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Michigan State WR Antonio Gates Jr. expected to withdraw from transfer portal

Nakos updated headshotby:Pete Nakos04/26/24


Michigan State wide receiver Antonio Gates Jr. is expected to withdraw from the transfer portal, sources tell On3.

The son of NFL legend Antonio Gates, the younger Gates was a four-star recruit and top-300 prospect in the 2022 class. He redshirted as a freshman in 2022. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound receiver finished the 2023 season with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. He played in all 12 games this past season, mostly on special teams.

Gates went through spring drills but did not participate in scrimmage activities during this month’s “Spartan Spring Showcase” in East Lansing. The Dearborn, Michigan, native entered the portal earlier this week. Gates’ father started his playing career at Michigan State before transferring to Eastern Michigan and eventually Kent State, where he played basketball.

This time around, Antonio Gates Jr. will be staying with the Spartans.

“He has flashed,” wide receiver coach Courtney Hawkins said earlier this month. “He shows the ability to win deep, to win intermediate. I just think he’s taken a couple years to kind of figure college ball out and everything that it takes to be a college athlete, student-athlete. And I think things are finally slowing down for him, and he’s showing up. If he continues to play like he’s playing, he’s gonna compete for playing time in the fall. He’s had a really good spring.”

What is the transfer portal?

The spring transfer portal window is just 15 days, a crammed period that could reshape the 2024 college football offseason. The portal tool was launched in 2018 to allow athletes to be more involved in the process of transferring. Athletes must notify institutions of their intent to transfer. Each school’s compliance team has 48 hours to put a name into the portal. 

After an athlete is officially in the portal, there is no rush on making a decision as long as they are properly enrolled at a new institution in time for fall camp. Commitments do not have to be made during the 15-day window. Grad transfers are allowed to enter the portal at any time. 

Roster retention has been crucial for programs, with NIL playing a vital role in keeping rosters together in the new age of college football. Exactly 645 FBS players transferred in last year’s spring window. In one week of the 2024 spring transfer portal, 497 FBS scholarship players have entered.