MSU adds two preferred walk-ons in 2022 class


MSU quarterback Payton Thorne stands next to punter Bryce Baringer during the Spartans’ 40-29 loss to Purdue on Nov. 6, 2021/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Manit Patel, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING, Mich— The Michigan State football 2022 recruiting class is rounding out nicely as the road to the Early Signing Period on Dec. 15 continues. Over the past couple of days, Mel Tucker and the Spartans received preferred walk-on commitments from punter Florida Ryan Eckley and offensive lineman Devin Runnels.

Eckley, rated a five-star by Kohl’s Kicking Camp within the 2022 class, hails from Lithia, Florida. He committed following his visit to campus this past weekend, during which he attended the Spartans’ football game against Penn State. Eckley, a 6-foot-2 punter, may be in line for a starting spot in the near future with Bryce Baringer yet to announce if he will return as a fifth-year senior.

Eckley committed to Michigan State after receiving offers from Army and Appalachian State.

Devin Runnels, from Mount Morris Michigan, attended Flint Beecher High School and was rated as a two-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 259 offensive lineman in the country. He was also rated as the No. 105 overall prospect within Michigan.

He was also offered by several smaller schools, including Division II Northwood University (Midland, Michigan), Division III Carthage College (Kenosha, Wisconsin) and NAIA-based Lawrence Tech (Southfield, Michigan).

Runnels, a 6-foot-6 bruiser, played under current Spartan wide receivers coach Courtney Hawkins; Hawkins was the head coach at Flint Beecher from 2006-2019. Runnels also visited MSU on Sept. 11 during MSU’s 42-14 victory over Youngstown State.

Tucker and the Spartans have received 20 scholarship commitments, as well as one transfer, after former Wisconsin running back Jalen Berger committed on Monday.