MSU loses DL Watson to transfer portal; assistant Peagler to Florida

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

As Michigan State departed Friday for Atlanta ahead of its Peach Bowl matchup against Pittsburgh next Thursday, the Spartans are doing so with one fewer player and an assistant coach is preparing for his final game at MSU.

Freshman defensive lineman Tyson Watson from Warren Mott entered the transfer portal on Friday, the 16th Michigan State player to do so since the season began.

Meanwhile, running backs coach William Peagler is leaving to become the tight ends coach at Florida. The Peach Bowl will be his last game with the Spartans.

Defensive lineman Tyson Watson.

Watson was rated the top defensive end in the state of Michigan when he signed with Michigan State as part of the 2021 class. But he did not appear in a game this season.

Watson is the latest to enter the portal and the second member of the 2021 class to do so. He joins tight end Kameron Allen, who entered the portal earlier this week.

Cornerback Kalon Gervin, linebacker Chase Kline and defensive end Alex Okelo entered the portal in September. Wide receiver Ricky White, kicker Evan Johnson, tight end Trenton Gillison, offensive lineman James Ohonba, defensive end Jack Camper, linebacker Cole DeMarzo, wide receiver Ian Stewart  and defensive backs Michael Dowell, Emmanuel Flowers, Michael Gravely and C.J. Hayes have done so since the season ended.

Peagler is in his second season coaching running backs at Michigan State after spending 2019 as a offensive quality control coach at Colorado under Mel Tucker. Peagler is the second MSU assistant to depart after cornerbacks coach Travares Tillman returned to his alma mater, Georgia Tech, as the defensive backs coach.

Peagler led a position group that featured Kenneth Walker III, the Walter Camp and Doak Walker Award winner who ran for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. Walker has opted out of the Peach Bowl and will enter the NFL Draft.

Twitter: @mattcharboneau