A little over four months after DeAnthony Arnett decided to transfer from Tennessee to be closer to an ailing family member, and after getting unnecessary pushback from his ex-coach over transfer destinations, the wide receiver has learned that he will indeed play in 2012.
Michigan State announced late Thursday morning that Arnett’s request for a residence waiver has been granted by the NCAA, making him eligible to play immediately during the 2012 season.
“The NCAA’s decision isn’t just beneficial to him as an individual but to his entire family as well, knowing that they’ll have an opportunity to see him compete this season,” head coach Mark Dantonio said in quotes distributed by the school after the announcement.
“DeAnthony is thrilled with the NCAA’s decision, and he’s looking forward to getting back to work in preparation for the upcoming season. He’s an outstanding young person, and we’re delighted that he’s been afforded the opportunity to further his education and athletic career here at Michigan State.”
Arnett decided in late December to transfer from the Vols to somewhere closer to his hometown of Saginaw, Mich., due to the failing health of his father. UT head coach Derek Dooley would initially only grant Arnett permission to transfer to MAC schools, although he later relented after being rightfully pilloried by the media and fans alike.
After receiving that release, Arnett stated he considered MSU, Michigan and Notre Dame before finally settling on the Spartans, which was the rumored front-runner at the time his decision to leave the UT football program became known.
The positive appeal for a waiver serves as significant news for an MSU team noticeably thin at the receiver position.
As a true freshman in 2011, Arnett caught 24 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. A four-star member of the Vols’ 2011 recruiting class, Arnett was the No. 12 receiver in the country according to Rivals.com.
Given his talent level as well as the Spartans’ situation at the position, Arnett will be expected to come in and contribute immediately.