East Lansing — For the second time since the end of the season, a young player is transferring out of Michigan State football program.
A little more than a week after quarterback Messiah deWeaver announced he was leaving the Spartans, word came Monday night that freshman wide receiver Hunter Rison was planning to transfer, as well.
In an interview on “The Drive With Jack” on 92.1 FM in Lansing, Hunter Rison’s father, Andre, said his son wasn’t happy with his lack of playing time and had informed coach Mark Dantonio of his intentions.
“It’s nothing against the program,” said Andre Rison, a former Michigan State All-American receiver. “It’s just the system doesn’t fit him and he doesn’t fit the system, evidently, because he was told he could play one position and that was the slot, and he came in early and competed for it. The one thing we’re not afraid of is competition, but if say you’re gonna try and find ways to get him on the field — and I’m at every game and continue to watch, and I would never, ever tell coach how to coach or do his job — but I’m watching my son on the sidelines and it’s third down and we got tight ends in the slot. I’m watching, it’s a passing situation and we’ve got running backs at the wideout and my son is on the bench for three quarters.”
MSU officials did not return a message seeking confirmation.
A four-star recruit out of Ann Arbor Skyline, Rison enrolled last January, had a solid spring and became one of 13 true freshmen to play this season for the Spartans. He appeared in 12 of 13 games and had 19 catches for 224 yards.
Junior Felton Davis (55 catches, 776 yards), sophomore Darrell Stewart (50, 501) and freshman Cody White (35, 490) all had more production and all will be back next season, along with rising sophomore Cam Chambers and rising junior Trishton Jackson.
“He told me that he appreciates everything that Michigan State’s football program has done, the coaches have done for him,” Andre Rison said. “He appreciates everything, the opportunity to come to school and go to a great university in Michigan State, but he wants to play more. He feels as if he’s just as good as the guys that’s playing in front of him.
“With that being said and how it looks from the rotation — some games he wouldn’t even get in in the second half, some games he wouldn’t play at all, but a minimum. He’s too talented to just waste a freshman year and just go by. He could have redshirted, he could have did a lot of different things for that matter.”
Andre Rison said there hasn’t been any discussion of where Hunter Rison might transfer, but he said they wouldn’t limit their options looking everywhere from the SEC to the MAC.
“The good thing about it, he’s just a freshman,” Andre Rison said. “He played in some big games, he made some big plays. He’ll surface again and he’ll surface bright. He’s a great kid with a great attitude.”