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Michigan State football: Several former Spartans announce new schools

Several former Spartans have committed elsewhere.

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Michigan State football
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

While Michigan State football gained 18 more signees today and a transfer, multiple players from the 2023 team announced their next spot.

Michigan State football started receiving letters of intent from the class of 2024 on Wednesday. Jonathan Smith and Co. officially gained 18 incoming players for next season. They also picked up a player from the transfer portal.

While this was going on, several 2023 class Spartans quietly announced their 2024 transfer destinations.

Who joined the Spartans, and who is leaving the Spartans, and to where? 

Joining the Spartans

  • DE Quindarius Dunnigan, MTSU

Quindarius Dunnigan joins the Spartans coming off a season in which he was awarded second-team All-Conference-USA honors. He played in all 12 games for the Blue Raiders, recording 11 starts. In those games, he had 35 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, and eight pass breakups. His best game was against a resurgent SEC school in Missouri, where he put up five tackles, two for loss, and a sack. Dunnigan had 33 games played during his career at MTSU. He should have one or two years of eligibility remaining, as he played during the COVID-19 season and also missed the 2021 season with an injury.

For a team that is currently only bringing in high school senior Kekai Burnett at the edge position, Dunnigan tremendously improves the depth. 

He joins linebacker Jordan Turner (Wisconsin), quarterback Aidan Chiles (Oregon State), tight end Jack Velling (Oregon State), and Tj Sheffield (Purdue) as incoming Spartans from the transfer portal.

Leaving the Spartans

  • DB Justin White, Davenport University

Justin White was one of the first Spartans to hit the portal, leaving the team before the Iowa game on Sept. 30. White was originally from Division II Mesa University in Colorado before joining Michigan State football in 2020 at the urging of Mel Tucker. White played in 24 games for the Spartans, recording 33 tackles, one tackle for loss, an interception, a pass defensed, and a fumble recovery. He was also primarily seen on special teams, contributing as a gunner. His other offers were unknown, but he will be heading back to the Division II level for his final season of eligibility. 

  • IOL Kevin Wigenton II, Illinois

Kevin Wigenton II started three games for the Spartans this season. He was part of Tucker’s 2021 class, his first with Michigan State football. Wigenton ranked as the No. 86 interior offensive lineman in the 247Sports Composite at the final rankings of his class. He was unable to see much of the field, redshirting for 2021 and then only playing in four games in 2022. This season, amid struggles and injuries, he recorded those three starts. The former New Jersey native entered the portal on Dec. 4 and picked the Fighting Illini over fellow Power Five schools Rutgers, Arizona State, and Louisville. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

  • TE Evan Morris, UCF

Perhaps the most surprising announcement of this group was Evan Morris. Morris, who started his career as a walk-on kickoff specialist for Michigan State under Mark Dantonio, will be a Big 12 tight end next season. He originally entered the portal on Dec. 8, and not much was known about his offers until his commitment today. Morris played in all 12 games this season, recording his first four catches for eight yards on the season.

During his five seasons at Michigan State, he appeared in 30 games. He did not see much of the field as a tight end until 2023, with only eight career snaps at the position previously. Morris primarily served as a blocking tight end, as well as a pusher during the Spartans “tush push” situations. He will be spending his final season of eligibility at Central Florida. 

  • RB Jordon Simmons, Akron

Jordon Simmons is the only one of these players to receive a 247Sports transfer portal ranking, coming in at No. 369 nationally and No. 30 among running backs. He originally entered the portal on Oct. 10.

Simmons was part of the 2020 class and was one of the first players Tucker had to recruit, as he differed with his signing following the coaching transition. He led the team in rushing his freshman season, recording 219 yards on 56 carries in the COVID-19-shortened season. Simmons finished his career with 520 yards with 137 carries in his 34 games. He also had 11 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown, his only career score, in his four years. 

Transfer portal recap

In addition to these four players moving schools today, Michigan State football has previously had Hank Pepper (USC), Spencer Brown (Oklahoma), Christian Fitzpatrick (Marshall), Tyrell Henry (Wisconsin), Noah Kim (Coastal Carolina), Sam Leavitt (Arizona State), Katin Houser (East Carolina), and Keyshawn Blackstock (Arkansas) transfer out. 

Michigan State Media and Information Management Class of '22. Emmett covers primarily football, recruiting, and basketball for Spartan Shadows. He has also written for Spartan Avenue, Basic Blues, and Hail WV.

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