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Two Canadians highlight verbal commitments

January 25, 2006

The MSU football team added four new recruits this week to help bump MSU to the No. 28 recruiting class, according to

Ervin Baldwin
Defensive end, 6 foot 3, 260 pounds
Reedley Community College

Baldwin, the No. 30 player on's Junior College Top 100 rankings, verbally committed Monday.

He's a fierce pass rusher still maturing and developing his skills.

"He's a guy that just went gangbusters this year," said Kevin Lustgarten, publisher of, a Web site that tracks junior college players. "He had a fantastic season, and I think next year he'll keep getting better."

Baldwin, a four-star prospect who registered 13 sacks last season, was a junior college All-America for Reedley Community College in California.

With two years of eligibility left, Lustgarten expects Baldwin to contribute immediately.

"He'll come in and make an impact right away," he said. "The light really went on for him last year and I'm guessing by the time he's a senior, he should be a fantastic player."

After initially committing to Kansas State earlier this month, Baldwin changed his mind and chose MSU over offers from Utah, Washington State and Marshall.

Vaughn Martin
Defensive tackle, 6 foot 4, 300 pounds
London South Secondary School

The Spartans filled a need at defensive tackle by landing Martin, a two-star player from London, Ontario who has tremendous size and potential to bring to the college level.

"There's one thing we have a difficult thing coaching, and that is size," said Mike Stenning, Martin's football coach at London South Secondary School.

"There's a tremendous amount of potential based on his framework."

Besides defensive tackle, Martin also played fullback and defensive end, but was moved to defensive tackle because teams were intentionally playing away from him, Stenning said.

Ohio and Toledo also offered to Martin, and Stenning feels the bigger schools didn't offer because of where he played, not how he played.

"In Canada, we don't get a whole lot of top teams coming up here to recruit," he said. "In terms of one-on-one, he's got great talent. He's probably the top one or two kids in Ontario."

David Williams
Wide receiver, 5 foot 9, 175 pounds
Gateway High School

Williams, an explosive wide receiver from Monroeville, Pa., verbally committed to the Spartans on Sunday.

The two-star receiver found the end zone 19 times as a high school senior, averaging 28.6 yards per reception, according to

"David is a very explosive, elusive-type player," said Terry Smith, Williams' high school coach. "He can do many different things, including returning punts and kickoffs."

Williams initially gave his commitment to Kent State, but switched to MSU once he was offered a spot.

He picked MSU because it's in the Big Ten, Smith said, adding that most big schools weren't interested because Williams was a "late bloomer," and by the time he had a breakout senior year, the big schools were predetermined in who they were going after.

"The sky is the limit for the kid," Smith said.

J'Michael Deane
Defensive tackle, 6 foot 6, 290 pounds
Metro Toronto

Deane gave a verbal commitment to MSU on Sunday, giving the Spartans two defensive tackles from Canada in one weekend.

With the departure of Domata Peko from an already thin defensive tackle position, Deane provides much-needed depth for the Spartans. He will have four years of eligibility.

Deane is considered by many football analysts to be one of the top defensive lineman in all of Canada. The two-star defensive tackle chose MSU over offers from Duke, Akron and Ohio.


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