On Monday, it was reported that Scott Aligo, Michigan State’s director of player personnel, will be leaving the MSU program to head to his alma mater, Kansas. It didn’t take head coach Mel Tucker very long to find Aligo’s replacement, as he is reportedly going within the Big Ten Conference to hire Saeed Khalif as the program’s new director of player personnel, according to Jon McNamara of Rivals.
With on-campus recruiting opening back up on Tuesday following a 15-month pause, MSU made sure to fill the position quickly. According to McNamara, Khalif’s last day with the Badgers is Wednesday.
Khalif has spent the past four seasons with Wisconsin, and was instrumental in the Badgers’ recruiting efforts. Wisconsin’s incoming 2021 class ranked No. 16 nationally and No. 3 in the Big Ten, according to 247Sports. The Badgers ranked 26th in the country in 2020, and 29th in 2019, per 247Sports’ rankings. All of those marks are considered the highest of all-time for Wisconsin in terms of recruiting rankings, with improvement each year.
Prior to his time at Wisconsin, Khalif spent four seasons working as assistant director of player personnel at his alma mater, Georgia Tech. Before that, Khalif served as an on-field coach in 2011 and 2012 as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Savannah State. He was previously the head coach at Central High School in Newark, New Jersey, following stints as defensive coordinator at Redan and Decatur high schools in Georgia.
While the loss of Scott Aligo will certainly be felt within the program, Khalif — if reports are true — seems to be a home run hire for Tucker and the Michigan State program. The Wisconsin faithful certainly does not want to see Khalif leave.
Update, June 4: Michigan State has officially announced Khalif’s hire:
Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker had this to say on Khalif, via a press release:
“Saeed is relentless when it comes to recruiting and has a proven track record of success in the Big Ten,” said Tucker. “He also has coaching experience and understands the importance of developing players. I’m excited he’s here on campus and hitting the ground running this month. He will have an immediate impact on our program.”