Now that Michigan State plans to fire coach Mel Tucker for cause, a new coaching search is expected to be launched and there are many top targets that will need to be called and focused on coming up to signing day and beyond. Here are the five biggest:
One of the biggest reasons why Carrie chose Michigan State over North Carolina and others is because of Tucker and the vision the former Spartans coach offered up to him during his visit to East Lansing. The two took a ride in a Slingshot together and Tucker painted the picture of how Carrie would be used in the offense and how he’d be set up for success.
Now, Tucker is gone. Fellow Florida four-star Davion Gause is the lone back in the Tar Heels’ class so they could come calling again. The Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day prospect could have a lot of suitors coming after him in the coming weeks especially since he’s putting up a strong senior season so the interim coach – and the new staff – must make keeping Carrie a top priority.
A regular on the Michigan State campus over the past many months, Gach has taken multiple visits to East Lansing and has shown a tremendous amount of interest in the Spartans. One big reason is because of his growing relationship with position coach Chris Kapilovic, who does a great job recruiting offensive linemen.
But many others like Michigan and other national programs are also showing tons of interest in the 2025 four-star offensive tackle from Beverly Hills (Mich.) Groves. The one good sign for Michigan State here is that since Gach is just getting into his junior season, there is still plenty of time to lay the groundwork with the new staff and keep Michigan State high on his list but it will have to happen immediately before others swoop in.
The four-star receiver from River Rouge, Mich., did the rare move of committing to Michigan State only to decommit and then recommit a few months later. He tested the waters and took visits to Penn State, Pitt and Kansas but didn’t really get the national attention he was probably expecting. Still, Marsh is a really talented big, strong receiver who has developed a close bond with position coach Courtney Hawkins. If he’s retained – or not retained – could be something to watch in Marsh’s recruitment but the four-star is an absolute must for an offense that needs more skilled receivers like him.
Interim coach Harlon Barnett is the one that spearheaded Thompson’s recruitment and that could help the Spartans in the long run – unless the new coaching staff wants to clean house and bring in all of his own people. Michigan State beat out some other heavy hitters for the Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Riverdale four-star cornerback including Michigan, Nebraska, Kentucky and Auburn so if he wants to be a little closer to home or is looking for a much more stable situation, this could be a challenge. The new coaching staff there will have to make Thompson a priority especially if a whole new staff comes in.
Michigan State was always going to be a longer shot than some schools to land the 2025 five-star quarterback from Belleville, Mich., but the Spartans are one of a handful of teams involved the most along with Michigan, LSU and now Colorado.
Especially if the Spartans bring in a pass-happy coach with a wide-open offense, Underwood should be the first, second and third call made. The five-star has the skills and the upside to revolutionize the offense in East Lansing and if he’s leaning toward staying closer to home but is a little concerned about the run-heavy offense in Ann Arbor, then a new, vibrant offensive-minded coach at Michigan State could be appealing.