Less than a week after coaching in the Final Four for the first time in five years, Tom Izzo managed something he hasn’t done in 12 – landing two McDonald’s All-Americans in the same Michigan State recruiting class.
Caleb Swanigan, a 6-foot-9, 260-pound big man from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Homestead High, tweeted his decision today, writing: “Next year I will be going Michigan State university. Once a spartan. Always a Spartan”
MSU was among seven finalists for the McDonald’s All-American and Indiana Mr. Basketball, battling Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Purdue, California and Chicago State. Several recruiting analysts of late have expected him to pick Cal, though – ESPN’s Jeff Goodman tweeted this morning: “All signs pointing to Caleb Swanigan and Ivan Rabb heading to Cal, sources told ESPN. Right now, that’s where they are heading to play.”
Swanigan hinted at something other than the prevailing word on the street Wednesday, when he tweeted: “It’s crazy I find out where I’m going from so many people daily . Don’t believe the rumors.”
A consensus national top-20 recruit according to the recruiting services, Swanigan will join an MSU class that already was ranked in the top 15 nationally with three signees – Muskegon 6-8 big man, McDonald’s All-American and Michigan Mr. Basketball Deyonta Davis; 6-5 wing Kyle Ahrens (Versailles, Ohio); and 6-5 shooting guard Matt McQuaid (Duncanville, Texas).
Swanigan and Davis roomed together before the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago, and they represent the third time Izzo has landed two McDonald’s honorees in the same class. The first time it happened was in 2000 with Zach Randolph and Marcus Taylor, and the second time was in 2003 with Shannon Brown and Brandon Cotton. Davis and Swanigan give Izzo 13 McDonald’s All-Americans for his career.
Davis and Swanigan also give MSU two players who can play both power forward and center next season, for a team that loses senior power forward Branden Dawson and brings back centers Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling.
Davis is an athletic shot blocker with outside skill. Swanigan is a space-eating post scorer, somewhat in the mold of Randolph. Those four players, along with sophomore-to-be Marvin Clark Jr., give Izzo a variety of options at his power forward and center positions.
Swanigan’s addition would make MSU full on scholarships next season. Missouri 6-9 sophomore forward and leading scorer Johnathan Williams III told the Free Press on Wednesday that he is interested in transferring to MSU, but that would only be possible now if a current MSU player transfers away.