East Lansing — For the last few weeks — make that months, actually — many Michigan State fans have been wondering about the status of sophomore wide receiver Ricky White.
The star of last season’s victory over Michigan was absent from spring workouts and the team’s open practice and has continued to be missing from preseason camp. On Tuesday, coach Mel Tucker indicated White, as well as freshman defensive back Michael Gravely, have not been with the team.
“Michael Gravely and Ricky White are not participating in team activities at this point,” Tucker said the day after Michigan State’s open practice as part of the “Meet the Spartans” night at Spartan Stadium.
Neither White nor Gravely were on the field Monday, nor was freshman defensive lineman Alex Okelo. Tucker did not offer an explanation on Okelo’s status.
White enjoyed a breakout performance last season against Michigan, catching eight passes for 196 yards and a touchdown. He finished the season with 10 catches for 223 yards in four games, missing the other three games because of injury.
Gravely, a true freshman from Cleveland, enrolled in January but did not take part in Michigan State’s open practice to close out spring workouts.
MSU ‘about 95%’ vaccinated
Tucker said his team is close to being 100% vaccinated.
“We’re about 95% right now,” Tucker said, with the Sept. 3 opener at Northwestern less than two weeks away.
The Big Ten announced Monday that teams unable to play a game because of COVID-19 will be forced to forfeit, while games would be declared a “no contest” if both teams were having COVID-19 issues.
Tucker said last month players who have not been vaccinated would only be tested if they are showing symptoms. Asked Tuesday if an unvaccinated player will be allowed to play, Tucker said, “We’ll just have to see. Hopefully it won’t get to that point.”
While Tucker’s goal is to have 100% of his team vaccinated, the university late last month announced all students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated or have at least one dose of the vaccine by Aug. 31 in order to begin the upcoming school year. Michigan State also announced a mandatory indoor mask policy for anyone attending athletic events, including in the concourse area of Spartan Stadium.