MSU lands grad transfer TE Daniel Barker


MSU head coach Mel Tucker talks to his team during practice/Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Manit Patel, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING, Mich—Michigan State has landed another target via the transfer portal, receiving a commitment from former Illinois tight end Daniel Barker Monday afternoon. Barker, the Fighting Illini’s all time leading touchdown scorer as a tight end, announced his commitment via Twitter after visiting East Lansing this past weekend.

Barker, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound grad transfer, entered his name in the NFL Draft at the conclusion of the regular season before withdrawing it and ultimately entering the transfer portal on Jan. 18. He will have one year of eligibility remaining.

As a recruit, Barker was ranked as the No. 66 tight end in the country and the No. 251 ranked player from Florida after playing his high school football at Deerfield Beach High School. As a three-star, he gained a total of 12 offers from the likes of Appalachian State, Kentucky, Toledo, Marshall and UCF before committing to Illinois. 

Barker played four seasons for Illinois, appearing in 28 games played for the Illini. During his time in Champaign, he recorded a total of 827 receiving yards on 64 receptions while setting the new program record for tight end touchdowns with 11. This past season, he had 18 receptions for 202 yards and four touchdowns in eight games (five starts). It was the third season in a row where Barker had at least 200 receiving yards and multiple touchdowns.

Following the graduation of Connor Heyward, Barker will step in and provide an immediate veteran presence in a tight end room where the prior most experienced tight end is freshman Maliq Carr. Barker is the seventh transfer to commit to Michigan State in this recruiting cycle.