There weren’t any surprises for the Michigan State Spartans football program on Wednesday, the official National Signing day for the 2022 class, as Mel Tucker and his staff signed the majority of MSU’s full class during the early signing period in December. This included both high school recruits and transfer portal additions. Still, now may be a good time to recap where things currently stand.
The Spartans did officially sign four-star freshman wide receiver Germie Bernard and Georgia transfer cornerback Ameer Speed on Wednesday, however.
@OG__speed #Proce22Driven // #GoGreen pic.twitter.com/6Bt2eiyy4X— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) February 2, 2022
Speed and Bernard had already been with the program as mid-year additions, but now the paperwork is finalized. Bernard originally signed his National Letter of Intent with the Washington Huskies in December, but was granted a release from the university after his position coach, Junior Adams, left for Oregon, and then Bernard eventually decided to join his former high school teammate, quarterback Katin Houser, in East Lansing. Houser, like Bernard, is also an early enrollee and joined the program in January.
Bernard, who hails from Nevada, spoke to the media on Monday. He mentioned that he is getting adjusted to the Michigan winter weather, as well as getting used to living in the Eastern Time Zone, which has been messing with his sleep schedule somewhat. Bernard also discussed how the process played out for him to leave Washington and come to Michigan State, and his relationship with Houser, among other topics.
Additionally, Bernard spoke about what he brings with him on the field. When he was asked about his strengths as a football player, Bernard had this to say:
“Definitely, deep balls, that’s one of my main strengths,” Bernard said. “I can go up and win 50/50 balls, I can outrun guys once my turnover speed gets going, and just really my hands and how smart I am on the field, and knowing what to do and (recognizing) what coverage (the defense is in).”
February 2, 2022
Joining Bernard, Speed and Houser as mid-year additions at Michigan State are true freshmen Chase Carter (defensive end), Caleb Coley (cornerback), Jaden Mangham (safety), Jack Nickel (tight end), Dillon Tatum (safety), Alex VanSumeren (defensive tackle) and Ade Willie (cornerback). Additionally, transfers Aaron Brule (linebacker, Mississippi State), Jalen Berger (running back, Wisconsin), Khris Bogle (defensive end, Florida) and Jacoby Windmon (linebacker, UNLV), along with walk-ons Ryan Eckley (punter) and Jarrett Reeser (kicker), were also added to the program in late January.
Earlier this week, Illinois transfer tight end Daniel Barker and Colorado transfer running back Jarek Broussard gave their commitments to Michigan State for the 2022 season, but they have not yet been signed by MSU and will likely join the the team ahead of the summer program.
The Spartans also made big moves in the 2023 cycle on Wednesday, picking up commitments from four-star defensive lineman Andrew Depaepe and three-star offensive lineman Jonathan Slack Jr.
Back to the 2022 class, during the early signing period, Michigan State signed 22 high school prospects and four transfers.
High school signees from early period:
- Alex VanSumeren, defensive tackle
- Katin Houser, quarterback
- Dillon Tatum, nickelback/safety
- Jaden Mangham, defensive back/safety
- Antonio Gates Jr., wide receiver
- Caleb Cooley, cornerback
- Jack Nickel, tight end
- Malik Spencer, safety
- Quavian Carter, linebacker
- Gavin Broscious, offensive guard
- Tyrell Henry, wide receiver
- Jaron Glover, wide receiver
- Ade Willie, cornerback
- Malcom Jones, safety/cornerback
- James Schott, defensive end
- Ashton Lepo, offensive tackle
- Chase Carter, defensive end
- Braden Miller, offensive tackle
- Michael Masunas, tight end
- Kristian Phillips, offensive guard
- Zion Young, defensive end
- Jack Stone, kicker
Transfer signees from early period:
- Jalen Berger, running back, Wisconsin
- Aaron Brule, linebacker, Mississippi State
- Jacoby Windmon, linebacker, UNLV
- Khris Bogle, defensive end, Florida
Signees from National Signing Day on Feb. 2:
- Germie Bernard, wide receiver (early-enrollee freshman)
- Ameer Speed, Georgia cornerback transfer (mid-year addition transfer)
Transfers committed for the 2022 season, but have not yet signed:
- Daniel Barker, Illinois tight end transfer
- Jarek Broussard, Colorado running back transfer
Bernard gives Michigan State 23 high school signees for the 2022 class. Of note, MSU also honored the late Tate Myre of Oxford as an honorary member of the 2022 class. Meanwhile, Speed, Barker and Broussard give the Spartans seven transfers thus far (although only five are officially signed as of press time).
Michigan State’s 2022 high school recruiting class ranks 23rd nationally and fifth in the Big Ten, according to the Composite rankings from 247Sports.
MSU can add up to 32 new scholarship players for 2022, and with the team currently at 30, two more transfer additions are expected before the summer for Mel Tucker and company. Unless something changes, the Spartans are not expected to add any other high school recruits in the cycle. However, The Only Colors estimates MSU to currently be between four and six players over the 85-man scholarship limit, so expect more transfers out of the program following spring practice.
In addition to Bernard, freshmen early enrollees Katin Houser, Dillon Tatum and Alex VanSumeren spoke to the media on Wednesday as well. Videos with full comments from all four players are below.
“I’ll be playing nickel(back) here, which is opposite of our strong safety,” Tatum said. “Basically, we’re interchangeable, we can do all the same things, just on the other side of the ball.
“I feel like I’m adjusting really well, I’m learning pretty fast,” Tatum later added. “Coaches keep telling me I’m pretty coachable.”
“The (culture at Michigan State) is great,” Bernard said. “I’m really blessed to be in a program like this. Everything here is like family. I really, truly think these guys are my brothers. I’m happy to be here.”
“I just really can see the vision that Coach Tucker has for the program, and I can really see Michigan State contending for a national title (in the future),” Houser said. “I’m excited to be on the team that does that, and be a part of that team, and help that team get to that point, so I’m excited.”
“I’m very thankful to be here (at Michigan State),” VanSumeren said. “I’ve worked very hard to get here, and I’m working even harder to succeed here. It’s been great so far, early enrollment, I had it in my mind that’s what I wanted to do for a very long time, and everything’s been going really good.”