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Biggest storylines heading into National Signing Day for MSU football

December 15, 2020
<p>Cornerback Keaton Ellis (2) brings down Michigan State running back Jordon Simmons (22) during Penn State football’s game against MSU on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Beaver Stadium. Penn State won 39-24. Photos courtesy of Lily LaRegina, photographer and photo editor at The Daily Collegian.</p>

Cornerback Keaton Ellis (2) brings down Michigan State running back Jordon Simmons (22) during Penn State football’s game against MSU on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Beaver Stadium. Penn State won 39-24. Photos courtesy of Lily LaRegina, photographer and photo editor at The Daily Collegian.

MSU football has made strides in the recruiting game over the past few months.

On Wednesday, MSU football head coach Mel Tucker can cement his recruiting class as the early signing period for Division I recruits opens up. The early signing period ends on Dec. 18, this coming Friday.

MSU has 18 hard commits right now in the class of 2021, headlined by four-star recruit Rayshaun Benny out of Oak Park.

But, there are a couple of storylines to watch as Wednesday rolls around.

Audric Estime's commitment

Estime was originally a verbal commit out of St. Joseph Regional in Montvale, New Jersey, as a three-star.

Since his commitment, Estime has risen up the recruiting ranks from a three-star to now a four-star as running back. Since that time he's picked up an offer from Notre Dame, one of the premier programs in the country.

Estime has starred this season while playing with fellow MSU verbal commit and offensive lineman Geno VanDeMark. This fall, the class of '21 recruit has rushed for almost 1,900 yards and more than 20 touchdowns while averaging 9.8 yards a carry.

Estime told NJ.com that he hopes to sign in February, which is when the regular signing period starts. He has offers from Arizona State, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Iowa.

It'll be interesting to see where Estime lands. 247Sports projects the RB will decide on Notre Dame but Estime hasn't publicly said anything about his final decision's direction.

Local products, some recruits decide to wait

Ethan Boyd, an offensive line recruit out of East Lansing High School near MSU's campus, is signing his NLI at 11 a.m. near ELHS. A three-star recruit according to 247Sports, Boyd is 6-foot-7 and 285 according to his recruiting profile.

Boyd primarily plays the tackle spots and his East Lansing Trojan football team, prior to its season being put on hold, was 8-0 heading into a regional matchup with Muskegon Mona Shores. Boyd's teammate Andrel Anthony Jr. is the No. 1 receiver recruit in Michigan, according to 247Sports.

Other local products who are planning to sign are four-star defensive lineman Benny of Oak Park and three-star running back Davion Primm, also out of Oak Park.

Benny is the prized jewel of Tucker's potential recruiting class, the Detroit Free Press reported that Benny is planning to push his signing day back to the Spring and that he will not be signing Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5 D-Line recruit, according to the Free Press report, said that he still anticipates signing with Michigan State's football program over programs like Penn State, Michigan and Kentucky.

What out of state products to watch for

Michigan State is still in the running for some recruits who haven't announced a verbal commitment, but VanDeMark, the three-star offensive guard prospect out of New Jersey, and Charles Brantley, a three-star cornerback recruit out of Venice, Florida is a pair to watch between Wednesday and Friday.

Several reports have pointed that Tucker's staff is targeting USC commit and four-star linebacker Ma’a Gaoteote, who's the younger brother of recent USC de-commit, Palaie Gaoteote, who the MSU staff has reportedly been pursuing as well.

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