Michigan State trending up in Ohio

Editor's note: Every Monday in Four Downs, we'll roll out four stories, themes and nuggets from the football recruiting world to tip off your week in proper form. We'll set the table with the stories that need to be told and give you a leg up on the watercooler conversations around the office.

1. Spartans continue to do well in Ohio

Everybody knows about the job that Ohio State does in its backyard, and Brady Hoke has drawn national recognition for the job he's done in the state of Ohio during his time with Michigan. But what often is overlooked is the job that Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio does in the Buckeye State.

In the 2013 class, the Spartans landed five players from Ohio, including highly coveted linebacker Shane Jones, and the number was even higher in 2012 with seven. Since 2009, Michigan State has signed 29 players from Ohio, and 24 Buckeye State natives are on the 2013 spring roster.

The Spartans took a big step toward continuing that trend in 2014 with the commitment late last week of quarterback Chris Durkin of Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline. The 6-foot-4, 234-pound pocket passer picked the Spartans over offers from BCS programs such as Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern.

Michigan State was close to landing another Ohio quarterback a few weeks ago when it was one of the initial finalists for DeShone Kizer of Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic, but after LSU and Alabama offered, Kizer postponed his decision.