Michigan State football players: Vibe on the rise under ‘straight-shooter’ Jonathan Smith

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EAST LANSING – After a season filled with turmoil and turnover, with a coaching change underway, Derrick Harmon entered the transfer portal.

The Detroit native, after visiting a handful of other schools, realized staying with Michigan State football would be his best option. To stay close to home so his mom can watch. To remain with his close friends and defensive line partners Simeon Barrow and Maverick Hansen. To maximize what he hopes will be an NFL future.

And coach Jonathan Smith and the Spartans’ new staff convinced him it was the right decision with a few simple words.

“Really, just that we’re gonna win some games here,” Harmon said Tuesday after MSU’s fourth practice under Smith. “We’re gonna bring some pieces around you, and we’re gonna win some games. That’s what I really heard, so they sold me there.”

Michigan State defensive tackle Derrick Harmon (41) celebrates after sacking Akron quarterback Jeff Undercuffler Jr. (13) during the second half at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

Six months ago, the Spartans suddenly found themselves at a crossroad. MSU fired Mel Tucker after he coached the first two games. The team took a nosedive from there and finished 4-8, losing six games in a row after Tucker’s dismissal and missing a bowl game for the third time in the past four seasons.

Interim coach Harlon Barnett kept the team fighting but would not be retained. Players and coaches finished out their season with their futures in limbo.

“We had to play for each other. And that, kind of in a weird way, probably brought us closer together even though the results weren’t what we wanted,” senior linebacker Cal Haladay said. “We still were playing for each other. Even though some of us were banged up, we just kept playing for each other. That was kind of the way the season…

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/michigan-state-football-players-vibe-101539192.html

Author : Detroit Free Press

Publish date : 2024-04-01 10:15:39

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