The Michigan State Spartans did not have to deal with very much offseason attrition (with non-graduating players) heading into the season, but now multiple players have entered the NCAA’s transfer portal during the 2019 campaign.
Junior running back Connor Heyward has entered his name in the transfer portal. This means Heyward is now in a country-wide database and any coach can contact him and try to recruit the running back to their respective programs. Heyward did not have to get permission from Michigan State to do this.
Heyward basically confirmed that he has played his last game in a Spartan uniform with this tweet:
Thank you Michigan State...✌️ pic.twitter.com/QQKNrvOWpS— Connor Heyward (@ConnorHeyward1) September 30, 2019
Last week, SAM linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle entered his name in the portal in hopes to seek a graduate transfer. Neither Heyward or Bouyer-Randle were active for this past weekend’s game against Indiana. When asked, head coach Mark Dantonio said Heyward was out for “personal reasons,” which led to a lot of speculation about Heyward’s future.
After leading Michigan State with 529 rushing yards in 2018, Heyward was expected to be the lead back in MSU’s rotation this season. However, he was quickly passed on the depth chart by redshirt freshman Elijah Collins. After carrying the ball 15 times in the season opener against Tulsa, Heyward saw his playing time diminish, as he received just three carries in each of his final three games as a Spartan.
Since he has only played in four games this season, Heyward can keep his redshirt alive this season. He will still have a full two years of college eligibility left in his college career. It is likely Heyward will have to sit out a year at his new school, but you never know in today’s day and age.
There was also (mostly unfounded) speculation that fellow running back La’Darius Jefferson was looking to leave the program, but Jefferson dressed and played in Saturday’s game versus the Hoosiers. With Heyward out of the fold, the backfield will continue to be led by Collins, while Jefferson and true freshman Anthony Williams Jr. rotate in.
We wish Connor all of the best of luck for the rest of his career!