Johnson preparing offense for all scenarios amidst COVID-19 pandemic


MSU offensive coordinator Jay Johnson/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Michael Markoch, General Assigment Reporter

EAST LANSINGWith Big Ten football set to resume in three weeks, Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Jay Johnson is preparing for any change that the COVID-19 pandemic may throw at MSU.

“I can’t tell you how much of our daily discussion involves just COVID situations on a daily basis,” said Johnson. “I have a depth chart, and every day I have a column that has COVID situations on it.  Everyone is dealing with it, it’s just a part of… the new normal right now, but what we’re looking at is developing the whole roster for those situations.”

Johnson also mentioned the significance of “utility” players that may need to step up and play other positions if the virus forces significant changes to the depth chart. 

“One of the things I’m starting to look at is if I have a certain player at maybe this position, then if something happens, can I move that player over here,” said Johnson.  “We haven’t made any of those changes yet, but we’re looking at that because, as you know, you could get impacted pretty quickly.”

One of those changes may be at the tight end position, where Johnson revealed that MSU is looking at placekicker/punter Tyler Hunt as a potential emergency option.

“He kind of came in and has really done some good things in practice,” said Johnson. “Obviously, it’s quite a transition for him, but he seems to be catching on, and his athletic ability does show up.” Hunt, a six-foot-two, 235-pound kicker, has the required size to be a suitable option at TE. 

According to Johnson, the Spartans have spent a lengthy amount of time drilling both passing and rushing situations in order to improve the balance of the offense. Johnson mentioned that he wants the MSU offense to be lethal on the ground and through the air all season long. 

There are several reasons for optimism regarding the Spartans’ offense this fall, and in a few weeks, the Mel Tucker era will begin against Greg Schiano’s Rutgers squad.