Drake Harris decommitment a sign of warped perception by recruits and reason MSU needs bounce-back season

Michigan State’s football program is no less the program than it was before last season. Not yet, at least.

The Spartans had a rough fall, grinding out a 7-6 season because of a sputtering offense.

Physically, however, MSU remains where it was in 2010 and 2011 and well above where it used to be — it’s right there with Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin at this point.

The Spartans lost 12-10 on the road to the Wolverines, played U-M toe-to-toe physically.

But, apparently, the perspective of a high school junior is a bit less analytical, more gullible, with the attention span and memory of, well, a high school junior in the must-glance-at-my-cell-phone-during-every-free-second-for-stimulation generation.

Heralded football recruit Drake Harris, of Grand Rapids Christian, decommitted from MSU Monday. He sort of had already, but he dumped the Spartans from his list altogether, the two-sport high school star telling reporters, “Since I’m just playing football (in college) now, I want to play at a bigger school, win a national championship.”

(Perhaps someone should share MSU’s enrollment with young Harris.)

He could do that at MSU, just as likely as he could at Michigan right now. The Wolverines’ program is in no better shape. Ask Michigan fans and media, who collectively exhaled with more force than I’ve ever felt in a press box and stadium after the Wolverines escaped a fifth straight defeat to MSU last fall. Michigan’s players, coaches and even fans understand there is no physical separation between the two programs these days.

At MSU, you can win a national title. It’s difficult. But no less likely than at U-M.

But, again, MSU went 7-6 and didn’t meet its own touted expectations. So, the story and the vibe all last season was one of disappointment. Harris clearly felt it.

Losing Harris might or might not hurt MSU. By all accounts, he’s the real deal as a wide receiver.

More importantly for the Spartans is to realize why he decommitted and what last season did to perception of MSU in the feeble minds of teenagers. And that makes this season all the more important.

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41 Responses to Drake Harris decommitment a sign of warped perception by recruits and reason MSU needs bounce-back season

  1. avatar Rob says:

    Well written.

  2. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    “The Program of Dantonio is like a king who prepared aRose Bowl banquet for his son. He sent his grad assistants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
    Then he sent some more position Coaches and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my Program for the Rose Bowl: My O Line and fattened playbook have been prepared and everything is ready. Come to the Rose Bowl banquet.’
    But they paid no attention and went off–one to his instragram, another to his twitter. The rest seized his boosters , mistreated them, and snubbed them. The king was enraged. .
    Then he said to his position coaches, ‘The Rose Bowl banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the Rose Bowl anyone you find.’ So the position coaches went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and Skandalaris hall was filled with wide receivers.
    For many are invited, but few are chosen.

  3. avatar Greg says:

    A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

    MSU has been to one Rose Bowl in the last 47 years, and that event occured well before these recruits were born. And its a little hard to recruit at home conference games when you lost ALL of them. Dantonio should be commended for smearing some lipstick on a 6-6 pig by winning the toilet bowl, but come on.

    As for “feeble minded” teenagers…I guarantee Northwestern will go to the Rose Bowl before MSU. They can at least offer a decent education.

    • avatar Teresa says:

      Greg ….. The only part of your response that is absolutely IGNORANT is implying that a young adult cannot get a decent education at MSU. MSU is an exceptional university!

      • avatar Greg says:

        You’re kind of right. It was kind of a stab back at Graham for implying that Drake Harris was “simple minded” because he didn’t choose Michigan State. I think that comment showed about as much class as you can expect from a spartan, but point taken. I just dont see how MSU’s two years of success two years ago puts them in position to compete for championships any more than Northwestern, Iowa or what have you. And lets face it: other big ten schools have a little more to offer.

        • avatar MSU Owns Beilien says:

          How do you know Greg, you’re obviously a MSU hater, you have no idea what MSU has to offer.

        • avatar NJ Rob says:

          I went to grad school at NU/Kellogg, and while it’s a great undergraduate program academically, I can’t think of a more boring place to spend my 18-21 years….MSU has the whole package, and Evanston is not Chicago!

        • avatar 3M_Rocker says:

          Greg, we know one thing we have… The hottest girls in the Big Ten. That’s something those dogs at scUM will never contest. Now get your troll a$$ out of here. And take Drake Harris with you.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      I watched a National Championship in my person and a Rose Bowl win with my father in person, thats why I am ok with things. If I had never witnessed it like some of the younger people I would probably think differantly.

  4. avatar 3M_rocker says:

    I don’t get why the kid is abandoning hoops. You’re going to have a longer career in hoops and it won’t destroy your body.

    His excuses make no logical sense (unless he’ll go play for $aban) and he’s apparently an unapologetic backstabber. Go play at Michigan and we’ll get a chance to knock you on your arse once a year.

  5. avatar Mike says:

    Very selective use of quotes … also, other sources have him saying “bigger football school.” … which is obviously what he meant by bigger school regardless. Clearly he was not referring to enrollment.

    He also said … “Just everything that some of the other schools have to offer, it’s just attracting me and the recruits and recruiting classes other schools are getting, it’s just a better fit.” He is looking at how schools like Michigan are raking in the recruits, too.

    And, as an MSU fan/grad, there is no one in their right mind who is going to argue that MSU has an equal shot as UM to win a national title in the next 5-10 years. Maybe “physically” the schools can match up, but to argue the likelihood at a national title is equal is just pure folly. It is far less likely to win a national title at MSU than it is at UM.

    • avatar GreenGuy says:

      I have no interest in debating whether Graham is in his “right mind” as he points out – with great validity – that MSU is in just as good a position to win an NC than um. “Right” or “Wrong” mind, go back and read Graham’s comments – his points are spot on.

      I do however question Mike’s sincereity about being an MSU grad/fan…just doesn’t pass the “smell” test.

      Even as um will get preferential treatment from the B10 – 16 or whatever it becomes in scheduling and bowl lobbying, the conference division setup and conference championship game do – I believe- open up opportunities for many teams, including MSU, to reach the eventual NC 4 team playoffs.

      For example, the 2013 season shapes up to be very interesting for both MSU and um…with um transitioning to a more traditional offense and not having the sandlot big play threat in dr any longer. Also – MSU gets its shot at um in Spartan Stadium, with a (still) VERY good defense, and I firmly believe an improved, more diversified, offense. No Roushar means addition by subtraction (sorry Graham, couldn’t resist).

      MSU will need to win close games in conference @ Nebraska and @ NW, in addition to a spanking of um @ home. I actually think MSU has a decent shot @ ND in a close game as well. That means a potential shot at OSU in the conference championship game. Optimistic maybe, but only slightly so. Certainly no more optimistic than Mike’s view of um’s prowess.

      • avatar Mike says:

        I graduated in December 2010 with a degree in journalism and minor in Spanish. Would you like a picture of my diploma emailed to you?

        If me being realistic makes me less of a Spartan grad, then so be it.

      • avatar Mike says:

        For the record, where Graham is correct is in saying that MSU does need a bounce-back season. That much is clearly true.

        Even with that, though, I still don’t think it means MSU is as likely to compete for a national title as UM is in the next 5-10 years.

        I feel MSU is in the business (realistically) of trying to get to Rose Bowls, not national championship games. I am okay with that. I like being an MSU fan, regardless.

        • avatar GreenGuy says:

          Save your email with a picture…let’s simply disagree. Graham’s point, and mine, is that um is in no better position – today – to challenge for a NC than MSU. This isn’t 1997 when a shared mythical championship stoked the egos at um. In the upcoming 4 team playoff ssytem, you can realistically expect at least one SEC team, one PAC-10 team, one ACC team or ND, and one B10 team. Granted – a non-power conference contender may well slip into the mix (Boise State or TCU for example). A B10 champion who has run the table has an excellent shot…and MSU is at least as equipped on the field as um to accomplish that task.

          BTW – I was sitting in the big outhouse last fall and felt the “exhale of relief” Graham referred to in his post – it was/is real.

          • avatar Mike says:

            I don’t believe I disputed said “exhale of relief.” Of course that would be the reaction.

            I don’t think MSU isn’t equipped for a run, but I just think UM is more equipped to compete — in all objectivity.

            You raise a good point about the four-team playoffs system being advantageous to teams like MSU — potentially. But, for MSU to run the table, it will have to beat UM and, in many years, beat OSU while avoiding any upset losses. That will be a tall order year in and year out.

          • avatar dmbtierney says:

            There is one small factor that could affect UM’s chances at BCS playoffs in the future. One of the criteria will be strength of schedule. UM has insisted that they will always play at least seven home games a year in the future for financial reasons. By doing this, they will not get many quality teams to come to Ann Arbor because those teams will insist on home and home scheduling. MSU has no problem with this. Thus, when strength of schedule is computed into the BCS selection, UM could find themselves behind schools that scheduled tougher opponents. Don’t forget, Big Ten teams will be scheduling fewer non-conference games in the future as the number of conference games expands to nine or ten.

  6. avatar NJ Rob says:

    Last year, our offense cost us several games and a few recruits…plus a few coaches. We’ll be fine. Dantonio is doing it the right way, and the recruiting rankings are BS as they over-weight numbers (i.e., MSU not giving many scholarships…just like basketball this year).

    I keep debating with myself whether landing in the B1G East is going to help/hurt MSU…the West (without OSU, UM and Penn State) seems like a much easier path to B1G Championship, and thus National Championship 4-team playoff. In any event, I agree that the 4-team playoff gives us a better chance at winning one now.

    I think I’d rather see MSU in the West, have us tag UM as rivalry game (while UM tags OSU, and Rutgers tags us).

    Separately, a UM grad (fairly decent guy too) looked me square in the face last week and said “MSU basketball is dead…they have zero recruits for next season.” I said “are you crazy”, explained the Jabari Parker situation (calculated gamble), noted a few top undecideds, and explained mid-season transfer while noting the youth on the roster (incl. Kaminski). I think it’s time for the MSU journalists to start publishing a few more articles to help shutdown these crazy recruiting rumors. The age of Coach K doesn’t seem to affect his recruiting, so I see no reason why Izzo/MSU needs to let these other coaches slowdown the hoop train, which is rolling right now!

    • avatar Troy says:

      If the 2014 bball recruiting class goes half as well as Izzo wants it to, what will the “MSU basketball is dead” geniuses say then???

  7. avatar Humphrey says:

    This article is just shameful for insulting a high school kid. Just because he didn’t choose MSU, he is simple minded, gullible,not analytical, or feeble minded. He wants to go to a school with a stronger football program and let’s face it, despite the recent success of MSU, they aren’t a football power that OSU or even UM are or have been.

  8. avatar Tom says:

    I am a Spartan and bleed GREEN, but let’s face it folks, neither MSU or UM are anywhere close to playing for a national championship. Look what Alabama and South Carolina did to UM last season. MSU’s best shot was 2 seasons ago when we should have beat Wisconsin in the B1G Championship.

    • avatar Truth says:

      What South Carolina did to UM?? Didn’t South Carolina have to score a last minute touchdown to win the game? You have a point with Alabama, but UM gave South Carolina all they could handle.

  9. avatar JB says:

    For a kid that will not play football until September 2014, and is unlikely to be a “major” contributor until 2015 or 2016, Drake Harris shows more foresight than the author. “But, apparently, the perspective of a high school junior is a bit less analytical, more gullible, with the attention span and memory of, well, a high school junior in the must-glance-at-my-cell-phone-during-every-free-second-for-stimulation generation.”
    Shame on you for attacking a kid, particularly when his decision-making process has been anything but random. It appears that Drake has glanced at more than his cell phone, for instance the current underclass rosters and recruiting rankings. The case is made that MSU is “right there” with Wisconsin (okay), Michigan (debatable at best), and OSU (ha! Joke.) right now. Not only are the long-term histories of Michigan and OSU on a completely different level, the short-term outlooks are brighter as well.
    It is clear the author here spent less than 1/100th the time penning this emotional drivel as Drake Harris spent considering his future.

  10. avatar RN says:

    The kid is still a year away from signing a letter of intent. His comments about the program are immature and uninformed. They may end of being bulletin board fodder in the near future. Wish him well .

    • avatar A says:

      He said he wanted to look at a bigger football school and compete for a national championship, what about that is uninformed or immature?

  11. avatar J says:

    Las Vegas odds makers vehemently disagree with your assertion that winning a national championship is as likely at MSU as at Michigan.

    Michigan is 30-1 and MSU is 80-1 which is not even closely comparable.

    I know their is a reason you write for the LSJ but come on this is a very easy fact to check! Add in the fact that MSU hasn’t gone to a Rose Bowl since most of these kids have been alive and has never played in a BCS game let alone won one why would you blame the kid for thinking he couldn’t win at MSU. Grow up!

    • avatar 3M_Rocker says:

      Whatever… We’re going to kick scUM’s ass next year in Spartan Stadium. And screw DH. If he doesn’t wanna be here, we don’t want him. Move along…

    • avatar spartan44duck says:

      Las Vegas odds are selected to entice people to bet money. They have very little to do with what team is equipped to win a championship. In Aug. Vegas said the Lakers were 3-1 favorites to win the West. Good choice by them.

      • avatar MSU Owns Beilien says:

        Vegas also said before MSU was beating scUM by 31 in hoops that scUM and FLA were the two favorites to make it to the championship game !

  12. avatar ken says:

    Dantonio didn’t want him anyway. LMAO

  13. avatar Joe says:

    1/2 of a national championship in 50+ years. Yea, UM is far superior. Right!?!? Most heralded coach is the history of the program is known for struggling to win a big bowl game (no national championships to Bo’s credit). Talk about education but the stats don’t show they give a rats butt about their student athletes, especially their african-american football players.

  14. avatar Jmac says:

    I think a lot of fans are misunderstanding what Drake is saying here, the whole Big ten is probably out at this point. MSU gets hit hardest because we were the program he actually decommitted from, however his comments mostly point south in my opinion. How can anyone think he is not SEC bound?

    I hate to have to admit this, but we are the JV league. Not exactly news, and really hard for um and tOSU fans to swallow.

  15. avatar Fred Jones says:

    It’s a shame the Big Ten screwed MSU out of the Rose Bowl a few years ago — the last year before the B1G championship game. Ohio State cheated, and MSU lost a tiebreaker to a team it beat H2H (Wisconsin).

    Maybe if the Big Ten wanted programs like MSU to succeed, they’d let them.

  16. avatar postUP says:

    Winning solves everything. Ask Tom Izzo about how being on the top of your league helps recruiting? MSU football is built on defense and that’s a good thing. If they’re a “program” then they need to respond and not let this 7-7 record come back for a long time.

    I can’t believe they even let kids commit publically when they’re finishing 10th grade. Let this Harris kid go and move on. If you were in his shoes what would you do. He wants that experience of being recruited. Me personally I think playing Basketball would actually help his football career but I guess it is what it is. UM isn’t going any farther then MSU with or without him.

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