Despite a forgettable senior day, we have to thank the seniors for helping turn Michigan State football around after a coaching change.
Saturday was senior day for Michigan State football at Spartan Stadium against the Indiana Hoosiers (we won’t talk about the loss again). This senior class has been through one heck of a ride that began with Mark Dantonio and will end under Mel Tucker.
These seniors brought the program a Pinstripe Bowl win against Wake Forest along with a Peach Bowl trophy against Pitt, winning 11 games last season.
Today, we’re going to thank the seniors for everything, including the turnaround after the coaching change.
Bryce Baringer: He will go down as the greatest punter in MSU history. The two-time Ray Guy Award punter of the week ranks No. 1 on MSU’s career punt average with 46 yards per punt and set a school single-season record with his 48.4-yard punting average in 2021. He also became the first Spartan punter to lead the Big Ten in punting since Mike Sadler in 2012.
Daniel Barker: He had a really solid season for MSU with 21 receptions for 239 yards and two touchdowns. Barker has the most touchdown catches of any tight end in Illinois history.
Kendell Brooks: The transfer from Division II North Greenville University will be known for his hard hitting and forcing three fumbles during the 2022 season.
Jarek Broussard: He was the 2020 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list for the second straight season. Jarek put together a nice season with the Spartans totaling 292 yards on 61 carries with three touchdowns.
Matt Carrick: The sixth-year offensive guard has proven to be a very valuable piece to MSU’s offense line playing in 38 games while making 18 career starts.
Elijah Collins: This is many fans favorite player of this senior class, and deservedly so. Collins led the Spartans in rushing in the 2019 season with 988 yards and also five touchdowns. He also stuck around the program after Mel Tucker took over and was passed up on the depth chart on multiple occasions. He had an excellent senior day with over 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Fletcher: He has played in 16 games and has 29 career tackles, including four tackles for loss and three sacks. He is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Brian Greene: The sixth-year grad transfer from Washington State joined the Spartans in May 2022 and provided some needed depth on MSU’s offensive line. Greene was a former walk-on who was placed on scholarship at Washington State during the 2019 season.
Xavier Henderson: He is the leader of the Spartans’ defense in the 2022 season and a veteran presence on this team. He leads all active Spartan players with 265 tackles. Xavier entered the 2022 season with an impressive streak of 33 consecutive starts at safety. He was also named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Jim Thorpe Award, Chuck Badnarik Award, and the Lott Impact Trophy preseason watch lists. Henderson has been a leader on the defensive side of the ball for MSU for a numerous amount of years.
Tyler Hunt: A sixth-year senior who joined the team as a walk-on in 2017. When the new coaching staff arrived at MSU, Hunt made the position change from punter to tight end. As a tight end, he has been solid with 37 career receptions for 312 yards and two touchdowns.
Ben Patton: He is a graduate transfer kicker from Auburn who joined the program in the end of August. Patton made two huge field goals in the Iron Bowl against Alabama in 2021.
Jayden Reed: He has been one of the best and most dynamic wide receivers in the country while also being equally as good on special teams returning kicks. Reed was a transfer from Western Michigan who has been on watch lists for the Maxwell Award, the Biletnikoff Award, and Paul Horung Award. Reed has 141 receptions for 2,036 yards along with 18 total touchdowns in his illustrious MSU career.
Jacob Slade: He was one of the best interior defensive players in the country during his time at MSU. Played in 35 games and was named a second team preseason All-American and named to preseason watch lists for the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Trophy. The interior defensive force has 81 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and four sacks.
Ameer Speed: He won a national championship with Georgia in 2021 and has been in impact corner transfer for MSU during his sixth season of eligibility collecting 57 tackles and three pass deflections.
Ben VanSumeren: The former Michigan transfer has provided the Spartans with much-needed depth at linebacker and has 89 career total tackles at MSU with two sacks and two passes deflected.
Powers Warren: He joined the Spartans in 2021 after transferring from Mississippi State University.
Ronald Williams: The former Alabama transfer has provided great leadership, talent, and depth to the defensive backfield. Williams 56 total tackles and one interception during his MSU career.
This class helped spark the program turnaround in 2021 and despite a forgettable 2022 season, they helped grow Michigan State football. Thank you, seniors.