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Michigan State running back Anthony Williams Jr. enters NCAA transfer portal

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

For the second time this week, Michigan State has lost a player to the transfer portal.

On Wednesday, a team spokesman confirmed sophomore running back Anthony Williams Jr. had entered the portal, two days after redshirt freshman linebacker Marcel Lewis made the same decision.

Michigan State running back Anthony Williams Jr. has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

It’s the sort of roster movement first-year coach Mel Tucker said is to be expected.

“Everything’s an evaluation and halfway through the season, at this point, we have a pretty good idea of who can do what,” Tucker said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. “Obviously you know you can anticipate seeing some movement on our roster, whether it’s portal-related or otherwise.”

Williams, from Bolingbrook (Ill.) High, was an early enrollee in the 2019 recruiting class and saw immediate playing time as a true freshman. He carried the ball 38 times for 118 yards and a touchdown while catching six passes for 77 yards in 12 games in 2019.

His role this season, however, has been limited. He’s appeared in just two games, carrying the ball four times for five yards. His only attempt last week against Indiana resulted in a lost fumble, which led to an Indiana touchdown.

Carries have been hard to come by as freshman Jordon Simmons has emerged as Michigan State’s No. 1 back, splitting time with Connor Heyward. Sophomore Elijah Collins, last season’s leading rusher, and sophomore Brandon Wright, have been used sparingly.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau