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Michigan State tight end Trenton Gillison enters transfer portal

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Gillison is the 11th Spartan to enter the transfer portal since the start of the 2021 season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 Michigan State at Miami Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The flurry of activity in the transfer portal continues for the Michigan State Spartans football team, as MSU simultaneously adds players through the portal, and loses players to the portal as well.

The latest to enter the transfer portal is tight end Trenton Gillison, according to Rainer Sabin of the Detroit Free Press.

Gillison entered the Michigan State program in 2018 under then head coach Mark Dantonio. He was a highly-recruited tight end, ranking as a four-star prospect, the No. 12 tight end in the entire class and the No. 7 player in the talented state of Ohio. Gillison was also high school teammates with Michigan State safety Xavier Henderson at Pickerington Central, who was also a four-star recruit in the Spartans’ 2018 class.

He has played in 24 career games, including six starts, but saw his playing time significantly decrease in 2021, playing in just six games, primarily on special teams, and recording just one reception for five yards. With Connor Heyward moving to an H-back/tight end role, Tyler Hunt getting plenty of reps at tight end and the late season emergence of Maliq Carr, Gillison seemed to fall out of the playing rotation on offense.

Throughout his career, Gillison amassed 18 catches for 201 yards (11.2 yards per catch) with zero touchdown receptions. Gillison’s best season, statistically, came in 2019 when he recorded 12 receptions for 147 yards (12.3 yards per catch). That year, Gillison broke out in the Pinstripe Bowl against Wake Forest with a career-high four catches for 88 yards, including a career-high 64-yard reception (which was the longest play from scrimmage for MSU in 2019).

Gillison is the second Spartan who reportedly entered the transfer portal on Friday, joining offensive lineman James Ohonba. Overall, Michigan State has now had 11 players enter the portal since the beginning of the 2021 season. In addition to Gillison and Ohonba, it’s been wide receiver Ricky White, defensive back/wide receiver CJ Hayes, defensive end Alex Okelo, cornerback Kalon Gervin, linebacker Chase Kline, safety/nickelback Michael Dowell, safety Michael Gravely, kicker Evan Johnson and cornerback Emmanuel Flowers who have made plans to depart the program — although, just because a player enters the portal does not necessarily mean they are leaving Michigan State.

Additionally, Michigan State has added to its roster through the portal and will continue to do so throughout the offseason. So far, there have been three highly-touted transfers who have announced pledges to the Spartans, with Mississippi State linebacker Aaron Brule, UNLV linebacker Jacoby Windmon and Wisconsin running back Jalen Berger.

For a full look at all Michigan State transfer portal activity, check out The Only Colors’ transfer portal tracker.