Antonio Gates Jr. is back, withdraws his name from the transfer portal

Michigan State v Penn State
Michigan State v Penn State / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

One day after Michigan State football got its biggest transfer commitment of the offseason in defensive lineman Brandon Lane, the Spartans are getting some more good news.

This time, however, and for the first time this spring, a Spartan who entered the transfer portal just a few days ago is withdrawing their name from the portal and returning to Michigan State.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Antonio Gates Jr. made the decision just a few days ago on April 22 to enter his name into the transfer portal. This news shocked me as I thought he was someone who really could have developed into a great receiver at Michigan State. His father and NFL legend Antonio Gates Sr. is a former Spartan (before transferring to Kent State), so I thought that connection would make Gates want to stay in East Lansing.

Fast forward just four days and Gates has withdrawn his name from the portal and will be staying at Michigan State. There could be many reasons why he chose to do this, but I think the most likely is that Jonathan Smith and wide receiver coach Courtney Hawkins were able to get in his ear to convince him to come back. And man am I glad they did.

Last year as a redshirt freshman, the former four-star recruit caught five balls for 82 yards and one touchdown. I know these stats aren't overly impressive, but I will never give up on a kid after their freshman season, especially someone like Gates who clearly has the potential to do well at the college level.

The wide receiver room is getting pretty full for Michigan State now, and Gates will have a lot of competition for playing time, especially considering incoming freshman Nick Marsh just made a lot of noise this spring. But having a lot of talent at one position is obviously a good problem. These guys will be able to challenge each other each day in practice which will only make them all better. And with Hawkins, who is a proven coach, developing them all, I think the wide receiver room has a chance to be very special with Aidan Chiles throwing them the ball.