Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker is one of many Big Ten coaches continuously urging his players to get vaccinated for COVID-19 ahead of the 2021 season. 

As the team prepares for its season opener against Northwestern on Sept. 3, the program is pushing for a 100% vaccination rate, according to a report from Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press

“We're at about 95% right now,” Tucker told reporters Tuesday. “And I feel good about where we are. … We just have to keep working towards (full team vaccination).”

In Tucker's first season at Michigan State's helm, an outbreak of COVID-19 cases paused team activities in July of 2020. The team also missed out on two matchups with Maryland due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus within the Terrapins' program. 

Tucker did not say whether unvaccinated players may potentially risk losing playing time next season. 

“We'll just have to see about that, right? We'll have to see,” he said. “Hopefully, it won't get to that point.”

Two Big Ten Programs Make Top 5 List for 2022 Guard 

Josh Dix, a 2022 three-star shooting guard from Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa, announced his list of top-five schools Tuesday. He included Big Ten programs Iowa and Wisconsin alongside Utah, Wake Forest and Drake. 

Dix is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound prospect who is ranked as the No. 89 recruit in the country, according to 247Sports. He is also rated as the 23r shooting guard in the country and the top high school player in his home state of Iowa. 

Before narrowing down his list to five schools, Dix held offers from 10 programs. He's taken official visits to Iowa and Wake Forest this summer and has another visit with the Hawkeyes scheduled for Sept. 3. 

As of now, Dix has not announced when he will make his final commitment. 

Ohio State to Mandate Vaccinations for Students

Ohio State University announced Tuesday that the school will mandate all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated. The decision was made after the U.S. FDA granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

According to the release, the deadline for receiving the first shot on the vaccine is Oct. 15, while the deadline for the second dose is Nov. 15. As of now, 73% of the Ohio State community has already received at least one dose of the vaccine. 

Ohio State is the ninth school in the Big Ten to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for its students, leaving Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, Iowa and Wisconsin. 

"There is strong support for this requirement in our community, including student, faculty, staff and university leadership. From the beginning of the pandemic, we have made data-driven, science-based decisions and followed the guidance of medical and public health professionals, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health partners," Ohio State president Kristina Johnson said in the release. "The health and safety of our community is and always will be a top priority. Thank you for doing your part to protect our campus community."

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