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TARGET WATCH: 2017 Toledo DE James Hudson re-opens recruitment options

Both the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans are actively finding time to recruit prospects from the class of 2017 and beyond, while they prepare for summer camps and the upcoming 2016 season this fall.

While the head coaches and their staffs can never officially comment of recruits until they sign a letter of intent to play at the school, those associated with the program who go through the recruiting process become aware of players who commit and decommit. Quite honestly, it is nearly impossible in this day and age to not know somehow, some way.

Well on Wednesday, the ears of both schools perked up just a bit in some capacity when news surfaced that class of 2017 defensive end from Toledo, Ohio James Hudson, who had been committed to the University of Kentucky since July 2015, reportedly announced that he was decommitting from the Wildcats and opening up his options.

The junior at Catholic Central High School (Toledo, OH) has been looked at by nearly 20 big-name Division I programs since January of last year. He’s received offers from all over the Power 5 programs as well as some ‘Group of 5’ schools.

In addition to U-M and MSU, other Big Ten schools to reportedly have Hudson on their radar include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, and Purdue.

Of the 19 schools that are looking at Hudson, only two have not officially offered him a scholarship to play for their program – Michigan is one of those (Ohio State is the other).

The 6-foot-5, 280-pound 3-star prospect did hint that the Wolverines could be climbing up the priority ladder sooner than later. Michigan secondary coach Mike Zordich reportedly visited Hudson on May 13, and Hudson has said he plans to visit Ann Arbor this weekend.

“Michigan’s upbringing and their rise to the top is what has me most interested,” Hudson said about having his interest in the Wolverines heating up.

Michigan will be the new kids on the block of teams to acquaint themselves with Hudson. For the Spartans, the two have had mutual interest. Hudson attended a camp hosted by MSU in June of 2015 and since then he has made multiple unofficial visits to East Lansing.

The Spartans offered him a scholarship in February earlier this year.

Both teams could certainly use Hudson on the defensive line, but based on the recruiting rankings, it would benefit the Spartans more if he opted for the green and white.

Hudson committing to the Spartans would make him the ninth hard commit to MSU for the class of 2017, while he’d be hard commit No. 13 for the Wolverines.

In terms of the Big Ten for 2017 recruiting, Michigan ranked No. 2 only to the Buckeyes according to 247sports, while the Spartans are slotted at No. 10. The Wolverines are on the rise in a big way and reeling in the star-studded names. Meanwhile, MSU has had a knack over the last handful of years for recruiting ‘good’ or ‘average’ prospects and getting the best out of them, turning them into NFL-ready prospects and the program into a elite title contender.

The recruitment process has had a lot of showbiz and flare to it in recent years. So as they say in the entertainment business, stay tuned.

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