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Why the Spartans didn’t land 2025 OL recruit Nolan Davenport

On Thursday, three-star forward Nolan Davenport announced his decision to commit, choosing Big Ten rival Wisconsin over the Michigan State Spartans.

The Spartans were among the top teams courting Davenport, Penn State and Missouri, rounding out the four. Davenport said the culture of the program was critical to his decision.

“It was an extreme culture that suited me,” Davenport told Spartan Nation. “And I’ve had a relationship with Coach Blazek for a long time. He recruited me when he was at Vanderbilt, starting about a year ago today. He believed I could play tackle before I even played tackle… It’s just reassuring, knowing I had someone who believed in me from the beginning.”

Davenport visited Wisconsin the weekend of May 31, a weekend when many recruits across the country were on official visits. Davenport considered committing to Madison, he said, but he needed a few days to “let it sink in.”

Davenport previously told Spartan Nation that he would like to see the field sooner rather than later when he gets to college.

“Obviously, redshirting is not the end of the world,” Davenport had said. “However, I would like to play within two to three years, that would be ideal for me.”

Davenport had told Spartan Nation that his goal was to earn a starting position and develop into a key veteran leader and eventually get drafted into the NFL. On the day of his engagement, his focus is still on the next step.

“Right now my goal is just to get on the field and see where that takes me,” he said.

Davenport is a high three-star recruit according to 247Sports. He was the 12th-ranked 2025 recruit in Ohio, and the 31st-ranked offensive tackle in the class. Davenport was originally scheduled to visit Michigan State on June 14.

Davenport hails from the football-rich city of Massillon, Ohio. He said his dream was to play Big Ten football growing up. He was excited at the prospect of spending his Saturdays in the trenches against tough Big Ten front-sevens.

Now Davenport will realize that dream as a Badger instead of a Spartan or Nittany Lion.

Michael France is Sports Illustrated’s recruiting beat writer at Michigan State and covers all things Big Ten recruiting for Spartan Nation. Be sure to follow him on Twitter/X@michaelfrancesi for exclusive Spartans recruiting coverage.

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