Michigan State Football lost another two players to the transfer portal this week. While Michigan State has managed to only lose five players since they fired Mel Tucker these two names are the first truly impactful players to depart.
Redshirt junior defensive tackle Simeon Barrow and junior offensive tackle Keyshawn Blackstock both entered the transfer portal this week.
Barrow is a huge loss as he has been a starter for most of the past two years and was voted a captain in each of the Spartans’ games this year. Barrow already used his redshirt year so he is looking for a new home for his senior year.
Losing a player like that is tough for this year’s team and a bad sign for the future. If the guys that spent the bulk of their careers at MSU want to get out - particularly half way through a season where they already burned their eligibility, that does not bode well for the outlook for MSU’s offseason.
Blackstock is a different situation. Blackstock was one of the highest ranked junior college transfers available coming into the season. Considering the hype that surrounded his commitment to MSU he never quite fit on the field. In junior college Blackstock played guard, yet was considered a tackle at MSU. Injuries and a surprisingly defined backup role mean that Blackstock leaving this week still preserves a year of eligibility, as he can count this year as his redshirt.
Blackstock is a loss for sure, but the impact will be less felt considering how little he saw the field this year. Further, his short tenure with the program makes the impact in the locker room less than say Barrow.
Michigan State’s coaching staff deserves credit that the firing of Mel Tucker did not immediately result in an exodus of players. Players only have until Thursday to enter the transfer portal in the “30-day window” given to players after a coaches firing. So far only five total players have left the program during that window. Anyone that stays past that point will have to wait till the season is over to explore the portal.
Simeon Barrow will be a loss felt on the field and in the locker room. The hope is the team as a whole can find some way to rally together as they face a potentially winnable game against Minnesota this weekend.