After holding the starting position for two years, redshirt senior quarterback Payton Thorne has entered the transfer portal as a graduate student, along with junior wide receiver Keon Coleman and junior defensive back Charles Brantley, a team spokesperson confirmed with The State News.
Thorne was named the starter at the beginning of the 2021 season over then graduate student Anthony Russo. That year, Thorne went on to break the school record for most touchdown passes thrown in a single season with 26, which surpassed former quarterback Kirk Cousins’ 25 touchdowns in 2011.
During his tenure with the Spartans, the two-time team captain recorded 49 career touchdown passes and 6,494 passing yards in 29 appearances, 26 of which were starts.
Alongside former quarterback Connor Cook, Thorne is one of just two Michigan State quarterbacks to throw for four touchdowns in a game at least four times.
Last season, Thorne started all 12 games for MSU, throwing for 2,679 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Coleman made 65 catches for 848 yards with eight touchdowns in 22 games and 12 starts with the Spartans, and was set to become a key part of the offense next season.
As a freshman, Coleman saw minutes in 10 games, including the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against Pitt in 2021. During his sophomore season, Coleman led MSU with 58 receptions, 798 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches. He was also ranked eighth among Big Ten leaders in receptions.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound athlete also played basketball for Michigan State during the 2022 spring semester, appearing in six games.
Out of 19 career games, Brantley has started in 12 for the green and white. The Florida native recorded 10 pass break ups and two interceptions in his career, with one of them sealing the game against Michigan in 2021 and returning the other one for a touchdown off of the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, C.J. Stroud.
Like the wide receiver room now, MSU's secondary was already thin. Michigan State will have its work cut out for it this spring and summer in order to return these two areas of the team to full strength.
Former MSU standout wide receiver Jayden Reed showed his support for Thorne and Coleman on Twitter Sunday afternoon. Reed was drafted by the Green Bay Packers on April 28.