Saturday, October 31, 2020

Several MSU sports gather National Letters of Intent from high school athletes

November 10, 2016
Head coach Suzy Merchant answers a question during Women's Basketball media day on Oct. 19, 2016 in the Breslin Center.
Head coach Suzy Merchant answers a question during Women's Basketball media day on Oct. 19, 2016 in the Breslin Center. —
Photo by Emilia McConnell | The State News

Wednesday marked the beginning of the early signing period for a number of collegiate sports.

A number of high school student-athletes across the country will be signing their National Letter of Intent, or NLI, to a university of their choice. Some of them could commit to MSU.

Men's basketball

Head coach Tom Izzo and the Spartans received letters of intent from Jaren Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman. According to Rivals.com, Jackson is a five-star recruit and the No. 15 overall player in the country. Tillman is a four-star recruit and the No. 86 overall player.

Jackson, a 6-foot-11 power forward, is the No. 26 recruit in the class of 2017 and the No. 2 recruit in the state of Indiana, according to ESPN 100. As a junior at Park Tudor High School, he averaged 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 60 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range.

A 6-foot-8 power forward out of Grand Rapids, Mich., Tillman is a top player in the class of 2017. He currently sits at No. 75 in the ESPN 100 rankings.

Tillman received 2016 Associated Press Class A All-State honors after averaging 16 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists as a junior. Tillman also shot 62 percent from the field. He is a three-time MLIVE Grand Rapids Press Dream Team member in 2014, 2015, 2016. Tillman has also helped his team capture an OK White Conference championship and a district championship.

Women's basketball

The men’s team was not the only one to pick up some recruits, as head coach Suzy Merchant also received an NLI Wednesday from Claire Hendrickson.

Hendrickson is a 5-foot-11 guard out of Wyoming, Mich. Hendrickson missed the majority of her junior season because of an ACL injury, but averaged 14 points, seven assists, 3.5 steals and 3.5 rebounds and also led the team in blocked shots with 3.4 per game. Hendrickson also recorded two triple-doubles on the year. Her stat line led to her Honorable-Mention Class A All-State recognition.

Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team also joined in, receiving three NLI from Alyssa Chronowski, Meredith Norris and Jamye Cox.

Chronowski, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter, is listed at No. 30 on PrepVolleyball.com’s list of Senior Aces. As a senior, Chronowski led her team to a 27-10 record, a second sectional title and third consecutive conference championship as the team captain and kills leader.

Another outside hitter, Norris is listed at 6-foot-3. She has recorded more than 3,000 kills and holds school records in kills, digs and aces. She is a four-year team captain and MVP and has led her team to three district championships in 2013, 2014 and 2016. She was named a 2016 AVCA/Under Armour All-American and was listed at No. 25 on PrepVolleyball.com’s list of Senior Aces.

In contrast to those two, Cox is a 5-foot-3 defensive specialist. Cox is a 2016 AVCA/Under Armour First Team All-American and is listed as the No. 40 recruit, according to PrepVolleyball.com. She also was the libero for the USA Junior National Team that competed in the USA NORECA finals this past summer. Cox is also the all-time digs leader at her high school, Saint Ursula Academy. She has helped her team to sectional, district and regional championships in each of her first three years.

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