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Michigan State linebacker withdraws from transfer portal, returns to team

By all accounts he had a strong spring, and now he's a Spartan once again...

Michigan State linebacker Ben VanSumeren has withdrawn his name from the NCAA transfer portal and will rejoin the team in a full capacity for the 2022 season.

VanSumeren entered the portal 35 days ago, just before the Spartans were set to begin spring practice. Despite this, the fifth-year senior, was listed on the spring roster and head coach Mel Tucker informed the media that VanSumeren would participate in spring practice with the Spartans.

Michigan State brought in transfer linebackers Jacoby Windmon (UNLV) and Aaron Brule (Mississippi State) early this offseason, which led to something of a logjam at the position.

VanSumeren wasn’t the only Spartan linebacker to test the waters in the transfer portal. Sophomore linebacker Ma’a Gaoteote spent 13 days in the portal this winter before also withdrawing his name from the portal.

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By several accounts, VanSumeren performed well throughout spring practice, and during Saturday’s spring game/open practice at Spartan Stadium, the fifth-year senior was one of two linebackers that participated with the first team defense during the live scrimmage.

VanSumeren notably had a pass breakup and a sack during the scrimmage session. He participated in all 13 games for the Spartans last season, playing 122 defensive snaps while also contributing on special teams.

With the return of starting linebacker and freshman All-American Cal Haladay, as well as the additions of Windmon and Brule, Michigan State is set to have one of the deepest and most talented linebacker corps in the Big Ten and maybe the country.

VanSumeren transferred to Michigan State from rival Michigan ahead of the 2021 season, after spending three seasons with the Wolverines. His younger brother, Alex, was the highest-ranked recruit in the Spartans’ 2022 recruiting class and was an early-enrollee this spring.

A 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive lineman, Alex VanSumeren was ranked No. 195 nationally and the third-best high school player in the state of Michigan for the class of 2022, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.