that MSU defensive end Shilique Calhoun had coming out of high school.
East Grand Rapids LB on Spartans’ radar for 2015
Michigan State has had outstanding linebacker play during coach Mark Dantonio’s tenure. One of the linebackers they are evaluating for the class of 2015 is Carter Masek of East Grand Rapids. The Michigan State staff has hosted him on campus several times, and he will be back in East Lansing tonight to see the Spartans take on Western Michigan. SpartanMag.com spoke with Masek about his time at State.
“I recently visited Michigan State for the first practice in pads,” he said. “I also visited earlier in the year, for a spring practice. I have received mail from coach Staten and have a very good relationship with coach (Curtis) Blackwell.”
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Masek is getting plenty of early attention from Division 1 programs. His size and ability to move and tackle in space is impressive. We asked Masek about the teams that have been in contact with him.
“My recruiting process is going very well,” he said. “I am hearing from Michigan State, Indiana, Penn State and many MAC schools. I currently have an offer from Western Michigan.”
Masek is still in the early stages of his recruitment, and he does not anticipate making a decision anytime soon. If he has a strong junior season for East Grand Rapids, his scholarship list almost certainly will expand.
Matt Dorsey is a recruiting analyst for spartanmag.com and rivals.com.