Michigan State football adds tight end Daniel Barker, transfer from Illinois

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

For the second straight day, Michigan State has added a player through the transfer portal.

Daniel Barker, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound tight end from Illinois, announced on Monday that he was committing to Michigan State, a day after Colorado running back Jarek Broussard pledged to play for the Spartans.

Former Illinois tight end Daniel Barker revealed Monday that he'll play next season at Michigan State.

Barker, who holds the Illinois record for career touchdowns at the position, had originally planned to enter the NFL Draft before opting to enter the portal earlier in January. His 11 career touchdowns are tops for the Fighting Illini and in 2021 he had 18 receptions for 202 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for a score.

As a sophomore in 2019, Barker hauled in the game-winning touchdown in Illinois' 37-34 come-from-behind victory over Michigan State in East Lansing. In four seasons at Illinois, Barker has 64 receptions for 827 yards.

Michigan State loses Connor Heyward at the tight end position and it's unclear if Tyler Hunt will return for one more season. However, Maliq Carr began to break out late in the season and adding Barker gives the Spartans some experienced depth. Michigan State also bring in a pair of freshman tight ends in Jack Nickel and Michael Masunas.

The Spartans now have added seven players through the transfer portal, including Barker and Broussard, along with running back Jalen Berger, linebackers Jacoby Windmon and Aaron Brule, defensive end Khris Bogle and cornerback Ameer Speed.


Twitter: @mattcharboneau