Michigan State football: What’s the panic level after Johnathan Slack decommit?

Michigan State's head coach Mel Tucker looks on during the first quarter in the game against Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.221119 Msu Indiana 044a
Michigan State's head coach Mel Tucker looks on during the first quarter in the game against Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.221119 Msu Indiana 044a /
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What was supposed to be a really good recruiting weekend for Michigan State football actually turned into quite the opposite.

Over the weekend, Michigan State hosted a number of top targets both in the 2023 recruiting class and from the transfer portal, headlined by Texas A&M’s Tunmise Adeleye and four-star Washington State quarterback pledge Sam Leavitt.

Speculation went wild over potential silent commitments and there were even some cryptic tweets sent out by players and message board fanatics.

All of this led to two players decommitting from the Spartans’ 2023 class in three-star defensive back Colton Hood and three-star lineman Johnathan Slack.

While Hood was rumored to be decommitting for a while (he’s an Auburn legacy), Slack was a bit more surprising given everything had been quiet on his front. He wasn’t the most outspoken MSU commit, but he also didn’t seem to be unhappy. He actually didn’t sound unhappy when he posted about his decommitment, but clearly there was a disconnect between expectations from the two sides.

This ultimately led some fans hitting the panic button. So what should the level of panic be?

What’s the panic level about the 2023 Michigan State football class?

On a scale from “not even batting an eye” to “smashing the panic button with full force”, I’d say we should be somewhere in the “raised eyebrows, but not concerned” region.

Yes, it’s odd that Michigan State has 10 commitments with just over a week until early signing day. The Spartans’ 2023 has only gone down in numbers over the past few months and that seems, well, not great. But you have to consider the quality of players. Michigan State has nine four-stars. Ninety percent of its 2023 class is rated at the four-star level. Not bad.

This means that Mel Tucker and Co. are not just settling for filler players who will transfer later after not breaking into the depth chart in their first couple of years. That’s not a bad thing.

Tucker’s rebuild was always going to take time and improving the quality of a roster is not easy. These are the types of things that happen.

Was the decommitment mutual? I can’t say for sure since I don’t have the inside info, but people closer to the situation say yes. Does that mean Tucker didn’t want him at all? I doubt that, but it shows that he’s being fairly selective.

Plus, Justin Thind of 247Sports said that Michigan State only had 6-7 spots open for the rest of the 2023 class and transfers prior to this weekend’s decommitments. That’s not a lot of room considering Tucker hasn’t added a single portal player yet and he’s still targeting a few guys in 2023. So these moves will end up helping Michigan State in the long run.

So before you panic and turn your back on Tucker (yes, I’ve seen it happening, believe it or not), just realize that spots are opening up for high-impact transfers and more 2023 recruits.

If MSU finishes the 2023 class and portal class with a combined 20, or so, guys like I’m expecting, the panic should subside even with the “sky is falling” fans.

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