Coen Carr brings flagship dunks as Michigan State’s new commitment

EAST LANSING — Fans at Michigan State may not have known who Coen Carr was a few weeks ago.

But those who have seen his highlight reel won’t be able to forget it anytime soon.

The 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward’s highlights are filled with powerful, high-flying dunks. He regularly records a steal in defense, then takes the ball all over the court himself for a momentum-changing dunk.

Carr committed Tuesday to Michigan State, becoming the fourth member of a recruiting class of 2023 that is now ranked No. 3 in the nation by 247sports.

And his first message to Michigan State fans was to prepare for highlights like this at the Breslin Center.

“Get ready for a lot of highlights,” Carr said on 3.

Carr went relatively quickly from an off-the-radar rookie from outside Michigan State’s typical recruiting base to the team’s newest recruit.

Getting to this point has involved transforming his body and expanding his game since moving from his home in Stockbridge, Georgia to Legacy Early College in Greenville, South Carolina.

“His development in the weight room was one of the biggest leaps I’ve seen in a while,” Legacy Early College coach BJ Jackson said. “He just went out there and decided to commit to the weight room with our strength and conditioning coach and turned his body into a big one.”

This job helped him set up some of those signature dunks. But it also helped him to be an outstanding defender. An analytics service rated him the top defenseman in Nike’s EYBL, one of the top grassroots basketball circuits in the nation.

“He can keep one through five when needed, and he’s a great off-the-ball defender, crossing the lane and blocking shots,” Jackson said.

And he’s working on extending his game to have a more consistent shot and

This development has helped Carr go from an off-the-radar rookie to the LEC’s top scorer last season and a player just outside the 247sports composite top 50.

That, and a connection, helped him pique the interest of Michigan State personnel earlier this summer.

Michigan State assistant Doug Wojcik and Jackson had known each other since Wojcik was the head coach of the College of Charleston. LEC associate head coach Jeff Merritt also coached Wojcik’s sons at La Lumière in Indiana.

Those connections first put Coen on Michigan State’s radar earlier this year, and staff began watching him in person at an early July tournament in Kansas City.

“He really impressed Coach Izzo in terms of running on the ground, his athletic ability,” Jackson said. “He showed everything he can do up there in Michigan State.”

Carr performed well at this tournament, and soon after he visited East Lansing with his mother, during which he received an offer.

While Carr was visiting, Michigan State secured a commitment from five-star Indiana center Xavier Booker. Texas guard Gehrig Normand joined the group two days later to give the class a standout shooter. The class already had a four-star point guard commitment to Jeremy Fears, Jr.

Soon, these three were video chatting with Carr encouraging him to join the elder as well. With a point guard, a shooter and a big man in the fold, Carr seems like the final piece of the puzzle: a player with the size to play both inside and outside who can access the hoop.

“I think we have a top-3 class in the country,” Carr said of 3.

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