Two key Michigan State football defensive linemen enter transfer portal

Akron v Michigan State
Akron v Michigan State / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

The transfer portal gives and the transfer portal takes. That has always been true since the portal era in college athletics began, but it’s never been more true for Michigan State football than this offseason.

It seems like every other day a new Spartan is entering the portal. Sometimes that player isn’t a huge loss because they aren’t projected to contribute much this season, and other times they are key players that are big time losses for Michigan State.

Unfortunately, the latter is the case here as two key players on Michigan State's defensive line entered the transfer portal on Tuesday.

Andrew Depaepe

Andrew Depaepe is the first of two defensive lineman to enter the transfer portal on Tuesday. Depaepe was a freshman this past season and only appeared in one game where he saw 11 total snaps. He then opted to use his redshirt season as he was also dealing with a nagging shoulder injury.

So even though Depaepe hasn't been a contributor at Michigan State yet, he was definitely a key piece for the future. Out of high school he was the No. 125 overall recruit and the No. 17 ranked defensive lineman. So he clearly had the potential to be a great player for Michigan State going forward, making him an extremely tough loss for Jonathan Smith and the Spartans.

Derrick Harmon

Derrick Harmon is the second Spartan defensive lineman to enter the transfer portal on Tuesday. Losing Harmon is arguably a bigger blow to Michigan State as he is someone with a lot of experience who would have been a leader for the team this season.

This past season, Harmon played in all 12 games and started 10 of them. He also recorded a career-high 40 tackles, which was the most from any Spartan defensive lineman, as well as 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

It's no secret that Smith has a lot of work to do in the portal himself now, especially on the defensive line. Thankfully this is a position that Smith has already been prioritized in the portal so far, with the latest example being a Georgia Tech defensive lineman visiting Michigan State later this week.

So it appears this news wasn't a surprise to Smith like it was to the fanbase.

Now we just have to wait and see what Smith decides to do next. There also is about one week remaining for players to enter the portal, so I'm guessing Depaepe and Harmon won't be the last Michigan State players to do so.