In-season departures are piling up for Michigan State.
On Thursday, wide receiver Cam Chambers entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, becoming the fifth MSU player to pursue other opportunities in the last month. Chambers caught 19 passes for 264 yards in 2018, but has played sparingly in 2019.
Friday, tight end Noah Davis entered the transfer portal and became the sixth player to announce his intention to transfer from the program since the start of the season.
Chambers — who will be able to play at another school as a graduate transfer per the Detroit Free Press — and Davis join linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle, running backs Connor Heyward and La’Darius Jefferson and fellow receiver Weston Bridges in the transfer portal, which allows players to be contacted by other schools.
Bouyer-Randle had five tackles in four games before exiting the program. Heyward led MSU with 529 rushing yards in 2018, but fell behind Elijah Collins on the depth chart in 2019. Jefferson had 255 yards and two scores in 2018 but mustered only 25 yards on 19 attempts in 2019 before deciding to transfer earlier this month. Bridges, who announced he would transfer on Monday, hadn’t played in a game this year for MSU after seeing action in six games in 2018.
In the case of Chambers, his expected departure would mean that 12 of the 20 players from MSU’s heralded 2016 recruiting class are no longer on the football team.
On the field, Michigan State is just 4-3 so far this season after back-to-back blowout losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin by a combined score of 72-10. The loss to Wisconsin — a 38-0 debacle in Madison — was especially bad. The MSU offense mustered only 149 yards, causing reporters to once again question head coach Mark Dantonio’s decision not to make any changes to his offensive staff after a disappointing 7-6 record in 2018. When the issue was brought up, Dantonio chastised a reporter for asking a “dumb-ass question.”
The discontent in East Lansing has led some to wonder what the future of the program looks like with Dantonio running the show. He’s the most successful coach in MSU history, but things have gotten undeniably stagnant. There have been off-the-field issues as well, and five mid-season departures over the span of one month certainly won’t help matters.
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel wrote about MSU’s current conundrum earlier this week:
Dantonio is the winningest coach in school history, and firing him could be considered extreme under normal circumstances. But things are a mess on and off the field, not an ideal time for MSU to have a placeholder athletic director. Dantonio will need to do a seven-hour deposition tied to a wrongful termination suit after the season. Questions will include Dantonio’s role in recruiting Auston Robertson to Michigan State. Robertson is in prison for sexual assault, and Dantonio has been accused of ignoring warning signs in his recruitment. (Could anything emerge that would prompt Dantonio to be dismissed for cause?)
MSU is off this weekend before hosting undefeated Penn State on Oct. 26.
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