Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio talks about the team's first scrimmage and confirms a new addition to the roster. The Detroit News
East Lansing — There was a new face on the field Monday morning as Michigan State continued preseason camp in preparation for the season opener on Aug. 30.
Defensive tackle Jalen Hunt, wearing No. 89, was going through drills with the rest of the interior defensive lineman. He wasn’t in full pads, though, as he was taking part in his second practice.
“Excited to have him here,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said.
At 6-foot-3 and nearly 300 pounds, the Belleville graduate originally signed to play at Iowa as part of the 2019 recruiting class. However, he did not qualify academically and was planning to attend Iowa Western Community College.
Over the weekend, though, news surfaced that Hunt was joining Michigan State, which was confirmed by his high school coach, Jermain Crowell. Hunt will not be on scholarship this semester but Dantonio said he would go on scholarship next year as part of the 2020 class.
“He made the decision to come here after things went down in Iowa,” Dantonio said. “When he got a release we reached out to him. He came up on one of the days you’re allowed to come up. We sat down and talked to him a little bit and he decided to come.
“He’s an athletic guy that we recruited. A big, firm guy.”
Hunt was ranked the No. 16 player in the state of Michigan by 247Sports and the No. 48 defensive end in the country. He was ranked the No. 19 player in Michigan on the 2019 Detroit News Blue Chip list.
Hunt joins Belleville teammates Julian Barnett and Devontae Dobbs at Michigan State. Dobbs was the No. 1 player on the Blue Chip list and Barnett was No. 3.
Dobbs had high praise for his high school teammate after practice on Monday.
“He’s gonna be a great person for the team and can definitely help us out,” Dobbs said. “He’s a person that’s gonna go hard every play. He’s fast. For his size he’s extremely fast, so that’s another key factor.”
Tre’Von Morgan out
Freshman wide receiver Tre’Von Morgan will be out for the foreseeable future.
Dantonio confirmed on Monday Morgan, who signed with Michigan State in February, suffered a knee injury that will keep him off the practice field.
“Unfortunately he had a knee situation that’s got to get fixed,” Dantonio said. “He might be out for two months or so.”
Morgan wasn’t the only freshman dealing with an injury.
Running back Anthony Williams, who enrolled early and had a solid spring camp, was held out of practice on Monday.
“Anthony looked good (in Friday’s scrimmage),” Dantonio said. “But he’s dinged up a little bit today, so he’ll be out today.”
Offensive line standouts
Michigan State’s offensive line will earn plenty of attention when the season starts after injuries helped lead to a difficult 2018 for the entire unit.
To that end, the Spartans brought in a handful of offensive linemen in the 2019 recruiting class and it’s likely they’ll have an opportunity to see the field. Devontae Dobbs, Nick Samac and J.D. Duplain are standing out early in camp, Dantonio said.
Duplain enrolled early and started camp on defense but has been moved back to offense. Samac was also an early-enrollee while Dobbs was a five-star recruit.
On Monday, Samac was getting plenty of work as he adjusts to playing at the Big Ten level.
“Just the biggest reality is how fast-paced it is,” Samac said. “Of course we expect it. It’s different than high school, but it’s a lot of fun just going hard with the older guys.”
Samac had the benefit of getting his feet wet last spring, allowing him to hit the ground running when preseason camp opened.
“This team’s got energy,” he said. “I know that we’re gonna bring it this year.”