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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Michigan State
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Jacob Slade, Michigan State, Rs Sr DT,...Slade is also on the Outland Trophy Watch List and earlier this summer was named a second-team preseason All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Slade posted career numbers in 2021 with 40 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. - Michigan State Football

rSr/2023 DT Jacob SladeMichigan State
News Source: Michigan State Football
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  Ted Gilmore delivered high praise for his newest understudy, Daniel Barker. Even though he feels the Michigan State football tight end transfer does have one thing he needs to work on. "Once he learns it all, once it slows down for him, this young man has some skills. And I'm glad we have him," Gilmore said Monday. "My biggest challenge with him is to get him to be quiet." Barker's opinion? "I mean, I got a great personality," he said with a grin. And talented, enough so that Barker explored entering the NFL draft before deciding to leave Illinois and play a fifth college season as a graduate transfer with the Spartans.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, went from a three-star recruit to the Illini's tight end career leader with 11 touchdown receptions. He finished his four seasons with 64 catches for 827 yards in 44 games, opting to test the draft after starting eight of his 13 games last season to finish with 18 receptions, a career-best 273 receiving yards and four TDs. But in January, Barker withdrew from the draft and entered the transfer portal. "Last year, my mind was kind of set on, 'Yeah I'm gonna come in this year and put my best foot forward and go ahead and give (the NFL draft) a shot," Barker said. "But that comes with looking yourself in the mirror and making a decision that you might not want to make. You gotta evaluate everything, go through all your pros and cons and see what's the best for you after you get your grade and see what's best for you. "And I kind of thought coming back one more year, even though I didn't want to and that was not the plan, but I knew I had to come back and be able to showcase my full ability and everything that I could do." - Lansing State Journal


rSr/2023 TE Daniel BarkerMichigan State
News Source: Lansing State Journal
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  As Matt Carrick continued to work his way back from a leg injury that cut short his 2020 campaign, his battle became less physical and more mental. When Michigan State opened preseason camp earlier this month, Carrick was on what the coaching staff called "a pitch count," limiting his reps during practice. Though the training staff and coaches developed the plan, Carrick played a part, too. Offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic told Carrick that he needed to let the staff know when he wore down. In the football world, where toughness is one of the most prized commodities a player can possess, telling Kapilovic he was tired was the last thing Carrick wanted to do. "I was like, 'I can't come out. There's no way,' " said Carrick, a sixth-year senior guard, "because then (Kapilovic) is going to think that I can't do it." Kapilovic wouldn't have it. After the Spartans finished their first practice, he walked up to Carrick and reiterated his stance.

"He's like, 'Hey, like I told you before, if you're ever feeling a certain way, let me know. I need to take care of you this year," Carrick said. "So from that day moving on, he's had a preset plan of what reps I need to take, what reps I need off." At times, that calls for Carrick to take every snap during a specific period; during others, he might have only one or two reps. It's forward thinking on the Spartans' part. "With Coach Kap (Kapilovic), his big thing is making sure that I'm healthy, I'm good to go," Carrick said, "so when I come out of this fall camp, I'm ready for Week 1 and the rest of the season." So far, so good. - Lansing State Journal


rSr/2023 OG Matt CarrickMichigan State
News Source: Lansing State Journal
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  The move is official, or as official as it's going to be. As Michigan State opened preseason camp last week, Darius Snow was listed on the roster as a linebacker. The junior started nine games last season - eight at nickelback and one at safety - before spending most of spring practice working with the linebackers. It was more of an experiment then, but as the Spartans prepare for the season opener Sept. 2 at home against Western Michigan, Snow is moving full-speed ahead as a linebacker. The move makes sense as the coaching staff is doing everything it can to make sure Snow is on the field for as many snaps as possible. Just don't put a label on the 6-foot-1, 220-pound nephew of former Michigan State All-American linebacker Percy Snow. "I feel like an athlete," Snow said when asked if he was starting to feel like a linebacker. "I feel like an athlete that's playing linebacker."

Fair enough. And if Snow is producing at the level Mel Tucker and the coaching staff are expecting, then Snow can call himself whatever he wants. It's all part of a move the Spartans feel makes them a better defense after Snow finished third on the team in tackles in 2021 with 87 while adding 5.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, an interception and a fumble recovery. It's part of Snow's plan, too, to be as valuable as possible to a Michigan State defense that needs a big jump this fall after finishing last in the nation in pass defense a year ago. He's playing primarily on the outside, but has worked some in the middle and can always shift back to the secondary when needed. - Detroit News


Jr/2024 OLB Darius SnowMichigan State
News Source: Detroit News
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  The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Dallas native suffered ACL injuries his first two seasons at Colorado, redshirting as a true freshman in 2018 and then sitting out Tucker's only season in Boulder in 2019 after a second knee surgery. "It's been a couple of years since we had him, but you can see he's just more mature," Tucker said. "These guys just grow up. … And that's what you see these guys And then obviously from a physical standpoint, he's just bigger." During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Broussard ran for 895 yards in six games, an average of 162.6 per game that ranked third in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He added five touchdown runs to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors and an All-American honorable mention. "He's an explosive player. He's an explosive athlete. You can see kind of the way he's built," Tucker said. "He runs with power and he's got quickness and he's got speed. He's got burst through traffic. He's got really good awareness and instincts, and he's a credible receiver out of the backfield. "He's just in general a football player. He loves to play football."

In starting 10 of his 11 games last season, Broussard ran for 661 rushing yards on 142 carries with two touchdowns to get All-Pac-12 honorable mention, but he missed the season finale against eventual league champion Utah due to a non-COVID illness. "He's got the tools...I think he has good vision in the backfield, and he's got good hands. So I think we're gonna do a lot with him," MSU quarterback Payton Thorne said of Broussard. "And it'll be interesting to see what kind of player he can be here, because obviously we know what Ken was and everything. You saw Ken last year during summer workouts, and you knew this guy was gonna be a stud." - Lansing State Journal


rJr/2024 RB Jarek BroussardMichigan State
News Source: Lansing State Journal
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  Offensive lineman Matt Carrick is back in uniform going through drills after leg surgery cut short his 2021 season and forced him to miss spring practice. Tucker said he plans to bring along the senior slowly as he returns to the field and battles for the starting job at right guard. "We're trying to give him some (reps)," Tucker said, "and then we're gonna give him a little bit more and then build him up." The offensive line was decimated by injuries during the spring, forcing MSU to alter its spring work on offense and shift two defensive linemen for healthy bodies.

During Thursday's 15-minute open portion practice, there were no red jerseys or offensive linemen sitting out on the side. "We had so many injuries in the spring that it was tough to even see who the heck we had," Thorne said of the big guys in front of him. Only a few players during drills wore red jerseys, which signify injuries: cornerback Ronald Williams, wide receiver Terry Lockett Jr., and defensive end Avery Dunn. Chester Kimbrough was not in a red jersey but didn't work with the cornerbacks, instead going through individual work on the side of the field. - Lansing State Journal


rSr/2023 OG Matt CarrickMichigan State
News Source: Lansing State Journal
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  2022 PRESEASON CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: Xavier Henderson, Michigan State, Senior S,...A four-year letterwinner (2018-21), Henderson leads all active Spartans with 235 tackles, which ranks No. 43 in school history. He also has 12.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass break-ups and two forced fumbles in 46 career games. - Michigan State Football

rSr/2023 SS Xavier HendersonMichigan State
News Source: Michigan State Football
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  2022 PRESEASON PAUL HORNUNG AWARD WATCH LIST: Jayden Reed, Michigan State,...Reed, who earned first-team All-America honors last season as an all-purpose player by the American Football Coaches Association, not only led the Spartans with 59 catches for 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he also ranked first in the Big Ten in punt returns (19.8 avg.; 12 returns for 238 yards) and tied for the FBS lead with two punt returns for touchdowns (62 yards vs. Nebraska, 88 yards vs. Western Kentucky). - Michigan State Football

rSr/2023 WR Jayden ReedMichigan State
News Source: Michigan State Football
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  In the back of his mind, Jayden Reed always figured he would be back for another season at Michigan State. But he didn't come to that decision before making a list of pros and cons, weighing whether to stay or go. NFL feedback didn't hurt, either. When he learned from the league's College Advisory Committee that - at best - the third round of the 2022 draft was his likely ceiling, he knew the timing wasn't right. "I heard a lot of different stuff, and I felt like if I was to come back, I would have a much better opportunity," Reed, a fifth-year senior receiver, said Wednesday at the Big Ten football media day event. "So I took advantage of that." His return wasn't solely dictated by potential personal advancement, though. While the Spartans had a sparkling 2021 season, going 11-2 and winning the Peach Bowl, Reed is seeking more. "I know I wanted to come back and compete for a Big Ten championship, a national title," he said. "I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface of how good I can be. So I felt that I needed to return for one more year to prove myself."

Specifically, he wants to show NFL talent evaluators he heeded their words of advice. They wanted to see Reed improve his route-running ability: getting in and out of routes - especially at the top - and changing their tempo. "That can really change the game for me," he said. "It scares me," he said, thinking back on his draft feedback, "to make me work harder and be better, so I'm not in that undrafted range." - Lansing State Journal


rSr/2023 WR Jayden ReedMichigan State
News Source: Lansing State Journal
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  2022 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF YEAR PLAYER TO WATCH: Payton Thorne, QB, junior, Michigan State,...After a record-setting season in his first year as the starting quarterback, Thorne is back for the Spartans in 2022. Thorne set a school single-season record with 27 touchdown passes in 2021, surpassing Kirk Cousins, who previously held the record with 25 TDs in 2011. Thorne also ranked among MSU's single-season leaders in total offense (third with 3,414 yards), passing yards (third with 3,233), passing yards per game (third with 248.7), passing efficiency (sixth with 148.1 rating), pass completions (tied for sixth with 234) and pass attempts (seventh with 388). - Michigan State Football

rJr/2024 QB Payton ThorneMichigan State
News Source: Michigan State Football
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  2022 PRESEASON OUTLAND TROPHY WATCHLIST: DT Jacob Slade, Michigan State,...Michigan State fifth-year senior defensive tackle Jacob Slade has been named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, which is awarded annually to the nation's top interior lineman. Earlier this summer, Slade was named a second-team preseason All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Slade enters the 2022 season with 68 tackles, 8.0 TFLs and 3.5 sacks in 34 career games, including 19 starts. - Michigan State Football

rSr/2023 DT Jacob SladeMichigan State
News Source: Michigan State Football
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  2022 PRESEASON BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCHLIST: S Xavier Henderson, Michigan State,...Henderson, who was named a game captain for all 13 games last season and helped lead MSU to an 11-2 record and a New Year's Six bowl win over No. 12 Pittsburgh in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, was a third-team All-Big Ten selection by the media after tying for the team lead with a career-high 96 tackles, including a career-best 10 tackles for loss and three sacks. His 96 stops ranked tied for 11th most in the Big Ten.

Henderson recorded a TFL in nine games with a career-high two in the season opener at Northwestern. He also had a career-high 17 tackles vs. Nebraska, the most by a Spartan since 2016. The Reynoldsburg, Ohio, native tallied 41 stops during his third season at MSU in a shortened seven-game schedule in 2020 and ranked second on the team with 83 tackles as a sophomore in 2019, including two interceptions and five pass break-ups. As a true freshman in 2018, he primarily played on special teams, collecting 15 tackles. - Michigan State Football


rSr/2023 SS Xavier HendersonMichigan State
News Source: Michigan State Football
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  There were several roster questions answered on Wednesday, including the fact junior Darius Snow is now listed as a linebacker, completing his move from the secondary. Snow, the nephew of former MSU All-America linebacker Percy Snow, started nine games last year, including eight as the nickel back and one at safety, before spending most of the spring working at linebacker. "I believe that's a natural position for him," Tucker said. "He's a big guy; he's a physical player and he does have versatility. There still may be a role for him in our secondary in some packages because of his versatility. But he has a nose for the ball and, obviously, he's got the pedigree. "He looked really good there in the spring and so we feel like that's the best fit for him here and beyond. We really feel like that's his future." - Detroit News

Jr/2024 OLB Darius SnowMichigan State
News Source: Detroit News
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  Jayden Reed's expectations for Michigan State football's wide receiver room in 2022 that he's putting it above any other in the Big Ten including Ohio State. "We're going to be a lot better than people think we are... I think we're going to be the best receiving room in the Big Ten," Reed said at Big Ten media days Wednesday. Despite losing Jalen Nailor to the NFL, Reed, a third-year wide receiver for the Spartans after transferring from Western Michigan, said Keon Coleman, Tre Mosely and Germie Bernard will pick up the slack for Michigan State. "It just remains to be seen," Reed added.

Ohio State may have something to say about that heading into the 2022 season. Despite losing both Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, who each became first-round NFL draft picks, wide receiver coach Brian Hartline's room returns its leading receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who led the team with 95 catches and 1,606 receiving yards in 2022. Reed was Michigan State's only 1,000-yard receiver last season, compared to Ohio State's two: Wilson and Smith-Njigba. The Spartans' passing game recorded only 21 passing touchdowns to wide receivers compared to the Buckeyes' 38. - Columbus Dispatch


rSr/2023 WR Jayden ReedMichigan State
News Source: Columbus Dispatch
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  Michigan State's tight end depth recently suffered a loss. Adam Berghorst, who has played in 18 games the past three seasons, left the football program to focus on his baseball career. But just because Berghorst's attention has turned toward the diamond, MSU football coach Mel Tucker isn't closing the door on a potential return. "I love the kid," Tucker said Wednesday during the Big Ten football media day event at Lucas Oil Stadium. "We need all the help we can get, (so) if he ever wanted to come back, I'd be happy to talk to him about it." The Texas Rangers selected Berghorst in the 14th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Berghorst eschewed jumping to the pros immediately after high school, however, instead enrolling at Michigan State.

This summer, he is playing for the Battle Creek Battle Jacks, a team comprised of college players in the Northwoods League. Berghorst joined the Spartans' football program as a defensive end - and one of the top prospects in Michigan, at that. The Detroit News (No. 2), ESPN.com (No. 2) Rivals (No. 2) and 247Sports (No. 5) had Berghorst listed among the top-five defensive ends in the state in the 2019 class. But his stint on defense was short-lived. Midway through the 2019 season, he moved to tight end where he remained for the rest of his college football career. He mainly played in a reserve role and on special teams the past three years, but was expected to continue to provide depth at a spot that also includes Tyler Hunt, Malik Carr, Daniel Barker, Evan Morris, Powers Warren, Jackson Morse, Jack Nickel and Michael Masunas. - Lansing State Journal


Sr/2023 TE Adam BerghorstMichigan State
News Source: Lansing State Journal
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