Prior to Saturday’s game versus Nebraska, it was announced that Michigan State defensive end Alex Okelo had entered the transfer portal. It was a bit surprising to hear of the true freshman’s decision, but Okelo had not dressed or taken a single snap for the Michigan State Spartans this season, and his decision did not seemingly have an impact on the fortunes of this year’s team.
Unfortunately on Sunday evening, there were multiple reports of two fourth-year players — both contributors — who have entered the portal: cornerback Kalon Gervin and linebacker Chase Kline.
Michigan State cornerback Kalon Gervin and linebacker Chase Kline have entered the NCAA transfer portal, @freepsports— Rainer Sabin (@RainerSabin) September 27, 2021
Gervin, a redshirt junior, was a starter at cornerback for the first two games of the season. Chester Kimbrough replaced Gervin as the starter versus Miami, a game in which Gervin appeared but struggled, with Ronald Williams starting at the other cornerback position. In Michigan State’s overtime win versus Nebraska this past weekend, Gervin did not appear on the field for any defensive snaps, only playing special teams, as true freshman Charles Brantley was the primary reserve at cornerback (despite missing the first half of the game due to a targeting call against Miami). Gervin was the highest-ranked recruit in the class of 2018 for Michigan State, a four-star, top-200 overall recruit, out of power house Detroit Cass Tech.
Gervin has since confirmed the news:
Gervin has played in 23 career games with nine starts. He has recorded 44 tackles, four passes defended and one fumble recovery (for a touchdown).
Linebacker Chase Kline, also a redshirt junior, was also a highly-regarded member of the 2018 class. Kline tallied two tackles versus the Cornhuskers, including half of a tackle for a two-yard loss and a half-sack. Cal Haladay and Quavaris Crouch have taken the vast majority of reps at linebacker, with Kline and Ben VanSumeren sharing duties as the primary backups. The Spartan defense gets less experienced with the defection of Kline, however defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton installed a 4-2-5 defensive scheme last year, thus reducing the number of linebackers in the base scheme from three players to two. VanSumeren, Noah Harvey, who was a starter last season, and the top-ranked recruit of the 2021 class, Ma’a Gaoteote, will all provide depth for the position group.
Kline has since confirmed the decision himself.
Kline has played in 24 career games, recording 52 tackles, two tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one pass defended and two forced fumbles.
Just because a player enters the transfer portal does not necessarily mean that player is leaving the program.