On Jan. 24, former Michigan State linebacker Carson Casteel had his transfer destination announced per Matt Wenzel on Twitter. The former Spartan will be heading down south to play for the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Casteel was a Florence, Ala., native, and just finished his redshirt freshman campaign for the Spartans. Out of high school, he was ranked No. 1703 in the country and No. 189 among linebackers, per 247Sports. He was originally committed to Troy before flipping to the Spartans right before early signing day in 2020.
More recently, he played in eight games on special teams last season after sitting out the Spartans’ 2021 season with an undisclosed injury. Casteel did not record any statistics this season but did earn his first Spartan letter as well as an Academic All-Big Ten nod. On Dec. 13, he announced that he was entering the transfer portal.
Casteel’s destination proof that Mel Tucker is a solid recruiter
Despite losing Casteel to the portal, this is a sign of Mel Tucker’s recruiting leaps with the Spartans. Previous transfers from the last staff usually wound up at MAC schools or lower divisions of the NCAA. Instead, a depth player for the Spartans will now be competing for playing time at the SEC level.
As for how this affects Michigan State football, the Spartans should not be too affected this season. They return multi-time All Big Ten players of the week Cal Haladay and Jacoby Windmon, as well as Aaron Brule, Darius Snow, Ma’a Gaoteote, and incoming linebacker Jordan Hall who was ranked No. 203 in the recent signing class for the Spartans. Additionally, Quavian Carter (the No. 678 prospect in the 2021 class), Aaron Alexander, a UMass transfer, and Itayvion Brown, a former Minnesota transfer, round out the admittedly stacked linebacker room.
While it hurts to lose a player to an SEC school, the linebacker position is arguably the deepest defensive spot on the Spartans roster.
On behalf of Spartan Avenue, we would like to wish Casteel the best on his future as a Vanderbilt Commodore.