Bridges, a 6-foot-7 forward from Flint, Michigan, who plays at Huntington Prep (West Virginia), chose the Spartans over Kentucky and Indiana. He announced his decision during a news conference at a community college in his hometown.
The Wildcats were thought to be the heavy favorite coming out of the summer, but Bridges' official visit to Michigan State in mid-September turned the tide. As soon as the visit ended, Bridges pushed up his Kentucky visit and set a decision date. Once John Calipari's program landed five-star forward Wenyen Gabriel (No. 23) on Thursday, Bridges' choice to play for Tom Izzo seemed obvious.
"It's home and I'm close to the guys [Cassius Winston, Nick Ward and Josh Langford] that they're bringing in, both on and off the court," Bridges told ESPN's Paul Biancardi. "I am comfortable with the staff, and I know a lot about the program. Coach Izzo has stayed dedicated to me the entire recruiting process. He is a very loyal guy."
Bridges cemented his spot among the nation's elite players this summer. He averaged 23.4 points and 10.0 rebounds plying for The Family AAU program at the Nike Peach Jam, while also shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range. Bridges creates matchup problems with his ability to score inside and out, and he's tough to handle in transition.
Expect Bridges to slot in for Denzel Valentine when he arrives on campus next fall. Last season, Izzo didn't have anyone who possessed the dynamic and game-changing ability of Bridges. Moreover, Izzo has done well with the sort of positionless frontcourt player that Bridges embodies, with Branden Dawson and Draymond Green -- the latter of whom was in East Lansing during Bridges' official visit -- having plenty of success in recent years.
Bridges commitment to the Spartans evokes memories of "The Flintstones." Mateen Cleaves, Charlie Bell, Morris Peterson -- all from Flint, Michigan -- who helped lead Michigan State to the 2000 national championship.
"It's only 45 minutes away from my home, and they are one of the first schools to recruit me," Bridges told ESPN.com in July when asked about Michigan State. "A lot of guys from my area have gone there and been successful."
With Bridges now in the fold, Michigan State has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. He joins five-star wing Langford (No. 17), AAU teammate and point guard Winston (No. 29), and post player Ward (No. 39).
The four-man group is arguably Izzo's best class since becoming the coach in East Lansing in 1995.
The Spartans have certainly reloaded for the 2016-17 season, but they have their eyes on one more big prize: elite prospect Josh Jackson (No. 3). Jackson grew up in Michigan but now attends Prolific Prep (California). There's still a long way to go in Jackson's recruitment, but Michigan State has picked up some momentum for him lately.