Michigan State lands five-star Xavier Booker
The man that currently sits atop the Rivals150- came off the board on Saturday afternoon, when de facto No. 1 prospect Xavier Booker announced his intention to sign with Michigan State. The news represents a massive recruiting win for the Spartans, whose 2023 class now has a one-and-done hopeful to headline it.
Below, Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy has an in-depth look at what the Spartans are getting in Booker as well as what it means for the bigger picture.
WHAT MICHIGAN STATE IS GETTING
The prospect with perhaps the biggest upside in this class, the left-handed Booker’s combination of length, athleticism and skill is something to behold. His elite physical tools and touch around the rim have already grabbed the attention of multiple NBA scouting departments, as the 6-foot-11 standout has NBA Lottery upside if he adds polish. Booker runs the floor incredibly well and is capable of truly changing games on the defensive end, blocking and changing shots both in the paint and on the perimeter. He handles the ball well for a prospect of his size, attacks the rim and is even capable of pouring points in from deep via pull-up 3-pointers on his good days. He needs to become a more motivated rebounder and answer some lingering questions about his motor, but he’s already one of the more college-ready prospects in this class. Booker, who won MVP honors at the prestigious Pangos All-American Camp this summer, sits atop the 2023 Rivals150 by default for the time being, as the only player listed in front of him, GG Jackson, recently reclassified to 2022. He’s very much in the mix to claim the spot more permanently when the rankings refresh next month
WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE SPARTANS
Funny what adding a five-star can do, isn’t it? The Spartans’ 2023 class suddenly projects as an elite haul as the long, athletic Booker pairs well with Jeremy Fears Jr., one of the top point guards in the class. When you consider the fact that Michigan State also seems like the slight favorite to land top-100 wing Devin Royal, the photo of Tom Izzo’s possible haul becomes incredibly well-rounded. The Spartans now have three top-100 prospects in the fold for just the second time since the Miles Bridges-Cassius Winston class of 2016. The quick work Izzo and company did to shoot to the top of Booker’s list during his April official visit to East Lansing was impressive, as MSU’s standing as the leader was established at that time and never wavered. The fact that Michigan State beat out Big 10 rivals Michigan, Ohio State and Indiana should make this victory extra sweet for fans, but the fact that Izzo and company were able to beat back a late push from Gonzaga should also be noted.