EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne, receiver Keon Coleman and defensive back Charles Brantley have entered the transfer portal, team spokesman Ben Phlegar confirmed Sunday.
Spartans coach Mel Tucker said on multiple occasions this spring that Thorne, a two-year starter and captain, was part of an open competition to take the first snap next season.
Thorne appears to have chosen to lead another school in his fifth season.
He will have options after going 16-10 as a starter with 49 touchdown passes and 6,494 yards receiving. But Thorne’s production fell off last season, when he passed for 19 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and had 131.2 efficiency rating.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Coleman will have options, too. He led the Spartans with 58 receptions, 798 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches last season in his second year of college.
Losing Coleman, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from Louisiana, would leave Michigan State without its top two receivers next season. Jayden Reed was drafted in the second round by Green Bay Packers on Friday.
Brantley’s departure is a big hit for the defense. He started 11 games at cornerback last season, led the team with six pass breakups and had two interceptions.
Tucker will likely lean on the transfer portal for replacements, including at least one candidate to join Noah Kim and Katin Houser in a quarterback competition to start this year. Kim threw one touchdown pass in three games last season, his third year of college, and Houser was 1 of 2 in one game as a highly touted freshman from California last year.
The Thorne-led Spartans were 5-7 last season, a year after he helped them win 11 games, including a New Year’s Six bowl game.
Sunday was the final day underclassmen could enter their names into the transfer portal and be eligible to play next season. Players can return to a school after entering the portal.