EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — If you go off of midseason national awards, the MVP of Michigan State’s football team right now would be graduate senior punter Bryce Baringer.

The Waterford native leads the country with 51.4 yards per kick, but the road to being an All-American wasn’t an easy one for Baringer.

For the punter, he says a change in mindset and self-belief led to his success at Michigan State.

Baringer started out at Illinois University for his freshman year to play football, having even applied to Michigan State State and was accepted.

“What’s unique about here is you have that year-long admissions choice,” said Baringer. “So from the time you’re accepted, you have a year to accept or decline. So when I was at Illinois, you know, there’s just some circumstances that came up and I stayed for the rest of the semester, saw it through, and then came here in the spring of the 2018 season.”

In 2019, Balinger was not a part of the program and wasn’t at the fall camp due to NCAA rules.

“I’d practice over on the band field, just on the other side of the stadium. But then some things shook out in my favor, you know with people graduating, others leaving, deciding not to stay,” said Baringer.

If you want to know more about Baringer’s experience being coached by Mel Tucker, watch the video in the player above.