EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With the countdown to kickoff quickly approaching for the Michigan State football team, we’re still getting introduced to some of the new faces head coach Mel Tucker acquired via the transfer portal.
Back in December, Harold Joiner III announced his decision to leave Auburn and transfer to Michigan State. The 6’4 running back from Birmingham, Alabama is one of five players who transferred to MSU from the Southeastern Conference.
Tight end Powers Warren (Mississippi State), cornerback Ronald Williams (Alabama), cornerback Chester Kimbrough (Flordia), and linebacker Quavaris Crouch (Tennessee) are the other four to join Joiner.
On Tuesday, ten days before the season-opener, Crouch and Joiner spoke to the media for the first time since committing to MSU. The two talked about the process of entering the transfer portal and the reasoning behind choosing the Spartans.
“The reason I left Auburn, I just felt a new love for a new team. I just wasn’t feeling it at Auburn anymore and I actually had Michigan State in my Top 6 in high school,” Joiner said. “When the portal came, Michigan State wanted me more. The entire staff face timed me every other day. Coach Tucker called my parents every day, and it was just a mutual friendship.”
Crouch said, “The biggest thing was just wanting a change and to come to a place that I knew was going to be a new home. I had a good relationship with coach Tucker and some of the guys. I just wanted to go somewhere to have a fresh start, and so far it has been pretty good.”
The two not only played in the SEC, but they grew up in SEC Country as well. Because of that, both Crouch and Joiner weren’t familiar with the history behind Michigan State University.
“I didn’t know Magic Johnson went here,” Crouch said. “I didn’t know a lot about Michigan State before coming to Michigan State. I’ve been learning a lot of new things. Up north has been an experience for me. They don’t have Waffle House, no Cookout. So I’m just learning, you know, it’s growing on me.”
“I did not know that Magic Johnson played here,” Joiner said. “I knew Draymond Green played here, and Le’Veon Bell.”
Before Crouch officially called East Lansing home, he made it a point to get familiar with his new teammates – especially those in similar shoes.
“I wanted to go somewhere that had good players and I knew had some good players coming in. I would try to interact with some of them before I got here. Like Ronald Willaims – that’s my roommate right now. I was talking with him before I got here, as well as Chester from Flordia,” Crouch said. “There was a just a couple of guys that I was already talking to and trying to build that relationship with them before I got here, so we could hit the ground running.”
Another thing that surprised Joiner when he arrived was how hot it can get in Michigan. Joiner said, with a laugh, that he thought it was cold year-round.