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Michigan State defensive starter declares for 2023 NFL Draft

The Spartans' defense will look different at key spots in 2023...

Roster turnover continued for Michigan State on Saturday when senior defensive tackles Jacob Slade declared his intention to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.

Slade had an extra year of eligibility afforded to him due to the free COVID year in 2020, but elected to pursue a professional career instead.

"To Spartan Nation, thank you for helping me create countless memories here at Michigan State," Slade wrote in a post on Twitter. "Deciding to play for Michigan State has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity."

Slade committed to former head coach Mark Dantonio in the Class of 2018 and redshirted during his first year in East Lansing. After playing for Dantonio in 2019, Slade remained at MSU during the coaching transition to Mel Tucker and became one of the Spartans' best defensive players.

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During an impressive junior season, Slade garnered All-Big Ten recognition after recording 40 tackles, including five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He added two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

Slade battled injury during this past season as a senior, playing in just eight games for the Spartans. He finished with 20 tackles (3.5 for loss) with a half-sack and a blocked kick.

"Through my journey here, I have had the chance to play for some of the best coaches and staff in the nation and the relationships I have created among my teammates will last a lifetime," Slade wrote. "I am thankful for all of you who made my time here so special ... Spartan Dawg for life."

Michigan State will miss Slade's presence in the middle of its defense, but the Spartans have cause for optimism at defensive tackle going forward.

Redshirt freshman DT Derrick Harmon played very well for the Spartans this season. Michigan State also rotated redshirt sophomores Simeon Barrow and Avery Dunn, as well as redshirt junior Maverick Hansen at the position in 2022. True freshman Alex VanSumeren figures to play his way into the rotation in 2023 as well.