EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – For the first time all spring, the Michigan State football team stepped foot inside Spartan Stadium – a.k.a ‘The Woodshed’.
The Spartans closed their five-week spring practice schedule with the annual ‘Spring Game,’ which was open to the public. It was really more of practice as MSU did 15-period individual and group drills during the first half and a live scrimmage during the second half.
Since the day Mel Tucker was hired as head coach, one of his goals was to turn the program into a player-led team instead of a coach-led team. According to Tucker, the Spartans aren’t exactly there, but they’re close and believes the team took great strides towards that goal this spring.
“That’s been a huge point of emphasis for us, for our guys to hold each other accountable,” Tucker said. “We’ve made some tremendous strides in that area. It’s not something you can necessarily see in a practice like that, but we see it every day.”
MSU senior wide receiver Jayden Reed said, “Guys that don’t normally speak up, are starting to speak up and be a vocal leader. That was very important as a team, bringing the team together and having a great bond. So, that’s probably one of the most important places we’ve grown.”
MSU brings back plenty of leaders from last year’s 11-win team that won the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in December, Reed being one of them. Also back for another year in East Lansing is senior safety Xavier Henderson, who was named captain in every game last season.
“When coach Tucker first got here, that’s when I thought I was a leader, but he challenged me to become more of a leader. I felt like I did that last season, myself, and now I feel like I can help people and instill that confidence in them,” Henderson said.
“We did the navy seal training and that was great,” Redshirt senior quarterback Payton Thorne said. “We’ve had a lot of stuff to grow as a team and different leaders have evolved and I think that has been a great part of our team. And I think that is one of the most important things moving into the fall.”