Michigan State Notes: No Exclusions For The Peach Bowl
Michigan State still has one game to play this season.
The No.10 Spartans (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) will face No.12 Pittsburgh (11-2, 7-1 ACC) at the Peach Bowl on December 30 in Atlanta to conclude a season of resurgence. And they don’t expect players to pull out of the schedule’s first six-bowl New Year’s Eve game since 2015.
“I didn’t hear any of the guys say they decided not to play,” Michigan State sophomore coach Mel Tucker said on Sunday. “At this point I guess everyone will be playing, but if anything changes I will definitely make sure everyone knows about it.”
Michigan State to face Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl
Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III is the nation’s second in the running race, could be among the four Heisman Trophy finalists announced on Monday night, and is a candidate to leave for the NFL Draft after that. season. He suffered an ankle injury at the end of the year but, after a win over Penn State to close the regular season, said he expected to play in a bowl game.
“I haven’t heard of anyone who isn’t playing,” quarterback Payton Thorne said on Sunday. âAs far as I know everyone will play, I know Ken will play. He loves the game, he loves to play and he’s a great competitor.
Fifth-year senior tight end Connor Heyward has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl and is heading into his final game with the Spartans. He is the only player on the list with remaining eligibility who has declared himself publicly for the draft.
Walker, an offseason transfer addition from Wake Forest, has 263 carries for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns. He leads a group of Michigan state players with remaining eligibility who could move on to the NFL. Junior Redshirt wide receivers Jayden Reed and Jalen Nailor are among the others, although after the win over Penn State Reed said he was undecided about next year but looked forward to the bowl game. . Tucker noted the risk versus reward outlook for any player faced with this choice.
“These are business decisions,” said Tucker, “and whatever decisions our players make, I will stand behind them 100%.”
Michigan State’s Peach Bowl selection against Pittsburgh “feels quite special”
Safety Xavier Henderson is a three-year senior starter and high school veteran. Because the NCAA granted all players an extra season of eligibility last year due to COVID-19, he could return in 2021, but in July he said he expected it to be his final year. with the Spartans.
Henderson has since softened his stance.
âI wasn’t 100% before the year and still am not now,â Henderson said on Sunday. “It’s always a decision I’m going to have to make, but I probably won’t make it until the bowl game.”
Henderson has a record 94 tackles, including 10 for loss, three sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and two stoppage passes. He was named the third All-Big Ten team by coaches and the media last week.
Upcoming schedules: Tucker and his team have spent the last week recruiting across the country and that will continue after Bowl selection.
With the early signing period for the 2022 recruiting class set for December 15-17, the Spartans will once again be out of town.
âThe staff will be on the road to recruit this week and our players will have three lift and run sessions and they will also have plan work and things like that, X and O work and a few tours, some things. self-managed too, “Tucker said.” That’s what we’re going to do this week.
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Aidan Hutchinson and Kenneth Walker III named finalists for Walter Camp Player of the Year award
Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III named Big Ten Running Back of the Year