Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Mel Tucker brushes off LSU rumors, keeps focus on rival Michigan

October 25, 2021
<p>Head coach Mel Tucker yells to players on the field during the Spartans game against Northwestern. Michigan State won the season opener at Ryan Field 38-21, on Sep. 3, 2021.</p>

Head coach Mel Tucker yells to players on the field during the Spartans game against Northwestern. Michigan State won the season opener at Ryan Field 38-21, on Sep. 3, 2021.

Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

LSU announced last week that after the 2021 season the program will be parting ways with Head Coach Ed Orgeron.

Instantaneously, rumors swirled on who could replace Orgeron as the Tigers' next head coach, and MSU Head Coach Mel Tucker was speculated to be a candidate.

Tucker has completely turned around Michigan State’s program in just his second year. After an awkward COVID-19 season yielded just two wins, the Spartans have yet to lose through seven games — many of those wins being convincing ones. Tucker and his staff have used the transfer portal to their advantage, bringing in numerous impact players to the roster such as Heisman Trophy candidate junior running back Kenneth Walker III.

However, Tucker brushed off the LSU rumors in his press conference Monday and reaffirmed his focus towards this weekend's game.

"My focus is on the upcoming game against the school down the road," Tucker said. "That's where my concentration and my focus is, and I really appreciate you understanding that."

Exceeding expectations in such a short amount of time is one of the main appeals that has drawn Tucker to the LSU job. He also has ties to the south as a Defensive Backs Coach at LSU in 2000, an Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Backs Coach at Alabama in 2015 and a Defensive Coordinator at Georgia from 2016-18.

The Tigers are just two years removed from winning a national championship with now-NFL stars like Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. But, the wheels have fallen off rather quickly in Baton Rouge with LSU going just 9-9 since going 15-0 in 2019. With such a prestigious program, LSU is looking to turn its program around in a hurry playing in the extremely competitive SEC.

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