East Lansing, MI – Michigan State's Mel Tucker never stops working to rebuild the Spartan roster.
Following a 2-5 finish in his first season, the 25th head football coach in school history has been busy retooling the program as 15 players have left using the transfer portal; five others have joined MSU utilizing the same opportunity.
On top of that, members of the 2021 recruiting class are beginning to arrive on campus, which will potentially allow Tucker to bring in 34 new student-athletes if he can sign a total of 25 players to the class.
"I believe that because we're able to count nine scholarship guys back," said Tucker. We still have 25 initials, so I'm looking to have 34 new scholarship players on our roster by the time we start fall camp."
Tucker fully expects true freshman Kameron Allen (tight end), Ethan Boyd (offensive lineman), Michael Gravely Jr. (safety), and Hampton Fay (quarterback) to come in and immediately compete for starting positions.
"That's the mentality," he said. "We're not looking to redshirt any of these guys."
Although he won't stop with the incoming freshman – Tucker also anticipates quarterback Anthony Russo, offensive lineman Jarrett Horst, running back Kenneth Walker III, defensive back Kendall Brooks, and defensive end Drew Jordan to make an impact; all became Spartans by way of the portal.
During the "AD Lunch Series," Tucker said he had to "fight" to keep Horst in East Lansing.
"It came down to us and Oklahoma," said Tucker. "He chose us, and then Oklahoma came back in on him about two weeks ago, and he held steady with us."
But as the coaching veteran indicated months ago, he and his staff are willing to do whatever it takes to land the players they want.
In the end, it's all about finding the right fit, as was the case with Division II cornerback Kendall Brooks.
"We did a lot of digging trying to find the best players," Tucker said of Brooks. "We're not chasing stars; we're just evaluating the guys to see who the best fits are for us."
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