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Michigan State football adds transfer RB Kay'Ron Lynch-Adams who played at UMass, Rutgers

The portal taketh, and the portal giveth to Michigan State football.

Hours after losing running back Jalen Berger to the transfer portal, the Spartans reportedly already have a replacement lined up.

Kay’Ron Lynch-Adams agreed to transfer to MSU, according to recruiting site On3.com on Tuesday night. The running back began his career at Rutgers in 2019 and 2020, then spent the past three seasons at Massachusetts, and he will have one season of eligibility remaining thanks to the NCAA’s COVID waiver for 2020.

Oct 14, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Massachusetts Minutemen running back Kay'Ron Lynch-Adams (15) is tackled by Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Dvon Ellies (91) during the third quarter at Beaver Stadium. Penn State won 63-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 14, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Massachusetts Minutemen running back Kay'Ron Lynch-Adams (15) is tackled by Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Dvon Ellies (91) during the third quarter at Beaver Stadium. Penn State won 63-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

In 12 games last season for the Minutemen, Lynch-Adams had 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns on 236 carries, adding 20 catches for 118 receiving yards. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound from Warren, Ohio, has 1,888 rushing yards on 442 carries with 16 touchdowns over 48 career games (18 with the Scarlet Knights and 30 with UMass).

Berger entered the portal earlier Tuesday after a lackluster 2023 in which he ran for just 93 yards on 25 carries in five games. MSU’s 89.5 rushing yards per game last season ranked 125th out of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision teams and was the worst ground output in school history. The Spartans' 81.3 rushing yards per game in nine league games ranked last in the Big Ten and was their worst ground output in conference competition since gaining just 66.0 per game in 2006. They ran for fewer than 96 yards a game against Big Ten foes in three of former coach Mel Tucker's four seasons.

Berger was the No. 3 running back in the Spartans’ final spring practice Saturday that was open for the public, rushing four times for 19 yards and a 2-yard touchdown but fumbling out of bounds on his longest run of 11 yards. The native of Newark, New Jersey, spent his first two seasons at Wisconsin, then transferred to MSU in 2022 and led the anemic Spartans ground game that season with 683 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 148 carries. Due to 2020 not counting with the COVID waiver and Berger entering the portal with the Badgers after playing in just three games in 2021, he has two years of eligibility remaining.

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Michigan State Spartans running back Jalen Berger carries the ball during the first half as Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive lineman Aaron Lewis tackles at SHI Stadium on October 14, 2023 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Michigan State Spartans running back Jalen Berger carries the ball during the first half as Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive lineman Aaron Lewis tackles at SHI Stadium on October 14, 2023 in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Berger was the second Spartan running back to enter the portal since Saturday, along with fourth-year junior Davion Primm.

As of Tuesday night, MSU expected to return starting running back Nathan Carter, sixth-year senior Jaren Mangham and early-enrolled freshman Brandon Tullis. The Spartans also have incoming freshman Makhi Frazier expected to arrive this summer. Mangham — who began his career at Colorado, transferred to South Florida and then arrived at MSU last year as a graduate transfer — went through position drills Saturday but did not participate in the live scrimmage.

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him @chrissolari.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State football adds UMass transfer RB Kay'Ron Lynch-Adams