East Lansing — For the second time in less than a week, a Michigan State player has entered the NCAA transfer portal.
Junior running back Connor Heyward told The Detroit News he entered the portal on Monday, just two days after he did not play in Michigan State’s game on Saturday against Indiana for what coach Mark Dantonio called “personal reasons.” Before that game, Heyward posted on Twitter, saying, “God got me.”
On Monday evening, Heyward posted a video of his highlights on Twitter along with the message, “Thank you Michigan State." His post drew plenty of responses from teammates wishing him the best, including wide receiver Darrell Stewart and fellow running back La’Darius Jefferson.
Late last week, junior linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle entered the transfer portal, a move Dantonio confirmed after the Indiana game.
Heyward entered the season as the starting tailback, a role he filled in the season-opener against Tulsa. However, by the second week redshirt freshman Elijah Collins got the start and responded with 192 rushing yards, emerging as Michigan State’s No. 1 running back. Since that point, Heyward saw his role diminish to essentially that of a third-down back.
Heyward led Michigan State in rushing last season, gaining 529 yards on 118 carries with five touchdowns. This season he had just 79 yards on 24 carries.
Players who have entered the portal, which was implemented last year by the NCAA, can be contacted by coaches from other programs. The players, though, can remain at their current school while their name is in the portal and it does not mean that player can’t remain at his original institution.