The Ohio State football team will have a new foe in a former assistant Mel Tucker if he takes over as the Michigan State head coach.
Reports from both Bruce Feldman of the Athletic and NBC Sports have it that Colorado head coach Mel Tucker will be taking over the Michigan State University football program. Tucker first made a statement on February 8th that he would not be in consideration for the MSU job but things must have changed over the following days. Tucker said this via twitter:
While I am flattered to be considered for the HC job @MSU_football, I am committed to
@CUBuffsFootball for #TheBuild of our program, its great athletes, coaches & supporters. #UnfinishedBusiness #GoBuffs
The Cleveland, Ohio native and former Buckeye coach under Jim Tressel finished 5-7 at Colorado, having only been head coach for one season. However, his recruiting abilities have made him one of the hottest coaching candidates in the nation.
Tucker actually started his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban at Michigan State in 1997. He has also spent time in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and recently was the defensive coordinator of the Georgia Bulldogs from 2016 through 2018.
Mel Tucker would be taking over a Spartan program in flux. Recent allegations have stated that former head coach Mark Dantonio had committed recruiting violations and that could set the program back a bit.
But as we have seen here at Ohio State, programs can be rebuilt rather quickly. Urban Meyer took over an Ohio State program that finished 6-7 in 2011 amidst scandal and brought them back to 12-0 in 2012.
However, Tucker will have some major work to do with a Michigan State team that finished 7-6 and fifth in the Big Ten East division. The Spartans also had a rough season on the recruiting trail finishing 43rd nationally and 10th in the Big Ten for the 2020 recruiting class according to 247Sports.
There is a lot left unanswered when it comes to know how good of a head coach Mel Tucker is. One 5-7 season at Colorado is not a large enough sample size. We will find out soon though if the reports are true as he will enter one of the toughest divisions in all of college football in 2021.