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Can Michigan State football transfer RB Jarek Broussard be the next Kenneth Walker III?

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EAST LANSING — Jarek Broussard slipped under the tent, shuffled his feet over his carriage and the grass pads, and blasted through the tunnel.

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AT Michigan footballDuring training on the first day of Thursday, he looked like one of the guys. In the coming weeks, coach Mel Tucker hopes to better understand former Colorado running back could be the one to replace and follow in the footsteps of Kenneth Walker III as an immediate hit transfer to spearhead the Spartans’ rushing attack.

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“The biggest challenge is figuring out what to do with this scheme,” Tucker said of Broussard, who only arrived at MSU in May. “We ask him to know the plays, the terminology and the like. And he was familiar with it, but it wasn’t much.”

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“WE DID NOT DO ANYTHING LAST YEAR”: Mel Tucker speaks out against complacency

Michigan State running back Jordon Simmons, left, and Jarek Broussard talk during a break in practice Thursday, August 4, 2022, in East Lansing.
Michigan State running back Jordon Simmons (L) and Jarek Broussard talk during a practice break Thursday, August 4, 2022, in East Lansing.

Walker proved to be a key addition for Tucker, helping MSU go 11-2 to 8th in the nation.

After spending his first two years at Wake Forest, Walker became one of the best in the country and by far the top-scoring transfer last season, winning both the Walter Camp National Player of the Year award and the Doak Walker Award. By all accounts, the first-team All-American ranked first among Power Five players with 1,636 yards (the fourth-best season in school history), 263 carries, and an average of 136.3 yards per game. Walker gained 1,168 yards after contact. He also finished eighth nationally with 18 rushing touchdowns, the fifth most in a season for a Spartan.

It also turned Walker into a new and unique phenomenon in the transfer era. will go to Seattle in the second round of the NFL Draft with the 41st overall pick. And his December performance in the draft left a huge void for the Spartans.

Without Walker’s Peach Bowl victory over Pitt, MSU only managed 46 yards with 24 carries from Jordon Simmons, Elijah Collins and Harold Joyner. In the end of November, The Spartans added a Wisconsin pass to Jalen Bergerwho entered in January and completed spring practice.

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III runs against Michigan in the second half at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, October 30, 2021.
Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III runs against Michigan in the second half at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, October 30, 2021.

WHAT WE SEEN: Michigan State Watches From Day 1 of Preseason Practice

Then in late January, Broussard — the top Pac-12 hitter of 2020 — announced his intention to reunite with Tucker. He arrived at Moscow State University this summer, when there were still two seasons left.

The 5’9, 185-pound Dallas native suffered anterior cruciate ligament injuries in his first two seasons in Colorado, red-shirting like a real freshman in 2018 and then missing Tucker’s only season at Boulder in 2019 after a second knee operation. .

“It’s been a few years since he’s been with us, but you can see he’s matured,” Tucker said. “These guys are just growing up. … And that’s what you see in these guys. And then, obviously, from a physical point of view, it’s just bigger.”

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Broussard rushed for 895 yards in six games, averaging 162.6 per game, finishing third in the Football Bowl division. He added five touchdown runs to earn first team All-Pac-12 honors and an All-American honorable mention.

“He is an explosive player. He is an explosive athlete. You can see how complicated he is,” Tucker said. “He runs powerfully, he has quickness and speed. He’s got a traffic jam. He has very good intuition and flair and is a reliable receiver off the field.

“He is just a football player. He loves to play football”.

RAINER SABIN: As Year 3 Begins, Here’s Why Few Doubt More About Mel Tucker, MSU

In starting 10 of his 11 games last season, Broussard rushed for 661 yards on 142 carries with two touchdowns to earn an All-Pac-12 honorable mention, but he missed the season finale. vs future Utah league champion due to a non-COVID illness.

Michigan runner Jarec Broussard handles the ball during practice on Thursday, August 4, 2022 in East Lansing.
Michigan runner Jarec Broussard handles the ball during practice on Thursday, August 4, 2022 in East Lansing.

“He has the tools. … I think he has good far-field vision and he has good hands. So I think we’re going to do a lot with him,” MSU quarterback Payton Thorne said of Broussard. “And it will be interesting to see what kind of player he can be here because obviously we know who Ken was and all that. You saw Ken last year during summer training and you knew this guy was going to be a stud.”

Broussard arrives and joins the crowded competition with the Spartans.

Simmons was Walker’s primary back-up last season and gained 497 yards on 126 carries without a touchdown in two seasons. Collins ran almost 1,000 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2019 but has struggled with illness and injury for the past two seasons.

Joyner arrived last season as a transfer from Auburn, finishing with 43 yards on 13 carries. Berger had 389 yards on 84 attempts with three touchdowns in seven games in his last two seasons in Wisconsin.

And by adding Broussard as his fourth running back transfer in the past two seasons, Tucker has shown he plans to stay aggressive, moving up if necessary.

“Players know we’re going to add guys to the team every year, whether they’re high school graduates or moved in,” Tucker said. “And so it has always been.

START…: Michigan Depth Map Projection, Positional Battles Before Preseason Camp

OL fix

Michigan State coach Chris Kapilovich (center) works the offensive line during practice Thursday, August 4, 2022, in East Lansing.
Michigan State coach Chris Kapilovich (center) works the offensive line during practice Thursday, August 4, 2022, in East Lansing.

Striker Matt Carrick is back in shape, in training after a leg operation that cut short his 2021 season and forced him to miss spring training.

Tucker said he plans to slowly take the older with him as he returns to the field and fights for the starting right-back position.

“We’re trying to give him some (reps),” Tucker said, “and then we’ll give him a little more, and then build him up.”

In the spring, the offensive line was mowed down due to injuries., forcing ISU to change their spring work on offense and change two defensemen to healthy bodies. During Thursday’s 15-minute open practice, there were no red-shirted players or linemen sitting on the side.

“We had so many injuries in the spring that it was hard to even know who the hell we had,” Thorn said of the big guys in front of him.

Only a few players were wearing red jerseys during practice, signifying injuries: cornerback Ronald Williams, wide receiver Terry Lockett Jr. and defenseman Avery Dunn. Chester Kimbrough was not in the red jersey but did not work with full-backs, instead doing individual work in the half of the field.

Kicker update

Tucker said one of the biggest positional battles he follows takes place at the kicker, where he says freshman Jack Stone and sophomore Steven Rusnak are battling to replace six-year-old hardy Matt Coglin.

“At the end of practice we were scoring PAT field goals,” Tucker said, “so I’ve been following our situation with Rusty and Jack Stone very closely.”

Contact Chris Solari at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Find out more at Michigan State Spartans and subscribe to our Spartan Newsletter.

This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Michigan State Football: Will Jarek Broussard be the next Kenneth Walker III?




Source: sports.yahoo.com

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