East Lansing, MI – Mel Tucker's emphasis on recruiting is well known. He made it a clear priority from the time he arrived at Michigan State and is considered by many to be a strength of the new coach.
In time, he should provide Spartan Nation with talent they haven't seen before, but for now, he's focused on getting the most out of his players with the current roster and beyond.
"We're battling and building at the same time," Tucker said in a videoconference on Tuesday. "Battle and build; battle and build. As we're developing the team that we have, we're also recruiting every single day to bring in players that we feel like can help us be successful."
In February, two weeks after being hired by the Spartans, Tucker described the type of players he wants at MSU – pointing out that "it's a matter of what's the right fit," rather than talent alone.
On Tuesday, during his weekly presser, he reiterated those same sentiments when addressing the transfer portal and its impact on college football.
"We look everywhere for players that we believe are a good fit for us, and we look to acquire those players," said Tucker. "At the same time, when you evaluate your current team, ultimately, you're deciding whose a good fit on this team ... there's transition not only acquiring guys to the team, but there's also guys that ultimately may transition out just because there's a certain type of culture and certain type of player that we need to have here, and that's really non-negotiable.
"Everything's an evaluation, and halfway through the season, at this point, we have a pretty good idea of who can do what. Obviously, you know you can anticipate seeing some movement on our roster, whether it's portal related or otherwise."
Fans can expect Tucker to pursue student-athletes from all over the country.
More often than not, most schools have specific types of players they go after and regions they cover; but once again, the 23-year coaching veteran is attempting to shift the culture of Michigan State football recruiting.
"We turn over every stone … it's a lot more work to do it that, but we cast a broader net," Tucker said. "If you want to sign 25 guys, it's typically an eight-to-one ratio on offers; you gotta offer 200 guys.
"We're always well over 300 offers per class. It could be west coast; east coast; we go down to the south. Obviously, we want to start here in our state – we're fighting for the hearts and the minds of our high school coaches and in-state prospects as well … we're looking everywhere for guys, every day."
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