Michigan State opens fall practice

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, August 6, 2022

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State football team officially opened preseason camp with a 90-minute morning practice in helmets, jerseys and shorts on Thursday.

MSU is looking to build off the momentum from last season’s school-record turnaround, as the Spartans posted a nine-game improvement from 2020 (two wins) to 2021 (11 wins), won a New Year’s Six bowl game over No. 12 Pitt in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and finished No. 8 in the AFCA/USA TODAY Coaches Poll and No. 9 in The Associated Press Poll.

“We got practice No. 1 in — I feel real good about it,” said MSU Head Coach Mel Tucker, who was named the 2021 Big Ten Coach of the Year. “Coach (Jason) Novak and his staff did a great job preparing our guys for camp. A lot of work was put in with strength and conditioning this summer, lifting and running, and I feel like we’re in a good spot physically to start up camp. We were very focused and organized today.”

The Spartans are bringing back 44 letterwinners from last season’s team, including 19 on offense, 22 on defense and three on special teams. MSU also added eight scholarship transfers to the 2022 roster (TE Daniel Barker-Illinois; RB Jalen Berger-Wisconsin; DE Khris Bogle-Florida; RB Jarek Broussard-Colorado; LB Aaron Brule-Mississippi State; OL Brian Greene-Washington State; CB Ameer Speed-Georgia; LB Jacoby Windmon-UNLV).

Six Spartans were named to preseason watch lists, led by graduate senior safety Xavier Henderson (Jim Thorpe Award; Bronko Nagurski Trophy; Chuck Bednarik Award; Lott IMPACT Trophy), graduate senior wide receiver Jayden Reed (Maxwell Award; Biletnikoff Award; Paul Hornung Award), fifth-year senior defensive tackle Jacob Slade (Outland Trophy; Lombardi Award) and redshirt junior quarterback Payton Thorne (Maxwell Award; Davey O’Brien Award; Walter Camp Player of the Year). In addition, graduate senior punter Bryce Baringer is on the Ray Guy Award Watch List, and Broussard is on the Doak Walker Award Watch List.

Michigan State is slated to return to the practice field on Friday morning.

MSU’s season opener is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 2 vs. Western Michigan at 7 p.m. in Spartan Stadium.