Michigan State football lands transfer RB Jalen Berger from Wisconsin
The Spartans landed a pledge from the Wisconsin transfer running back for next season. The 6-foot, 205-pound Berger made his announcement Monday afternoon on Twitter.
Berger had 88 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown and two catches for 17 yards for the Badgers in four games this season. Playing in four games as a true freshman in 2020, Berger ran 60 times for 301 yards with two TDs to land on the preseason Doak Walker Award watch list going into this fall.
Because 2020 did not count against eligibility due to COVID-19, and having played in only four games this season to retain redshirt eligibility, Berger will have four seasons left when he arrives in East Lansing.
Berger was the nation's No. 15 running back and 136th-best prospect in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports Composite rankings, out of Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey. Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst dismissed Berger from the Badgers’ program on Oct. 10. He entered the portal the next day and visited MSU on Nov. 12 for the Spartans’ basketball game against Western Michigan, sitting in the Breslin Center stands with running backs coach William Peagler.
MSU in the summer hired director of player personnel Saeed Khalif away from Wisconsin, where he helped land Berger.
Berger’s decision could point to this being Walker’s only season at MSU. The junior Wake Forest transfer ranks second in the nation at 1,614 rushing yards and 134.5 yards per game — both the highest total among Power 5 players — and is tied for fifth with 18 rushing touchdowns. Walker’s breakout season put him in contention for the Heisman Trophy and elevated him on NFL scouting boards as one of the top prospects for the draft in April.
Walker on Saturday after MSU’s 30-27 win over Penn State said he plans to play in the Spartans’ bowl game. Heisman ballots went out Monday, and voting closes Dec. 6, with the trophy presentation Dec. 11 in New York. Walker also is a finalist for both the Doak Walker and Maxwell awards.
Berger is the first inbound transfer for Tucker so far for 2022. Four Spartans have entered the portal, with cornerback Kalon Gervin heading to Berger’s old home at Wisconsin. Defensive backs Michael Dowell and Emmanuel Flowers entered the portal Sunday and Monday, respectively, and linebacker Chase Kline also is in the portal.