Tucker nets highly-prized West Bloomfield recruit Dillon Tatum


MSU four-star 2022 commit Dillon Tatum during his visit to East Lansing on April 24/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Nathan Stearns, Sports Broadcast Director

EAST LANSING— MSU head coach Mel Tucker has done it again.

On Wednesday evening, four-star prospect Dillon Tatum (West Bloomfield) became the 20th overall commit within the Spartans’ 2022 recruiting class. Tatum, the fourth in-state four-star recruit that Tucker has landed, chose Michigan State over Michigan, Tennessee and Baylor.

Tatum had been projected to choose Michigan by the majority of recruiting experts for the past several months, but a late push by Tucker, secondary coach Harlon Barnett and running backs coach William Peagler swayed him to spurn the Wolverines. Getting Tatum is especially impressive considering that longtime West Bloomfield head coach Ron Bellamy got hired as the new Wolverines’ safety coach in January.

Bellamy, along with Tatum, helped shape West Bloomfield into one of the most consistent Division I programs in the state; the Lakers won a state championship in 2021 after beating Davison 41-0 on Jan. 22.  They also earned a berth in the 2017 state championship game before losing to Clarkston 3-2.

Last season, Tatum notched 38 tackles, three interceptions and six pass breakups to go along with over 500 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He also had roughly 150 receiving yards in 2021.

According to 247Sports, Tatum is the N0. 5 overall recruit within Michigan and the No. 13 overall “athlete” within the 2022 recruiting pool. This category is reserved for current high school players who do not have a defined projected position at the collegiate level.  Currently, he plays running back, slot receiver, safety, cornerback and kick returner for the Lakers; Tatum also runs track.


MSU four-star 2022 commit Dillon Tatum during his visit to East Lansing on April 24/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Allen Trieu, a national recruiting analyst for 247Sports, categorizes Tatum as a prospect who “has short-area quickness and twitch to be able to play man (coverage). ” He also writes that Tatum projects as a nickel corner in college, much like current nickel/safety hybrid Michael Dowell.

In addition to Michigan State, Michigan, Baylor and Tennessee, Tatum was offered by over 25 Power Five schools including Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Florida, USC, Wisconsin, Miami (FL), Texas A&M, Ole Miss, West Virginia, Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, Syracuse and Utah.

Tatum is the fourth top-1o recruit within the state that Tucker has gotten in the past two months following the commitment of defensive tackle Alex VanSumeren, athlete Jaden Mangham and wide receiver Antonio Gates Jr. in late July and early August.

With the addition of Tatum, MSU’s 2021 recruiting class is rated as the No. 17 best in the country and No. 4 best in the Big Ten by 247Sports.