Mel Tucker is kicking off the spring with Michigan State looking to put last year’s results in the past.

After an 11-win season in 2021, expectations for Tucker and the Spartans were climbing entering 2022. Unfortunately, a porous defense contributed to a 5-7 record and missing out on a bowl game last season.

Entering the spring, Tucker admitted that sometimes “you have to get your face kicked in” before you can lay a true foundation. He also referred to 2022 as a building-block season for the program.

One good sign for the Spartans is the number of offensive line pieces expected to be available to begin the spring. According to Chris Solari with the Detroit Free Press, Tucker said the Spartans have 19 offensive linemen available at the start of spring.

That is encouraging news for a unit that was thin and banged up last season:

Tucker went on to provide some insight on the plans for spring practices, labeling at as a more NFL OTA-style approach.

Importance of spring session for the Spartans

While Mel Tucker’s immediate future is well established with his long-term contract, there’s no denying 2023 is a crucial year for his tenure in East Lansing. Michigan State showcased a thin roster during the 2022 season that could not cope with injuries, pointing to a need to continue rebuilding a roster that escaped significant injury blows during the success of 2021.

The ceiling is still high for the Spartans under Tucker’s tutelage, but he has to show an ability to begin turning things around without the assistance of Kenneth Walker III in the backfield. A strong showing in the spring from some key pieces would be a nice step in that direction.