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Tucker discusses 2023 recruiting class, future of program

December 22, 2022
<p>Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker watches the field during the Spartans&#x27; 31-21 victory against Pitt in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 30, 2021.</p>

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker watches the field during the Spartans' 31-21 victory against Pitt in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 30, 2021.

After a busy day of recruiting and transfer portal news, Head Football Coach Mel Tucker assumed the podium in his first press conference of the offseason to discuss the 2023 recruiting class.

“This class, from top to bottom, is very, very strong,” Tucker said. “It’s a really good mix of experienced guys and high school guys that all have the potential to be NFL guys.”

In total, 15 recruits signed their letters of intent. In addition, Michigan State added 11 transfers to the roster. 

MSU's 2023 recruiting class is currently 25th in the nation according to 247Sports, coming in at fourth in the Big Ten (behind Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan).

All of Michigan State’s 2023 high school commits signed their letters of intent on Wednesday. However, that doesn’t mean MSU’s 2023 class and roster is finalized. 

“We may have a couple more guys, we’ll see what happens in February and we’ll see what happens after spring ball,” Tucker said.

This year’s class featured players from across the nation, nine different states to be exact – 12 if you include transfers. The Spartans signed the top overall recruits from both Oregon and Oklahoma. 

“This class is a national class,” Tucker said.

However, Tucker didn’t ignore the local recruits, either. Michigan State signed three of the top 10 players in the state of Michigan. 

Of the 15 players that signed letters of intent, nine are four-star recruits. MSU hasn’t notched that many four-stars in a single season since the 2016 recruiting class, which ties a program record. 

The trenches seemed to be the point of emphasis of the class. With three four-star defensive linemen and three four-star offensive linemen, the lines on both sides of the ball received a major injection of talent Wednesday. 

Topping the group of four-stars is edge Bai Jobe. The No. 1 recruit in the state of Oklahoma had plenty of high-level programs sending offers his way, including Alabama. 

“His potential is through the roof,” Tucker said. “(a) very special guy, has a special story.”

There are plenty of other high-level prospects for fans to get excited about. Defensive lineman Andrew Depaepe and linebacker Jordan Hall are a couple of recruits that had high-level programs around the nation fighting for their commitment. 

The three-star recruits also have plenty of upside, whether it be athleticism, work ethic, speed or a combination of all three.

“We were looking for guys that were tough, disciplined and unselfish,” Tucker said. “Every single one of these guys has those core values.”

Of course, Tucker was also very busy in the transfer portal. There are plenty of intriguing players that arrived through the portal, but the most exciting of the bunch has to be Texas A&M’s incoming sophomore defensive lineman Tunmise Adeleye

A member of the 2021 recruiting class, Adeleye was a high four-star recruit with offers from the best programs in college football. After a year with the Aggies, he opted to enter the transfer portal. As soon as his name was entered, top programs were fighting to secure his talents, namely Miami.

“Physical player, outstanding pass rusher,” Tucker said. “He’s one of those guys that comes in ready to play.”

Other news from the conference

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While the 2023 class was the primary focus of the conference, Tucker also touched on a few other key aspects of the roster and the program.

Despite the disappointing 5-7 season, Tucker announced he has no plans to make any changes in the coaching staff.

"I haven't planned to make any changes," Tucker said. “there's always opportunities for guys. I never wanna try to hold anyone back if they have an opportunity where they can better themselves, but I don't plan to make any changes at this time.”

Tucker also believes that three seniors will be using an extra year of eligibility to return in 2023: defensive lineman Khris Bogle, offensive lineman J.D. Duplain and center Nick Samac. A few other players, such as redshirt senior running back Elijah Collins, have yet to decide whether or not they will return next year. 


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