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Michigan State senior defensive end Drew Beesley announces decision to return for 2021 season

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Rutgers v Michigan State Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Michigan State senior defensive end Drew Beesley will return to the Spartans in 2021, he announced Sunday.

Beesley will take advantage of the NCAA’s decision to grant all fall athletes an extra year of eligibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beesley had a strong senior season, with 27 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble. Beesley’s performance in 2020 earned him Pro Football Focus All-Big Ten third-team honors, as well as an honorable mention recognition from the Big Ten coaches and media.

Throughout his career in East Lansing, Beesley has amassed 47 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one interception, five passes defended, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in 33 games.

It appears that Michigan State will bring both of its starting defensive ends from 2020 back for the 2021 season. While perhaps not an official announcement, fellow senior Jacub Panasiuk also strongly hinted toward a return next season.

Redshirt freshman defensive end Michael Fletcher played in all seven games in 2020 and he would likely expect to be in the rotation as a sophomore in 2021. True freshman Jeff Pietrowski also worked his way into the rotation this past season and returns next season.

Additionally at the defensive end position, Duke transfer and former four-star recruit Drew Jordan will come to Michigan State in 2021 — whether or not he is immediately eligible remains to be seen, but the NCAA Division 1 Council will vote in January on a “one-time exception” for transfers to be immediately eligible beginning for the 2021 season.

Defensive tackle Naquan Jones recently announced his decision to enter his name in the 2021 Draft. He will be the only defensive line starter the Spartans will lose, as fellow defensive tackle Jacob Slade will return as a redshirt junior.