Recruiting & Scouting

PREP SPORTS REPORT: Padla to MSU, Thrower chooses cage route, more

   | Scott Burnstein

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News and notes from around the state;

Nick of time

Berrien Springs senior football standout Nick Padla committed to Michigan State over the weekend.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive lineman enjoyed his attendance at Michigan State's 21-6 win over South Florida so much, he pledged his allegiance to head coach, Mark Dantonio and the Spartans on the spot.

Padla is considered a three-star prospect by most scouting services and a Top 25 player the in the state.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play at MSU and I’m very happy to be turning that dream into a reality,” he said. “Everything about the football program and the school is the ultimate package for me.”

The commitment of Padla gives the Spartans 15 commits for their Class of 2014 recruiting crop. A half dozen of those commitments spawn from in-state high schools.

In addition to Michigan State, Padla had scholarship offers from BCS schools Illinois and Cincinnati and Akon, Kent State and Bowling Green from the mid-major ranks.

So far this fall, Padla and his Berrien Springs squad is 1-1.

Romancing the stone

One of the state’s top two-sport stars, Muskegon’s Deshaun Thrower decided his future was on the basketball floor this week, accepting a scholarship to play Division I hoops at Stony Brook University out of New York.

Thrower a 6-foot-2 point guard, averaged 18 points, six assists and four rebounds per game last winter as a junior, taking the Big Red to a Class A regional crown and an appearance in the state’s Elite 8.

During the fall sports campaign, he’s a dangerous dual-threat under center quarterbacking Muskegon’s state-power football team, currently 2-0 and trying to advance into its second straight Division 3 state championship game.

Entering Week 3, Thrower has scored eight touchdowns and the Big Red is fresh off a 35-13 thrashing of defending Division 3 state champion Grand Rapids Christian.

Stony Brook has a strong men’s basketball program and went 25-8 last season.

A trip to the park

I’m being told that former NBA player Jermaine Jackson has taken the helm as the new boys basketball coach at Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy, in the wake of all-state floor general Derrick Walton Jr. (Michigan) a