Three Takeaways from Michigan State Football's Spring Game

Three Takeaways from Michigan State Football's Spring Game

Three Takeaways from Michigan State Football's Spring Game

One year after Mel Tucker took over, Michigan State performed in front of its home crowd.
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EAST LANSING – One year after being hired, Mel Tucker's Spartans finally had an opportunity to perform in front of its home crowd, cheerleaders, and marching band.

Michigan State wrapped up spring ball Saturday afternoon, providing 6,000 fans an inside look into what a practice is like under Tucker.

Listed below are a few things Spartan Nation observed from the press box:

Spartans Not in Uniform

Of the 11 players who didn't dress for MSU's final practice, many of them were significant contributors along the offensive line, including LT AJ Arcuri, LG J.D. Duplain, OL Blake Bueter, OL Luke Campbell, and OL Justin Stevens.

The linebacker spot, which was already thin, did not have Chase Kline on the field, and starting defensive tackle Jacob Slade didn't dress. A top returning starting cornerback in Kalon Gervin also did not see much action during scrimmages, although he was in uniform while going through individual and group drills.

Other players who weren't available featured WR Ricky White, S Michael Gravely, DE DeAri Todd, and TE Adam Berghorst. However, Berghorst plays for Michigan State's baseball team, which had a home game Saturday.

The Quarterbacks

It appears redshirt sophomore Payton Thorne has the edge over grad transfer Anthony Russo right now. After finishing the season against Penn State, Thorne took the initial first-team reps in most drills and scrimmages, whereas Russo rotated in and out.

Russo has an edge experience-wise, but Tucker and offensive coordinator Jay Johnson have hinted Thorne knows the system well.

Both guys showed off their deep balls with long touchdown passes to Jayden Reed and Cade McDonald, eliciting quite a response from the stands. Even so, keep in mind, the MSU defensive backfield is awaiting three transfers to help with depth.

The Offensive Line and Running Backs

For obvious reasons, a lot of the spring game needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

The line is clearly working through some injuries, but the first offense in an 11-man setting was LT Jarrett Horst, LG James Ohonba, C Matt Allen, RG Matt Carrick, and RT Kevin Jarvis.

Thorne and Kenneth Walker III started in the backfield with Jalen Nailor, Terry Lockett Jr., and Jayden Reed.

But it seems Spartan Nation has another competition they need to keep an eye on. Elijah Collins and Walker III took turns with the first unit.

Bonus Observation

Defensively, Angelo Grose played alongside Xavier Henderson at the safety position. Last year, Grose took snaps at nickel back, and with the cornerbacks wearing thin, it appeared he would return there.

Yet, that wasn't the case. Senior Michael Dowell was the primary nickel back with Justin White, Emmanual Flowers, and Zach Denha at corner.

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EAST LANSING – One year after being hired, Mel Tucker's Spartans finally had an opportunity to perform in front of its home crowd, cheerleaders, and marching band.

Michigan State wrapped up spring ball Saturday afternoon, providing 6,000 fans an inside look into what a practice is like under Tucker.

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