EAST LANSING — Michigan State wrapped up a key part of the offseason with Saturday afternoon’s spring game at Spartan Stadium.
It was the 15th and final spring workout for third-year coach Mel Tucker and the Spartans, who are coming off an 11-2 season capped by a Peach Bowl win over Pittsburgh.
Here are notable quotes from Tucker and the players after the Spring Game:
“We want to put them in as many game situations as possible. It was the closest we could get today. It was a good experience for many of these young people.
– Tucker on the spring game format, which was an open practice with shuffled team periods and a scrum at the end. This was due to a shorthanded offensive line, with only eight in uniform for the group due to injuries and players recovering from surgery.
“We just picked up where we left off. We have taken no steps back. I think people are kind of really starting to understand the pattern and mentally taking the next step when it comes to their seizures or coverage drops.
– Safety Xavier Henderson on the follow-up to a successful season.
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“We did a lot of good work today. Practice 15 was exactly what we expected from our guys – everyone is working hard to improve today. It was a great effort from the guys. »
— Tucker on his reaction to final spring training.
“It will definitely be different after an 11-2 season versus a 2-5 season. I really think there’s excitement around the program right now and now it’s our job to bring more excitement to the program. As a team, we have to come every day with the objective of being better than we were last year.
— Quarterback Payton Thorne on buzz for the program.
“It was good to go out in the elements. We have to be a weatherproof team.
– Tucker on conditions at Spartan Stadium on a windy, windy day with a high in the 40s.
“I’m just going to call myself a football player because I play everything.”
– Darius Snow, who lined up as both linebacker and nickelback on Saturday. He started at nickelback and safety last season before adding linebacker this spring.
“I don’t have a guy right now. We’ll just have to get into the summer program and then go to fall camp and see how it goes.
– Tucker on if there is a clear backup quarterback behind Thorne. Redshirt sophomore Noah Kim, redshirt rookie Hamp Fay and true rookie Katin Houser are the other scholarship players at the post and all received snaps on Saturday.
“He impressed a lot of guys this spring, he impressed me. I think he’s going to be a problem for the opposition.
– Wide receiver Jayden Reed on Ameer Speed, a 6-foot-3 cornerback who was traded from Georgia to Michigan State in January.
“It is possible that we have movement on the list. We will have to see.
– Tucker on potential transfer gate losses or additions. Linebacker Ben VanSumeren entered the portal in March but continued to practice with the team and played a lot on Saturday. The Spartans added five transfers in January and have commitments of three more expected to arrive this summer with running back Jarek Broussard (Colorado), tight end Daniel Barker (Illinois) and offensive lineman Brian Greene (State). of Washington).
“With Jayden, he brings juice like no one else.”
– Thorne on Reed, who led the Spartans in receiving last year and returned to the team instead of leaving for the NFL Draft.
“We are a team. We have very good energy and a very good connection and it will only grow throughout the summer. I anticipate that we will have a very, very good summer program. Our guys will be in great shape before fall camp. It will be very competitive, we will be healthy and we will have a strong team.
– Tucker on the direction of program progress.
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