One Big Ten program’s loss could turn into another’s gain.
5-star big man Caleb Swanigan has decommitted from Michigan State according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman. The news comes just one week after Swanigan claimed he was "100 percent" committed to the Spartans.
In fact, Tom Izzo spoke about Swanigan on a local Lansing radio show just yesterday, saying that he was not concerned about the Indiana-native’s commitment.
"I really cant talk about it but we’re kind of going through a little bit of a thing, football’s been through it," Izzo said on "The Drive with Jack Ebling on 92.1-FM in Lansing. "So nothing I’m worried about but I just can’t talk about it guys."
Izzo was not allowed to comment on the matter directly because college coaches cannot openly discuss recruits until they have signed a letter of intent, something Swanigan never did, allowing him to leave with no repercussions.
Presumably Izzo is alluding to Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell in the interview with Ebling. McDowell joined the Spartans class of 2014, but not before some very open protests from his mother, who did not wish for him to attend Michigan State.
One has to wonder, given Swanigan’s strong comments just a week ago, if his parents might have something to do with his decision to decommitt. Swanigan lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with his legal guardian, former Purdue linebacker Roosevelt Barnes. This is purely speculation as neither Swanigan nor Barnes could be reached for comment since the news broke, but it seems entirely possible given the information available.
The likely landing spots for the McDonalds All-American now seems to be Purdue or Cal, the two schools he was seriously considering before verbally committing to Michigan State.
For Purdue, getting a commitment from Swanigan would be a huge boon to its 2015 class. Currently the Boilermakers rank 13th among Big Ten schools and 81st overall according to 247Sports. Late Thursday night, news was released that Swanigan would be visiting Purdue over the weekend and ESPN's Dan Dakich tweeted that "it's done" regarding Swanigan to Purdue. This appears to be the landing spot, but nothing is confirmed yet.
Cal has already received commitments from 5-star recruits Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, and could enter legitimate national title talks if the big-man were to join their ranks.
Meanwhile, coach Cal and Kentucky should not be discounted. The Wildcats have largely struck out in Spring recruiting (at least by Kentucky’s standards) and John Calipari recently made a very public statement about how the Cats will abandon the platoon system next season for fear that lack of playing time was scaring way recruits.
Wherever Swanigan decides to go, he will have to make up his mind quickly as the Division I late signing period for basketball end on May 20th.
While Michigan State will still have McDonald’s All-American Deyonta Davis and 4-star recruit Matthew McQuaid in its 2015 class, there is no doubt this is a serious blow to the Spartans. It would have been the first time in 12 years that Izzo secured two McDonald’s All-Americans in one recruiting class. The Spartans will now have one more scholarship left to give out in 2015, but it remains to be seen if they will be able to fill it this late in the game.