Michigan State football

© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Mel Tucker has to be honest about the state of Michigan State football

The state of the Michigan State football team this season is not great. But all we ask is that Mel Tucker be honest with us about that.

Three games, three double-digit losses. All is not well with Michigan State football this season and it doesn’t take a diehard fan to realize it.

The team might not make a bowl this season, just one year after going 11-2 with a Peach Bowl win.

And to make matters even worse, the injuries are piling up, the defense has looked awful all year, and the offense is starting to catch whatever the defense has.

Payton Thorne is off to an awful start, the run game has been non-existent, the offensive line hasn’t progressed, and the receivers had their first bad game against Maryland with drops everywhere.

This season feels like 2012 or 2016. Both years were tough to watch and it felt like the team could just never get it together. The good thing about both seasons? They were followed up by 10-plus win years and Big Ten title contention. Can we expect the same? I wouldn’t be shocked to see MSU turn things around drastically next year, and coordinator changes will help that.

But as we sit here the day after a third straight loss to drop below .500, we have to wonder what the coaching staff really thinks behind closed doors. Do these coaches really believe that Michigan State isn’t “super far away” from being good defensively? Is the faith in the coaching staff still there for Mel Tucker? What about the morale in the locker room? Do they think that this is a ‘death by inches’ thing still?

Listening to Tucker and the coordinators speak after losses this season has been quite disheartening. They’re assuming that we can’t read between the lines. We know when things aren’t good because we’ve been here before.

All we ask for is some honesty. No more ‘death by inches’ quotes or ‘we aren’t super far away’ lines. Those don’t work for us. We know they aren’t truthful quotes.

The truth here is this: Michigan State exceeded all expectations last year and had a really strong team. This year, there are talented players everywhere, but the team has taken three steps back. No, this team isn’t going to win out or even be that competitive against Ohio State, maybe not even Michigan, and I’d be surprised if it was a single-digit game at Penn State. The Spartans will be lucky to beat Wisconsin, Illinois, Rutgers, and Indiana to make a bowl.

So the coachspeak is fine when we’re winning and we don’t need answers for anything, but with a losing skid staring us in the face, we just want honesty.

Tucker isn’t one to usually sugarcoat things, so no more telling us that we’re a few plays away from being really good because we have eyes. We know that’s not true.

This defense is an abomination, the offense is horrid, and the special teams have been a disaster. Be honest about it and we’ll appreciate you even more for it.

Mel Tucker

© Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Mel Tucker’s early Year 3 struggles eerily similar to Mark Dantonio’s

Mel Tucker is off to a slow start in his third season as Michigan State football coach. That’s a lot like Mark Dantonio.

Michigan State football’s 2022 season is in a precarious position. No one is really sure if the Spartans are going to bounce back or continue to crumble. Uncertainty reigns supreme.

Through four weeks, Michigan State is 2-2 with two blowout wins against inferior foes and two lopsided losses against opponents with a pulse. It’s been a sobering past couple of weeks.

But this tough start to “Year 3” of the Mel Tucker era isn’t unprecedented. It’s actually all too familiar. Mark Dantonio actually suffered the same fate in his third year at MSU.

Yes, Dantonio had struggles in his third year that led to people calling for Pat Narduzzi’s job and potentially Mark’s. He was in a bad spot through four games on his third year.

Dantonio’s Spartans were sitting at 1-3 through four games in 2009 and he had lost to Central Michigan at home in the second game of the season. It was one of those forgettable losses that no Spartan fan likes to recall, but for the purposes of this article, it’s requested.

Think back to how you felt after Central kicked the game-winning field goal against the Spartans to steal a 29-27 win in East Lansing. You had so much hope in Dantonio after he went 9-4 a year earlier and finished in third place in the Big Ten. He was far ahead of schedule — or so you thought. Michigan State football came back down to earth in year three of his “rebuild” with a 1-3 start and home loss to a directional school.

It was ugly.

Fans were calling for his job as well as Narduzzi’s. They were unsure if Dantonio was the right coach to turn the Spartans around.

Dantonio ended up winning the next three games before losing to Iowa and Minnesota in back-to-back heartbreaking games, putting a bowl berth in doubt. The 4-5 Spartans won the next two games before ending the year with a loss to Penn State.

No one was happy with a 6-6 season but they had to realize that the program was in a much worse place three years earlier. Dantonio’s unexpected year two success put him way ahead of schedule and, in turn, it actually ended up biting him. He set the bar too high in year three and a 6-6 season basically felt like 3-9. It was a disaster.

Sound like another coach we know?

Mel Tucker, fresh off exceeding expectations by a mile in year two, set the bar way too high way too early and now he’s off to a sluggish start in year three. It’s almost too similar. Except Tucker is 2-2 through four games instead of 1-3. People are calling for Scottie Hazelton’s job (I may be one of those people) and a bowl game may be tough to reach at this point.

We have to be patient because we’ve seen this movie before.

Dantonio ended up winning 11-plus games in five of his next six seasons, including a Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and a playoff berth. He won three Big Ten titles in the process, including the season after going 6-7.

Tucker is recruiting at a higher level, has the same hunger to win, and — like Dantonio — has coached under some legends and knows what it’ll take to get back on track.

Don’t give in to those questioning if Mel Tucker is the right guy for the job. Just be patient.

Michigan State football

© Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State football in fragile state after Minnesota debacle

Michigan State football is in its most fragile state since 2019 after an embarrassing loss to Minnesota on Saturday.

Saturday’s Minnesota vs. Michigan State football game felt like a blast from the past in the worst way possible. If you felt the same amount of embarrassment and disappointment as that 2019 Illinois loss, you were not alone.

Spartan fans everywhere were embarrassed by what they saw from their team against unranked Minnesota.

Down 34-0 with just a few minutes remaining, Michigan State put Noah Kim in the game and he led the offense down the field for a pity touchdown to avoid a shutout. Although it was nice to avoid the dreaded shutout at home, it was far too embarrassing to celebrate. Kim’s touchdown pass to Germie Bernard was the best play of the game for the Spartans by a mile, and that’s a problem.

Sure, it was a great pass and Kim has shown some nice flashes this year, but Mel Tucker is standing behind Payton Thorne and, honestly, he’s far from the biggest issue.

Has Thorne been bad this year? Yes. Does he make way too many mental mistakes? Unfortunately. Does Michigan State beat Minnesota if Kim gets the start? No. Unless Kim is also an All-American defensive back, he had no shot of beating the Gophers on Saturday.

And that’s exactly the problem: defense.

No, Jay Johnson isn’t getting a pass here, but the defense has arguably been in its worst state since the John L. Smith era. Even in the forgettable 2018 and 2019 seasons under Mark Dantonio, the defense was elite. Scottie Hazelton has dropped the ball and Tucker continues to let it happen.

Overblown instant reactions during the game aside, I do not believe in firing coaches midway through the year, especially this early on. It just doesn’t make sense to leave the defensive side of the ball without a coordinator. Hazelton isn’t doing this defense any favors, but maybe Tucker should scale back how much say he has in the play-calling throughout the year before making a chance at the end of the season.

Hazelton isn’t alone in failing to do a bang-up job. Harlon Barnett has been bad for the past two years and while I think Chris Kapilovic will turn things around when he gets his guys, the offensive line has been awful.

The Michigan State football program is in a fragile spot much like it was after the 2019 Illinois loss.

How so? There’s added pressure on Tucker to make changes on the defensive side of the ball schematically and although he’s said he has faith in his current staff, he will be judged on his offseason moves — or lack thereof. Dantonio was in a similar position before the 2019 season and instead of letting guys go in business moves, he decided to shuffle the staff and reassign coaches. It turned out to be a disaster. Loyalty was his biggest downfall and it led to his sudden retirement.

Tucker can’t let that same mistake plague his coaching tenure. He can’t let loyalty to his original MSU coaching staff hold him back from growth.

Hazelton is not the answer on the defensive side of the ball, and I think that much has been fairly obvious. Barnett is probably not the answer as a defensive backs coach as that group has gotten worse from a year ago when they ranked dead-last in college football. Johnson has to prove himself because he hasn’t been calling plays to his offense’s strength this year.

And how the heck do our players tell the media after the game that they didn’t expect Tanner Morgan to throw a lot? Are the coaches that delusional that they believe teams aren’t going to target the Spartans’ biggest weakness? Unacceptable.

What we’ve seen from the coaching staff over the past two weeks has been a failure. It’s been unacceptable. It’s injected doubt back into the fanbase for the first time since 2019.

Michigan State is in a fragile state and Tucker must respond aggressively and prove that he’s not willing to let any aspect of his team remain mediocre.

Time to make some changes.

Michigan State football

© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Hypothetical 2022 NCAA Football ratings for Michigan State football players

If EA Sports NCAA Football was being released this year, this is how Michigan State football players could be rated.

In less than 365 days, every college football fan who also enjoys video games will be binging on some EA Sports NCAA Football. The game returns after nearly a decade-long absence and Michigan State football fans have to be thrilled since the last cover athlete was Denard Robinson.

Talk about leaving a sour taste in our mouths.

But the wait for a new game is almost over thanks to the NIL era and EA Sports’ desire to bring back the supremely popular video game.

If you’re anything like me, Madden just doesn’t cut it anymore. I need to be planted in front of my TV for hours, recruiting and winning national titles with Michigan State. I don’t want this, I need this.

Luckily we don’t have to wait much longer, but we can still imagine what life would be like if the game was released this year. Some Spartans may not be in next year’s game, so we may never know how good they’d be.

I’m going to hypothetically give the Spartans 2022 NCAA Football ratings. I’ll only be rating players who I believe could make the two-deep depth chart.

Here’s the scale I’ll work with:

  • 60-69: below average
  • 70-74: average or unproven
  • 75-79: above average
  • 80-84: good
  • 85-89: all-conference good
  • 90+: elite

Let’s start with the offense.

Offense

  • Quarterback: Payton Thorne (84), Noah Kim (73), Katin Houser (73)
  • Running back: Jarek Broussard (80), Jalen Berger (76)
  • Receiver: Jayden Reed (91), Tre Mosley (79), Keon Coleman (77), Germie Bernard (74), Christian Fitzpatrick (73), Montorie Foster (71)
  • Tight end: Daniel Barker (81), Maliq Carr (76), Tyler Hunt (74)
  • Offensive line: Jarrett Horst (80), JD Duplain (78), Brian Greene (77), Nick Samac (77), Geno VanDeMark (76), Spencer Brown (74), Matt Carrick (73), Dallas Fincher (71), Ethan Boyd (71) Brandon Baldwin (69)

Defense

  • Defensive line: Jacob Slade (87), Khris Bogle (82), Simeon Barrow (81), Brandon Wright (79), Jeff Pietrowski (79), Tank Brown (76), Maverick Hansen (74), Jalen Hunt (74)
  • Linebacker: Jacoby Windmon (86), Aaron Brule (84), Cal Haladay (82), Darius Snow (82), Ma’a Gaoteote (76)
  • Cornerbacks: Ameer Speed (79), Ronald Williams (77), Charles Brantley (76), Marqui Lowery (76)
  • Nickel: Chester Kimbrough (72), AJ Kirk (70)
  • Safety: Xavier Henderson (87), Angelo Grose (79), Jaden Mangham (72), AJ Kirk (70)

Special teams

  • Kicker: Ben Patton (79), Jack Stone (74)
  • Punter: Bryce Baringer (90)
  • Kick returner: Jayden Reed (90)
  • Punt returner: Jayden Reed (94)

Overall team rating: 86 (B+)

Long story short, this is a really good Big Ten team capable of contending for a conference title. Will the Spartans make the playoff? Probably not, but they will give every opponent a heck of a test.

I’d rate the Spartans as the third-best Big Ten team behind Ohio State (94) and Michigan (89). Wisconsin (85) and Penn State (84) are close behind in terms of rating.

Do you agree or disagree with any of my player or team ratings?

Michigan State football

© Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Why I believe Michigan State football can actually make the playoff

A few days ago, I posted a projected College Football Playoff field with Michigan State football in it. I was trolling, but it’s possible.

If there’s one thing I’m great at in life, it’s annually convincing myself that Michigan State football will contend for a Big Ten title and a playoff berth.

After an 11-2 season with a Peach Bowl win, it’s been so easy to talk myself into believing in titles.

I can be realistic and I’ve projected Michigan State to finish anywhere from 7-5 to 10-2 this offseason with a roller-coaster of expectations, but why cap it at 10 wins? The Spartans have gotten better at every position and added depth, so why can’t they improve from 11-2?

They absolutely can.

Hesitation to be confident has crept in all offseason when I catch myself hyping Michigan State up, forgetting the fact that the schedule is a bear. Michigan State has to travel to Washington in non-conference play, it hosts Ohio State and Wisconsin, and it travels to Penn State and Michigan. That’s five games the Spartans could realistically consider toss-ups or losses.

Yet here I am talking the Spartans up on Twitter on a daily basis. I’ve bought into the Mel Tucker hype and I went as far as to (half) troll with a projected playoff field, rounded out by Michigan State football.

Listen, I was half-joking as I saw a Michigan fan post a projected field with the Wolverines at No. 2 earlier in the day, but guess what? I’ve talked myself into believing.

Now I’m going to try and talk you into believing.

Michigan State can legitimately push for the playoff, and here’s why.

Payton Thorne can be that dude

Every playoff contender seems to have a quarterback that leads them there with swagger, confidence, and a strong arm. Enter, Payton Thorne.

The junior quarterback is coming off a record-breaking year and reports from fall camp have him improving in just about every area. He’s more confident, he’s a better leader, and he’s “taking it to another level” according to teammates and coaches.

There aren’t many quarterbacks who are as reliable and steady as Thorne. He doesn’t ever get too high or too low and he’s shown up in clutch situations — the Pitt, Michigan, Miami, and Penn State games last year are prime examples.

Every game is winnable

OK, so I know Ohio State absolutely throttled the Spartans last year, and, yes, I’m worried that might happen again, but less talented Michigan State football teams in the past have beaten more talented Buckeye teams. Heck, a Connor Cook-less team beat a loaded Ohio State team in Columbus in 2015.

Well, this game is in East Lansing this year.

Plus the Spartans could be rolling at 5-0 heading into this game. This could very well be a top-10 matchup in East Lansing and a potential primetime game. Spartan Stadium will be buzzing and crazy things happen in East Lansing when the lights come on. Ohio State knows that it won’t be an easy road win despite winning 56-7 last year. Spartan players have this game circled on the calendar.

If Michigan State beats Ohio State to start 6-0, all it has to do is split the Michigan/Penn State road games and take care of the rest of those games it will be favored in and it’ll likely win the division. The winner of the East is usually the champion of the Big Ten. Michigan State can realistically be that team if it can find a way to beat Ohio State in East Lansing.

This is a massive ‘if.’

The offense is loaded

Michigan State’s offense was great last year. The one weakness (the offensive line) was masked by Thorne’s breakout and an All-American, Doak Walker-winning running back in Kenneth Walker III. The line’s starters are all better this year and reports indicate that it’s getting better, but depth may be a concern.

The offensive line will improve, even if it’s slightly, and the rest of the offense is loaded.

Jayden Reed is one of the best receivers in the nation, not just the Big Ten, Keon Coleman is a rising star at receiver, and Tre Mosley may be the most underrated wideout in the conference. Germie Bernard could be a breakout freshman, Christian Fitzpatrick has potential, Daniel Barker is going to be a star at tight end, Maliq Carr could also be great there, and Tyler Hunt adds depth — and great blocking.

Jarek Broussard is a former Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year at running back and Jalen Berger was a highly sought-after four-star rusher in high school. Both have transferred in this offseason from Colorado and Wisconsin, respectively, and should make up for Walker’s lost production. Jordon Simmons, Elijah Collins, and Harold Joiner add depth.

Thorne has weapons everywhere and he’s going to thrive in this improved offense.

Secondary can’t get any worse

Tucker decided to help out the weakest position group on the team from a year ago, taking over the cornerbacks this offseason. Harlon Barnett and Tucker will get things back on track.

There’s zero chance the secondary will be as ineffective as it was last season and the Spartans finished 11-2 with the nation’s No. 130 passing defense. Imagine how good this team will be with an already top-notch front-seven and a passing defense that’s ranked in the 60-80 range.

Even a top-100 passing defense will take pressure off the rest of the defense and the offense.

Hopes are high with Xavier Henderson, Angelo Grose, Ronald Williams, Chester Kimbrough, Charles Brantley, Ameer Speed, Marqui Lowery, Jaden Mangham, Dillon Tatum, and Caleb Coley making up the defensive backfield.

Every position group improved

This goes along with the offense being loaded and Tucker hitting the portal hard. Every single position group got better this offseason.

You could argue that the running back room got worse, but I’ll say it got deeper. Michigan State loses Walker but gains a former four-star from Wisconsin and a Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year from Colorado. On top of that, there are three more starting-caliber backs. The backfield is so deep that spring breakout candidate Davion Primm moved to defense.

The receiver room is deeper and better. Reed, Coleman, and Mosley might be the best trio outside of Columbus this year in the Big Ten; the tight end room is the best it’s been in years.

Starters on the offensive line are better and the two-deep is very solid. Beyond that, it’s scary, but talent is not lacking up front.

Adding Katin Houser to the quarterback room has already caused waves as Hamp Fay moved to safety. Noah Kim looks like a solid backup to Thorne as well. This room has three very capable passers.

Lastly, the front seven is the best it’s been since 2018 when that unit carried the team to a bowl. And the secondary can’t get any worse, as mentioned above. Guys like Khris Bogle, Jacoby Windmon, Aaron Brule, and Speed have been added to the defense from the portal. Michigan State’s defense will be much better — and deeper.

Every position group improved and it’s going to show.

Will it translate to an 11-1 season and division title? If everyone buys in, it should at least put Michigan State in a position to contend.

Did I talk you into buying tickets to the College Football Playoff this year?

Michigan State football

© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State football: News, notes after first fall scrimmage

The first scrimmage of the fall is in the books and Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker spoke to the media on Monday.

Less than three weeks stand between Michigan State football and the start of the 2022 campaign and that means it’s one thing: it’s preseason hype season.

The first preseason scrimmage took place over the weekend and Mel Tucker spoke to the media on Monday about what he saw and what stood out. He spoke highly of a handful of true freshmen, his quarterback, Keon Coleman, the running game, Daniel Barker, and more.

Let’s take a look at some of the news and notes from Monday’s post-practice (and post-scrimmage) media session along with my thoughts that no one really asked for.

Honestly, coachspeak, but you still love to see that he didn’t say he was disappointed in anything. It seems like the team is buying into the vision.

I’m on the Jarek Broussard bandwagon, but I also love hearing about Jalen Berger success. If he’s playing well, that means Michigan State has a legit two-headed monster in the backfield. Quite the replacement for Kenneth Walker III.

Competition is only going to be a good thing here.

Linebacking corps: deep. Daniel Barker: potentially elite. Love to see it.

Just yesterday, Keon Coleman told everyone to buy stock in Keon Coleman. Today, he told everyone to watch out for a breakout season from him and Tucker says that he’s realizing his potential. Also, I’m here for all the Germie Bernard hype.

Also, there’s a fun battle for WR3. It’s ultimately going to be Coleman, but it’s good to see Bernard stepping up and also Christian Fitzpatrick. That’s a name I thought I’d hear a lot more of when he transferred to MSU.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what the cornerbacks look like after an offseason of working with Tucker.

Jack Stone was my pick to win the job, but this makes it seem uncertain. Not having a clear starting kicker to start the season is slightly concerning. OK, it’s not slightly concerning, it’s very concerning.

Love to see Mark Dantonio still supporting the program in retirement.

Accountability is key. Tucker isn’t going to accept excuses or anything of the sort and that’s how you build championship programs.

This is not incredibly surprising, but depth is definitely a concern.

Ending on this note because some of these guys have gone under the radar. Bernard is going to be a star in East Lansing and he’ll probably play extensively but Tyrell Henry and Ade Willie have been almost forgotten. It’s good to see they’re playing well.

Raise your hand if you love preseason hype season.

Mel Tucker

© Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

What would be considered a successful 2022 season for Michigan State football?

Mel Tucker messed around and went 11-2 in 2021. What would be considered a successful 2022 Michigan State football campaign?

With the 2022 season officially less than a month from kicking off, Michigan State football fans are craving the same amount of success that they saw a year ago.

Mel Tucker led the Spartans to an 11-2 season with a win over Michigan and a Peach Bowl win, but a blowout loss to Ohio State and trip-up at Purdue really put a damper on things in November.

It was still an extremely successful year.

Compared to the expectations (Vegas had the Spartans winning around six games), the 2021 season was better than what anyone could have imagined. No one saw this team finishing top three in the Big Ten East, let alone winning 11 games and a New Year’s Six bowl. Unlike the previous few seasons, Michigan State exceeded expectations, and then some.

With the bar raised by Tucker, expectations are high for Tucker in 2022

What would be considered a “successful” Michigan State football season?

That’s a great question. Obviously, winning 10-plus games would be a more-than-welcome end result, but would that be good enough to be considered a success?

If Tucker can win 10-plus games again, that would undoubtedly be a success. Winning the Big Ten is the goal, but being in that mix at the end of the season would be a great follow-up to 2021. A 10-2 regular season would be impressive with that tough schedule; many fans would also take 9-3 with a 10th win coming in a New Year’s Day bowl game.

It’s tough to say what would really make 2022 of success, but I think if the defense can show improvement, the offense keeps pace with 2021’s thanks to Jalen Berger or Jarek Broussard breaking out, and winning at least 1-of-3 against Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, it would qualify as “successful.” Michigan State must also keep the Ohio State game respectable.

The best-case scenario for Michigan State would be 11-1 with two wins in the three games against Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State. The worst-case would be 6-6 or 7-5.

Success would be nine-plus wins. You could argue that an 8-4 season would also be a success, but I think the bar has been raised that much by Tucker.

Michigan State has a more talented team in 2022 but the schedule is tougher and Kenneth Walker III is gone so it’s fair to expect a slight step back. Nine wins should be the minimal expectation moving forward, but eight would be acceptable.

Tucker isn’t content with acceptable, however.

Stanton Ramil

© Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State Football: Stanton Ramil’s commitment was a record-breaker

Stanton Ramil made a lot of Michigan State football fans in East Lansing very happy while simultaneously ripping out some orange hearts from the city of Knoxville on Monday night.

The four-star offensive tackle from Alabama committed to Michigan State over Tennessee and Penn State, making him the highest-rated offensive line pledge of the Mel Tucker era.

After all of the offensive line misses over the past few weeks, this was a breath of fresh air.

And it was a record-breaking commitment.

Justin Thind of 247Sports did his own research and revealed some interesting information that should have every Spartan fan drinking gallons of green Kool-Aid.

Michigan State now has the most four-stars in a single class in school history and — checks notes — it’s only August. Just an unbelievable stat.

Not only was this endlessly impressive, reeling a four-star offensive tackle out of SEC country when Tennessee felt like it was the leader in his recruitment, but it also showed that Chris Kapilovic is still one of the most respected OL coaches in the business. Despite missing out on Chase Bisontis, Payton Kirkland, likely Miles McVay, and also more than like Samson Okunlola, he didn’t buckle and stayed consistent with Ramil. He didn’t flinch when former coaches may have.

Ramil is the 10th four-star in Michigan State’s 2023 class and while that’s almost unheard of in East Lansing, it’s also becoming the new norm under Tucker.

Want an even better example of how impressive these 10 four-stars in one class are? Michigan State had just nine total four-stars committed to the 2017 through 2020 classes under Mark Dantonio. Tucker just did more in one class (his third at MSU) than Dantonio did in his final four.

I’m going to avoid any Dantonio slander here because he’s a Michigan State legend and he gave us some of the most memorable years in program history, but Tucker’s recruiting blows his out of the water.

The 2023 class is up to 13 commitments now with Ramil becoming official and there are about four months until early signing day. I would wager a guess that Michigan State aims for at least 20 signees in the class but with the portal as an option, I wouldn’t be shocked if it was less in the early period.

It’s been one of the best weeks to be a Spartan in a long time.

Michigan State football

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State football’s 2024 class is in good hands with top-100 WR Nick Marsh

For the second straight recruiting cycle, Michigan State football is off to an ideal start with a top in-state commitment.

For 2023, it was four-star tight end Brennan Parachek who kicked things off and on Sunday, top-100 wide receiver Nick “Megatron” Marsh got things started for the 2024 class.

Parachek was a fantastic start in 2023, and there honestly may not be a better first addition to the 2024 class than Marsh. He’s considered one of the best athletes in the class at the receiver position and he should end up in the top 100 before it’s all said and done — heck, maybe even top 50.

You know you got a good one when it’s the August two years before he’d arrive on campus and he already has 33 offers. Arkansas, Cincinnati, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin were among the teams vying for his pledge, but he chose to end his recruitment early, verbally committing to Mel Tucker just a day after visiting East Lansing for the second annual Spartan Dawg Con.

Marsh is going to be a special player in East Lansing and he could be the lead player-recruiter for the 2024 class. Good players want to join forces with other good players and Marsh is one of the best.

Listed as the nation’s No. 14 receiver and No. 82 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite, Marsh is going to have no problem convincing other recruits to join him.

This gives Tucker a ton of momentum in the class as well. His sights are still set on 2023, but this helps.

Michigan State hasn’t had this ideal of a first commitment since the 2016 class when Cam Chambers committed and put together “The Dream Team” which eventually dissolved due to some off-field issues. Eight classes later, another elite receiver becomes his Michigan State’s first commitment, but this feels like the perfect do-over.

Tucker’s class is in good hands with Marsh potentially setting off a domino effect and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more 2024 visitors for the Spartan Dawg Con commit before their junior seasons.

“If you can’t recruit at Michigan State, you can’t recruit.”

That quote from Tucker last year was shocking at the time, but now it’s becoming more believable. No coach in MSU history has provided this much recruiting juice.