Michigan State Football: First Practice with Mel Tucker

McLain Moberg

Michigan State's Mel Tucker held his first practice as the Spartans' head football coach when MSU hit the field for preseason camp early Friday morning.

"First day was great; it felt good to be out here with the players and all the coaches. Really good enthusiasm, guys were really into it. I thought we got a lot of work done and we had really good tempo. I'm excited to see the film," said Tucker.

Tucker has been through a lot during his first few months on the job due to the coronavirus calling it a "very unique experience," and something he certainly didn't plan for – nobody did.

"I thought we had a pretty clean practice. We got too many guys on the ground; we'll get those cleaned up," Tucker said. "A couple of the periods, we're going to need to slow down some of the periods, but the periods where we were going fast, our guys looked quick, and they knew what to do, and they were running to the ball. So today was a solid day, but there's a lot of room for improvement."

Thursday afternoon, Tucker was excited to coach football again. Today, he exemplified that same enthusiasm.

"It feels great. I feel blessed and fortunate to be the head coach here at Michigan State," Tucker said on the practice field. "It's truly an honor and a privilege to be a leader of these young men and the staff. I'm certainly proud to be a Spartan.

"That's why we're all in this game, to be able to work with our young men, hands-on, coach, teach, motivate, that's why we're in the profession. We had a chance to do that today, and I'm just really excited about it."

For Michigan State football, taking things one day at a time is essential, a mantra Tucker instilled in his guys.

"You'll hear us say 'be where your feet are.' We're working in the here and now, which is very important with so much uncertainty," said Tucker in a press conference via Zoom.

MSU is scheduled to practice in helmets, jerseys, and shorts again on Saturday before they transition to shells on Sunday and Monday. 

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