Michigan State football’s transition depends upon many former Oregon State players, staffers


EAST LANSING — In the final days of November, Jack Velling and Tanner Miller learned Jonathan Smith would be leaving Oregon State to become Michigan State football’s new head coach.

Within a month, each decided to follow him. And three weeks into the Spartans’ spring practices, they and the former Beavers who joined them — coaches, players and support staff — are working to bring the success they achieved in the Pac-12 to their new Big Ten school.

“It just feels like home again,” Velling said Tuesday. “And it’s been a great first couple practices. We’re about halfway through now, and we’ve been building each day.”

For Velling, who will be a junior tight end this fall, and senior offensive lineman Miller, their roles are just as important as the coaches; sophomore quarterback Aidan Chiles along with them. All three decided to transfer to MSU after seeing significant playing time last year at Oregon State.

New Michigan State football coach Jonathan Smith went 25-12 over the past three seasons at Oregon State, his alma mater.

Because in many ways, the players already accustomed to Smith’s and new coordinator Brian Lindgren’s offense are becoming liaisons to their new teammates.

Partly an extension of the coaches they know. Partly teachers themselves. Partly confidantes to their peers as they try to resurrect MSU after a sudden coaching change two games into last fall that quickly spiraled.

“I put a lot on myself. Because doing it for six years, I know all of the tips and the tricks of the trade and all that,” said Miller, who played guard last year for the Beavers but has moved to center at MSU. “Having what I know rub off on the guys and kind of giving them little tips here and there and helping them out. If they got questions, they come to me.”

Lindgren is one of six assistant coaches who…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/michigan-state-footballs-transition-depends-100948537.html

Author : Detroit Free Press

Publish date : 2024-04-03 10:09:48

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