Hunter Rison may be Dantonio’s Diamond in the Rough

Photo: Siobhan Findlay/Impact

Joey Ellis

Following National Signing Day, Michigan State’s newest recruiting class finished the day ranked 36th in the country. After being ranked 17th following the 2015 College Football Playoff team, this recruiting class was a bit of a downgrade. Nonetheless, this was a typical Mark Dantonio recruiting class.

The Spartans got commitments from most of the players they sought out early on, but lost a couple of their targets the night before Signing Day or the day of. MSU tallied 27 commitments from players, including four four-stars and 17 three-stars. Of these commits, one to keep your eye on for an early impact to the team is Hunter Rison.

If the name sounds familiar, it should. Rison is the son of former MSU great Andre Rison, who became a Super Bowl champion with the Green Bay Packers. The 6-foot, 195-pound wide receiver hails from Ann Arbor Skyline high school.

“He’s obviously a legacy here with his father having played here,” Dantonio said. “But you make your own way. You make your own way as a young person.”

Rison has all the tools to step in almost instantly and make a positive impact for this team. He has all the makings to fill the potential void at the slot receiver position that RJ Shelton left behind, and he attacks his play with confidence. Dantonio also raved about his “crisp” route running skills, saying “he’s a guy that has a great motor, very enthusiastic.”

[su_pullquote]“He’s obviously a legacy here with his father having played here. But you make your own way. You make your own way as a young person.”
–Mark Dantonio[/su_pullquote]

Rison is one of the quickest and more evasive players in the class and definitely has the ceiling to surpass everything that RJ Shelton accomplished in his brilliant career as a Spartan. The Spartans will have other great young receivers next season with Donnie Corley Jr., Trishton Jackson, Justin Layne (who moved to defense and may not switch back to receiver) and Cam Chambers. There is a good chance Rison can find his way into a slot receiver role very early in his Spartan career and look to contribute big things starting in spring ball.

Rison’s confidence goes back quite a ways. Back in October, Rison was quoted about making Michigan commits Jaylen Kelly-Powell and Levert Hill look “foolish” back in camps they all attended. It’s also worth noting that Rison said Michigan did not speak with him about playing there–not even once–even though he lives only five minutes away from the Big House. October 7th cannot come soon enough, when Rison’s Spartans will take on the Wolverines in his hometown.

Rison enrolled early at Michigan State in January, eager to get acclimated with the playbook and get used to the transition from high school to college, which is never easy. Since enrolling, Rison has been trying to prove Dantonio right on his expectations. Rison has big shoes to fill given the name, but he has a big chance to push for lots of early playing time and will be able to make some big-time plays for the Spartans early on his career.