EAST LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Thursday marked the opening of a new season for 2021 Big Ten Coach of the Year Mel Tucker and the Michigan State. This season, though, could be something special building off the 11-win season from last year.

“Our goals haven’t changed but our set expectation has. There is a set expectation this year,” says quarterback Payton Thorne. “We knew had a good team last year and we went out and proved we had a good team. This year we feel like we have a very good team, again.”

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The offense brings back 19 letter winners led by Thorne who is on three watch lists in the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and Walter Camp Player of the Year. Wide receiver Jayden Reed is also featured on three watch lists (Maxwell, Biletnikoff Award, Paul Hornung Award). Thorne started last season setting the MSU record for most touchdown passes in a season with 27 surpassing Kirk Cousins total of 25 from 2011. He finished with 3,233 passing yards and a 148.1 passing efficiency.

Reed returns as an AFCA All-American first-team selection as an all-purpose player. He started all 13 games at wide receiver leading the team in receptions (59), receiving yards (1,026) and touchdown catches (10). He earned numerous awards as an all-purpose player and wide receiver being named one of the five finalists for the Paul Hornung Award.

“Last year was a good glimpse of what we had to offer,” said wide receiver Tre Mosley. “It’s working on getting better every day to compete for a national championship and that’s why we are here. Last year was fun going to the Peach Bowl but ultimately we want to win championships.”

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MSU added four transfers in the offseason to help the offense with two coming from Big Ten programs. Coming over from Illinois is tight end Daniel Barker and running back Jalen Berger from Wisconsin. Joining them are running back Jarek Broussard (Colorado) and offensive lineman Brian Greene (Washington State).

“We got practice no. 1 in and I feel real good about it. Coach Novak and his staff did a great job preparing our guys for camp,” said Tucker. “A lot of work was put in with strength and conditioning this summer, lifting and running, and I feel like we’re in a good spot physically to start up camp. We were very focused and organized today.”