Michigan State was still hidden in the shadows at this time, a year ago, far from the focal point of the college football world. But these past seven months? The Spartans have been in the spotlight this season.
That’s what happens when you come zooming from the sidelines to the main stage, beat your opponent in one of the most watched games of the season, dance your way home from a New Year’s Six bowl victory as your coach signs a historic contract extension.
Thursday morning, when Mel Tucker And the Spartans took the field for the first practice of the training camp, the process of confirming all the newly received honors and intrigues begins.
As MSU officially begins preparations for the 2022 season, Tucker’s third in East Lansing, here are five stories to watch this month:
The line is deep to replace Walker, MSU’s biggest star from a year ago. He was the reason he caught 71.1% of his carries against running backs, leading nationally with 1,636 rushing yards. From the very first moment of the season, he was a clear difference maker and no one called Walker any less.
As Walker prepares for his rookie season in the NFL, the Spartans will likely use a committee-style approach in the backfield. Junior Jordan Simmons was the most productive of the returning defensive backs in 2021, with 70 catches for 278 yards, but his attitude changed after getting his first look at MSU’s Peach Bowl against Pittsburgh.