Aidan Chiles is a key piece of Michigan State’s new-look quarterback room under Jonathan Smith. He’s the likely favorite to become the starting QB this fall, and his reasons for coming to East Lansing stand out.

On Tuesday, Chiles addressed the media and discussed following Smith from Oregon State. A former 4-star recruit, Chiles saw limited playing time as a freshman for the Beavers before Smith was hired by the Spartans.

Ultimately, the decision to head to East Lansing was an easy one:

“The process of me actually getting here was a very easy decision for me. It was my coach,” explained Chiles.

He went on to say he picked Oregon State as a program but grew close to Smith throughout his freshman year. Chiles wanted to keep that bond going when Smith took the job at MSU.

“I committed to Oregon State as a program first, and then throughout the entire freshman year, I had conversations with Coach Smith the whole time,” said Chiles. “We just got closer, a closer bond, and he’s my coach, that’s why I followed him here.”

Chiles joins an MSU program looking to turn things around after a 9-16 mark the past two seasons and the off-field debacle involving former head coach Mel Tucker. Things will not be easy in the deeper Big Ten, but fans can track all the odds for the 2024 season with Tradition’s sports betting in Ohio links and apps.

Why Chiles’ reasons matters

Chiles confirming his transfer is heavily related to Smith’s coaching is a reminder that every transfer is sometimes different. In this era of massive NIL deals and Kadyn Proctor’s Iowa-to-Alabama about face, Chiles opted to follow the bond with his coach.

To be clear: Chiles will likely net his fair share of NIL deals in East Lansing if he performs well, but the driving force matters. And his bond with Smith should bode well for the offense in 2024.

Last season, Michigan State endured one of the worst offensive seasons in quite some time while averaging 15.9 points per game. That mark ranked 131st out of 133 FBS teams.

Along the way, the Spartans played 4 different QBs and saw every scholarship QB (Katin Houser, Noah Kim and Sam Leavitt) exit the program via the transfer portal. Following up that type of performance by pairing Chiles with Smith is a massive win.

A QB alone cannot fix the problems in East Lansing, but Chiles sounds like a difference-maker who selected the Spartans for all the right reasons. Now, he’s giving a bit of hope to a fanbase entering Smith’s first season in East Lansing.