Earlier this week when interim Michigan State football coach Harlon Barnett spoke to the media, he stated that veteran defensive lineman Simeon Barrow, a team captain, was considering entering the transfer portal.
On Tuesday, the news became official.
It was a tough blow to a team that had lost five straight games and was begging for any sort of direction. The Spartans were struggling and it could be blamed on Mel Tucker’s sudden departure due to an off-field incident with Brenda Tracy.
No one blamed Barrow, though. He gave enough to the program to be able to leave in a situation like this for greener pastures to end his college career.
But on Thursday, he opted to return, pulling his name from the portal.
What does this mean for Michigan State football?
Early reactions from fans pointed to it being something about Barrow knowing who the next head coach (Urban Meyer?) may be. But that seemed unlikely.
And then Graham Couch came out with an article with quotes from Barrow where he states that he just didn’t feel right leaving the program. He felt like this team could still win a bowl game and make some noise so leaving suddenly as a team captain didn’t sit right with him.
So what does this really mean?
It speaks a lot to the culture at Michigan State and the type of man Barnett is. The fact that he took over as interim coach in a horrible situation and has barely had any attrition is telling of the type of person he is. While he may not be the right fit for head coach, he’s clearly a guy who players love and believe in.
This also means that Barrow is a Spartan through-and-through. He didn’t feel right leaving even though it probably would’ve been the easiest option.
The next Michigan State football coach is going to have a true leader on the defensive line to work with.