Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Reason to Love William Gholston

By now, you've likely heard that MSU reportedly landed a "soft verbal" commitment from the top football player in the state - Detroit Southeastern DE/LB William Gholston. That news came one day after news that State hooked Detroit Renaissance CB Mylan Hicks.

That brings MSU's unofficial recruiting count (because formal letters aren't signed until February, 2010) to four. The other two: Traverse City St. Francis LB Max Bullough and Detroit Crockett ATH Tony Lippert.

Now, I'm not going to comment on the strength of State's recruiting class. I don't watch enough high school football to know what the heck is going on with a bunch of 16 and 17-year-old kids, nor do I have a crystal ball which predicts how well they'll do once they have to fact the Trojans of USC, rather than East Lansing.

But I do know that this class so far is the latest bit of evidence of Mark Dantonio's Michigan-first recruiting effort. It's one that has paid big dividends for Tom Izzo in basketball and Joanne P. McCallie, and now Suzy Merchant, in women's basketball.

That's not the only reason why I'm loving the Gholston commitment. He and the three other recruits from Michigan will cost Mark Dantonio's football program a combined about $62,000 less per year in tuition, and up to $248,000 less than comparable recruits from Ohio or Florida or anywhere else over four years. In-state tuition in 2008-09 was $10,264, while out-of-state tuition was $25,722. And the football program has to pick up that tab.

So given that Michigan's economy is in the tank, and not likely to recover any time soon, give Dantonio credit for finding players he thinks will help MSU win championships while also saving thousands of dollars on the side.

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