Writing was on the wall for Michigan State football's loss of Jalen Berger

Michigan State running back Jalen Berger (8) scores a touchdown against Central Michigan during the
Michigan State running back Jalen Berger (8) scores a touchdown against Central Michigan during the / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Let me be the first to say that I had high hopes for Jalen Berger in a Michigan State basketball uniform. He came to the Spartans after two years with Wisconsin and you know how the Badgers value their running backs. He was also a four-star and highly-coveted recruit out of high school.

Mel Tucker landed him ahead of the 2022 season to help replace the production lost with Kenneth Walker III going to the NFL.

Unfortunately, Berger never really got help from his offensive line although he did rush for 683 yards and six touchdowns while catching 19 passes for 128 yards in 2022. He had 811 scrimmage yards during a season in which the offense was a flat-out disaster.

Hopes were high that he would be able to build on that in 2023, but he regressed and suffered a season-ending injury in October, playing in just five games with 93 rushing yards and a score.

When Jonathan Smith came in, there was new hope for him.

Unfortunately, it felt like the two sides never clicked as Smith was heavily in search of a transfer running back in the spring window. The writing seemed to be on the wall and I even predicted that Smith's search for a transfer back likely meant that we'd see someone like Berger transfer.

So when Berger made the news official on Tuesday, we shouldn't have been surprised.

There's a reason Smith has been reaching out to running backs in the portal and hosting two of them this past weekend (Kay'Ron Lynch-Adams from UMass and Andrew Paul from Georgia). He's looking to find a perfect complement to Nathan Carter. And he didn't see that being Berger.

Berger can now find a spot that suits him better and get a fresh start elsewhere that he could potentially be an RB1. But don't be shocked when Smith finds his replacement soon.