Michigan State football DE Bai Jobe, top 2023 recruit, enters transfer portal

For the third time in three days, a once-highly regarded Michigan State football prospect has entered the transfer portal.

Former four-star defensive end Bai Jobe joined 2023 classmate Andrew Depaepe and 2022 wide receiver Antonio Gates Jr. in heading to the portal, an MSU team spokesman confirmed. That brings the total of Spartans to explore transfer to 14 as of midday Wednesday, with the deadline for entering the portal Tuesday.

Jobe and fellow defensive end Depaepe were part of Mel Tucker’s strong 2023 recruiting class, but each played just one game as a true freshman — a blowout loss to Washington — to preserve their redshirt seasons. Their classmate, Jalen Thompson, instead emerged to play eight games and start the final four of MSU’s 4-8 season.

Thompson took second-team reps at rush edge during scrimmaging in Saturday’s final spring practice at Spartan Stadium, while Jobe was No. 3 at the spot behind Thompson and sixth-year senior Khris Bogle.

COMING IN: MSU adds transfer RB Kay'Ron Lynch-Adams who played at UMass, Rutgers

Michigan State's Bai Jobe, left, tackles Brandon Tullis during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
Michigan State's Bai Jobe, left, tackles Brandon Tullis during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.

The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Jobe had two tackles in 11 snaps in his lone appearance. A native of Senegal who played high school football in Norman, Oklahoma, Jobe chose Tucker and the Spartans over Alabama and Oklahoma. He was rated the No. 9 edge rusher and 54th-best player in the 2023 class according to 247Sports Composite rankings.

Jobe and Depaepe were MSU's top signees in 2023. Gates was the second-best signee in 2022, and the Spartans already lost two other four-star prospects from that class - quarterback Katin Houser to East Carolina in December and Germie Bernard to Washington after the 2022 season (Bernard has since transferred to Alabama). Two other four-star 2023 recruits, quarterback Sam Leavitt (now at Arizona State) and former junior college offensive lineman Keyshawn Blackstock (now at Arkansas) also have left the Spartans.

MSU also had two other players enter the portal Wednesday, fourth-year junior kicker Stephan Rusnak and third-year sophomore offensive lineman Andy Hartman (who did not play in his first two seasons).

Rusnak went 8-for-8 on extra-point attempts the past three seasons but missed his only field-goal try in 2021. He averaged 56.3 yards on nine kickoffs with six touchbacks and one out of bounds. Jonathan Kim, a transfer from North Carolina last summer, returns for his second season as MSU's kicker this fall.

Contact Chris Solari: Follow him @chrissolari.

Subscribe to the "Spartan Speak" podcast for new episodes weekly on Apple PodcastsSpotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts. And catch all of our podcasts and daily voice briefing at

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State football highly touted DE Bai Jobe in transfer portal