Jay Johnson is entering his 4th season as OC for Mel Tucker’s Michigan State program. After a disappointing 2022 season, Johnson remains optimistic for the trajectory of the Spartans to bounce back in 2023.

On Tuesday, Johnson met with the media to discuss spring practices. He particularly pointed to a healthy OL group as an area making MSU a “completely different team” compared to the 2022 squad. Johnson also said the Spartans are “light years ahead” from where things stood a year ago.

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Another important area for the Spartans this offseason is the QB competition. Despite two-year starter Payton Thorne returning, Michigan State has made things an open competition considering the 5-7 record a year ago.

To this point, Johnson said Thorne, Noah Kim and Katin Houser are all about equal in terms of reps. Thorne’s experience and poise are certainly strong selling points at this point but Johnson also highlighted things starting to come together a bit for Houser, a former 4-star prospect in the 2022 recruiting class.

For now, there is no timetable for making a decision regarding the QB battle.

We’ll see how things shake out heading into 2023, but Johnson’s current assessment should be some encouragement given how things played out a season ago.