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Michigan State true freshman defensive end Alex Okelo enters transfer portal

Syndication: The Tennessean Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Alex Okelo, a true freshman defensive end for the Michigan State Spartans, has entered his name in the transfer portal, according to multiple reports.

Okelo, listed at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, is the first Michigan State player to enter the portal during the 2021 regular season. He did not participate in the Spartans’ open practice in late August at Spartan Stadium, and has not dressed for any of the first three games so far this season.

Coming out of Pearl-Cohn High School in Nashville, Tennessee, Okelo was considered a three-star prospect. He ranked as the No. 57 edge player, No. 27 player in Tennessee and No. 992 recruit overall in the 2021 class, according to 247Sports Composite rankings.

Okelo originally committed to Michigan State on Aug. 20, 2020. He signed with the Spartans’ 2021 class on early signing day — in what was head coach Mel Tucker’s initial recruiting class — on December 18, 2020.

With several defensive ends likely leaving the program after the 2021 campaign and opening up playing time for next season and beyond — such as Drew Beesley, Jacub Panasiuk and Drew Jordan — Okelo’s decision to enter the portal is a bit surprising. With that said, there could be other circumstances outside of playing time that caused Okelo to make the decision, and perhaps he feels it is the best choice for him. Also, keep in mind, just because a player enters their name in the portal does not necessarily mean that player is leaving the program.

Following the 2020 season, the Spartans had 27 players transfer out of the program, while Tucker and his staff brought in nearly 20 transfers to Michigan State. Several of the transfers brought into the program are scholarship players, and many have already earned significant roles and have contributed to MSU’s 3-0 start in 2021.