The hammer has come down hard Tuesday morning in East Lansing. Authorities have issued arrest warrants and charges have been authorized for three Michigan State football players.

Donnie Corley (19, from Detroit), Josh King (19, from Darien, IL) and Demetric Vance (20, from Detroit) are all facing third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony that is punishable by upwards of 15 years in prison.

It was learned Monday night that the three players, whose identities remained undisclosed throughout the duration of the investigation, would be exposed some time on Tuesday or this week. The charges brought against all three stem from a January 16 incident in an apartment involving a female victim.

[WARNING: Tweets below describe the alleged situation from MSU Police and are deemed both graphic in nature and NSFW. Viewer discretion is advised.]

As stated, all three are facing criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. King meanwhile has additional charges. He has one for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree as well as one for capturing an image of an unclothed person.

Almost immediately after the charges were announced, Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio announced that Corley, King and Vance were dismissed from the program.

Dantonio, his coaching staff and the athletic department were all under fire just as much as the players throughout the investigation. An external probe from a Lansing-based law firm concluded its findings on Monday and cleared Dantonio and any staffer associated with the school athletics of any wrongdoing.

All but one, at least. Curtis Blackwell, the team’s former director of college advancement and performance and a key contributor to Dantonio’s recruiting department, was named as the staffer who had knowledge of the situation and did not immediately report it to the university or authorities.

Blackwell’s contract was not renewed at the end of May last month after receiving consecutive month-long extensions. He was placed on paid suspension leave back in early February, the same day the investigation was made public.

Charges were ultimately never authorized for Blackwell, 39, because the Jones Day law firm was “unable to gauge the severity” of his wrongdoing and that Blackwell declined to be interviewed.

Corley was second in receiving for Michigan State a year ago, playing in all 12 games as a true freshman with 453 yards on 33 receptions and three touchdowns. The former 4-star recruit out of Detroit Martin Luther King High School was expected to make a big leap as a sophomore and lead a relatively young wide receiving corps with upside.

King, who was also entering his sophomore season after playing in nine games as a true freshman, recording 10 total tackles, 1.5 of which were for a loss. Like Corley, the former 4-star chip King was primed to become a steady contributor up front on defense for the Spartans.

Vance, another 4-star prospect from Detroit (Cass Tech High School) redshirted in his first year this past season. He was one of 15 players — along with Corley and King — who did not participate in the team’s annual spring game back in early April. He was listed as a safety, but played on both sides of the ball back in high school.

All three players were a part of a 2016 recruiting class that was dubbed one of Dantonio’s best in his 11 years as the head coach. According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, they were three of the top eight prospects from that crop of 20 commits; King was the highest-rated.

Add in Auston Robertson — who was also dismissed from the team weeks after being accused (and eventually charged) with criminal sexual conduct in a separate incident in a neighboring township of East Lansing, and you have half of the top eight prospects from the MSU Class of 2016.

The Spartans have also seen a couple of transfers this calendar year that also stem from that 2016 class. Offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa announced he was leaving the program back in early February, and just recently, defensive back Kenney Lyke was going to go the JuCo route.

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