Former Michigan State backup left tackle Keyshawn Blackstock announced his commitment to Arkansas via social media on Monday. Blackstock—who entered the transfer portal in October—received additional offers from Penn State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Memphis and Pittsburgh, among others.
The former highly-touted four-star JUCO transfer arrived at Michigan State from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College in December 2022. Upon his arrival to East Lansing, the 6-foot-5, 315-pound Blackstock was ranked the No. 5 overall recruit and the No. 1 interior offensive lineman in the 2023 On3 JUCO rankings.
“I would’ve preferred he stayed and just kept practicing and training and getting better,” Michigan State offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic said of Blackstock’s decision to enter the portal. “People from his family were nervous that if he got hurt, then what would that mean for him after the season and things like that. So that’s how that went. But open communication the whole time. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions as a coach, what’s best for the team and what’s best for individuals, and that’s where we went.”
Blackstock featured in the Spartans’ first four games of the season. Following Mel Tucker’s dismissal on Sept. 27, Blackstock chose to sit out the remaining eight games and use his redshirt. The former four-star JUCO lineman officially entered the portal on Oct. 24.
“You know, it’s a unique time with what’s going on in our program,” Kapilovic said. “He still had a redshirt and we talked about it and once we got to where he played four games, just discussing what was best. To be honest with you, it was best for him. I could’ve used him this year. He’d be playing for us. But I felt like the kids that I have could get good reps and probably for him personally, it was better for him to redshirt and that was the decision we made.”
Meanwhile, Kapilovic’s East Lansing home was placed on the real estate market over the weekend, likely signaling the end of his tenure at Michigan State. After seven seasons at North Carolina, Kapilovic joined Tucker’s staff at Colorado in 2019. Kapilovic followed Tucker to East Lansing in 2020 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2021.