Thirteen Michigan State players — and counting — have entered the transfer portal since Jonathan Smith was named the Spartans' new head football coach, including all three scholarship quarterbacks who played for MSU in 2023. Five other players had entered the portal prior to Smith's hiring.

That means 13 of MSU's 85 scholarships are currently unused. That exodus of players who came to East Lansing during the Mel Tucker era has many State fans worried.

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But it shouldn't. This is how college football works now, and not just at schools that are changing out coaching staffs, either. Love it or hate, this borderline-unfettered free agency is here to stay.

Here's a list of the 13 Spartans who have entered the portal since Smith's hiring:

  • Spencer Brown, offensive tackle
  • Darius Snow, linebacker
  • Katin Houser, quarterback
  • Sam Leavitt, quarterback
  • Noah Kim, quarterback
  • Ethan Boyd, offensive tackle
  • Kevin Wigenton, offensive tackle
  • Christian Fitzpatrick, wide receiver
  • Tyrell Henry, wide receiver
  • Geno Vandemark, offensive tackle
  • Jaron Glover, wide receiver
  • Derrick Harmon, defensive tackle
  • Michael O'Shaughnessy, punter

RELATED: Sam Leavitt Is Leaving MSU Because He Hates Jonathan Smith

Also, there's this: Why would fans be sad to see most of these guys go? There's a reason MSU just went 4-8 and didn't belong in the same galaxy as the Big Ten's cream of the crop. Many of the players who have entered the portal are guys who simply couldn't cut it at this level, anyway.

I'm not talking about the Spartans' promising freshmen and sophomore. Guys like Jordan Hall, Chance Rucker, Dillon Tatum, and Zion Young have some serious potential. They've all shown flashes. For all of his shortcomings — and they were many — Mel Tucker did improve the talent profile at this program. His last two recruiting classes were both among the best 25 in the nation, and the guys mentioned above show why. Losing them would be significant.

But that hasn't happened. Not yet, at least.

So sit back and enjoy the bloodletting. Odds are good that Michigan State will be better for it. It's addition through subtraction.

Pros and Cons of Michigan State Hiring Jonathan Smith

Michigan State has officially named Jonathan Smith the 26th head coach in program history. Is Spartan football finally back in good hands? Most seem to think so. Here's the good and the bad about Smith.

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