Three Things to Watch in Michigan State Football's Spring Game

Spartan Nation talks about a few things fans should keep an eye on ahead of Michigan State's annual spring game.
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EAST LANSING – Michigan State football holds its annual spring game on Saturday, April 24, the first under head coach Mel Tucker.

However, fans shouldn't prepare for a traditional spring game.

Instead, Tucker is putting a new spin on it, but there are still plenty of topics to dive into ahead of time.

Mel Tucker's New Spring Game Format

Don't think of Saturday as a spring game, but more of an open practice.

The Spartans will begin wrapping up spring ball at 2 p.m., and it will look more like the previous 14 sessions than a full-blown contest.

"It's gonna be a meat-and-potatoes-type practice. It's not gonna be a whole lot of French pastry in terms of inside the lines. Whatever's going on outside of the lines, it is what it is," said Tucker. "But in terms of the practice, we're gonna do what we do. We gotta get out there; we gotta get work done. It's practice 15 for us. It's another opportunity to get better."

The first half will function like a standard practice featuring individual and group work before MSU transitions to live scrimmaging.

The Quarterback Competition

For a second straight season, Michigan State will go into fall camp with a quarterback competition. But since Rocky Lombardi left for Northern Illinois, redshirt sophomore Payton Thorne is battling grad transfer Anthony Russo (Temple).

Thorne started against Penn State and appeared in four of the seven Spartan contests. Russo is an experienced signal-caller and might have a slight edge. Although, Tucker called it "an ongoing competition" and added both players are receiving the same number of reps with the first-team offense.

Key in on some New Faces

Tucker and co. were extremely active in the transfer portal this offseason, bringing in six midyear additions, including Russo (as mentioned above).

The spring game will be a great time for fans to see these new players in action.

  • No. 15 QB Anthony Russo
  • No. 2 DE Drew Jordan (Duke)
  • No. 9 RB Kenneth Walker III (Wake Forest)
  • No. 79 OT Jarrett Horst (Arkansas State)
  • No. 33 CB Kendall Brooks (North Greenville)

And if you are interested in Michigan State's freshmen who enrolled early, those are listed below as well.

  • No. 82 TE Kameron Allen (out of Texas)
  • No. 5 QB Hampton Fay (out of Texas)
  • No. 12 S Michael Gravely Jr. (out of Ohio)
  • No. 77 OL Ethan Boyd (out of Michigan)

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