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MSU football Spring Showcase to be coach Jonathan Smith's first, will help gauge team's performance for upcoming season

April 20, 2024
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ashton Lepo (66) before the game against University of Washington at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 16, 2023.
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ashton Lepo (66) before the game against University of Washington at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 16, 2023.

On April 20, students and fans will get to see the newly hired football coach Jonathan Smith and his Spartans in the annual Spring Showcase at Spartan Stadium. Smith, who recently transferred from coaching at Oregon State, will officially be part of this year's Spring Showcase, which marks the 15th and final spring practice during the offseason.

Smith hit the ground running in the offseason, shortly after coming to MSU, taking the role of former coach Mel Tucker. After losing every quarterback on the depth chart, Smith went and got sophomore Aiden Chillies, who was the freshman backup quarterback for Smith at Oregon State. The Spartans also received junior tight end Jack Velling, who also came from Oregon State. 

Coach Smith also kept the No. 1 player in Michigan State's recruiting class, Nick Marsh, who will be competing for playing time at the wide receiver position.

“Our first team meeting, (Smith) gave us a piece of paper and told us to write down the three things that we thought were the issues with the team last year," sophomore linebacker Jordan Hall, who will be participating in the Spring Showcase, said in a press conference. "I wrote down two things that I felt were an issue last year, and on the third (thing), I said, ‘This is how we are going to build trust. I just really want to know if you are going to read this.’ I put my phone number down and 1-2 days later, (Smith) gave me a call and we sat down; that was a big jump-start to our relationship.”

Junior safety Jaden Mangham said that the new coaching staff has been very adaptive these last few months and that the team chemistry is meshing more. 

“We've been taking in everything they've been teaching us," Mangham said. "Coach (Blue Adams) has been teaching us a lot of new stuff, learning the new defense, new philosophy and it's coming along good.”

The Michigan State football Spring Showcase will take place at 2 p.m. at Spartan Stadium where fans, students and others will be able to see what next season's team is going to be like.

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