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Spartans in week two of spring football practice

It’s a new time of year for Coach Mel Tucker, especially with a roster full of transfers.
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 4:21 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s been one week since the Spartans hit the turf for spring football. The team is four practices in and it was the players’ second day in pads, but that hasn’t been the most beneficial part. It’s getting back to the fundamentals.

“That’s really where our main focus is. It’s just one step at a time, gaining ground. I’m really pleased with what I see so far. But we got a long way to go. We got a lot of work to do,” said MSU head coach Mel Tucker.

It’s a new time of year for Coach Tucker, especially with a roster full of transfers.

“Everyone’s in the portal for a different reason. You have to do your homework. We have to make sure that the guys that we decide that we want are a great fit for our culture,” Tucker said.

The Spartans were active in building their team this season through the portal: 16 players left the program and 13 came in.

“The biggest thing, me coming in here is obviously the culture is still setting in, but it’s also helping out and being a leader. If the team’s not successful, then I’m not successful. Personal accolades and games aside, I want to win football games,” fifth year Duke transfer/defensive end Drew Jordan said.

After not having spring practice last year, this team’s chemistry has already grown in just four days.

“One thing that’s really big is relationships. A lot of the older guys didn’t get to spend time with the younger guys, the new guys coming in, so I think we’re going to benefit a lot from that,” fifth year senior/defensive end Jacub Panasiuk said.

The veterans have been a big help with that.

“We have other people other than myself who are great examples who have been through the wars and what Coach Tucker wants, being able to play with pad level, being able to motivate,” MSU defensive line coach Ron Burton said.

With their first scrimmage coming up, it’ll give the team a chance to see what they need to continue building on the rest of the spring ball.

“As we practice more and we get live reps, guys get more comfortable with our scheme. Then things will start to shake out, players will start to separate themselves, and the identity of this team will start to reveal itself,” Tucker said.

The first scrimmage of three total this spring season takes place this Saturday, April 3.

Mel is hoping this scrimmage can take place in Spartan Stadium to give the team the most “game-like” atmosphere.

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