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Breaking into spring football

Amid the March Madness, spring football bursts forth into our lives again.

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

As the NCAA tournament is locked and loaded to start this week, so is spring football for the Spartans.

Michigan State will open its spring practices Tuesday, and will end with the Green and White game on April 20.

On Monday, Mark Dantonio held a press conference to kick off the spring session, and the depth chart also was released.

It wouldn't be a Mark Dantonio press conference without something to rile up the masses a little bit.

Most notably from the presser, there were two departures from the MSU program, and one academic issue.

Hammock will be remembered for his catch in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl last year on the pass from Le'Veon Bell. Mills, I would expect, will be back -- if he figures out those issues. Klatt is just another instance of an MSU offensive lineman hating god. He is remaining around the program and working in the football office.

The initial spring depth chart always is of great interest to me, as the freshman from the previous year all break into it.

First off, the players who will miss spring football coming off surgery are linebackers Denicos Allen and offensive guard Jack Allen. Darqueze Dennard will be out for the start, but is expected back for the final two weeks.

The offensive line, being a concern after a poor showing last season, has a familiar feel, but some changes. The first-string, as of now, is LT Fou Fonoti, LG Blake Treadwell, C Travis Jackson, RG Dan France and RT Skyler Burkland.

With Allen's injury, Treadwell -- likely the starting right guard -- has moved to left guard and France, who was last year's starting left tackle, has moved over to right guard.

The players listed as starting wide receivers are the three you would expect: Aaron Burbridge, Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphery.

Some other names that stand out on the depth chart:

-- Jamal Lyles is listed at two positions: third-string at SAM linebacker and third-string at strongside defensive end. Lyles came in as a linebacker recruit, but at 6-foot-4 and bulked up 30 pounds to 242, he could project to defensive end.

-- Monty Madaris listed as No. 2 X receiver behind Tony Lippett stands out on the MSU spring depth chart.

-- Trae Waynes, who had a solid showing in the bowl game, is listed as the No. 1 to replace Johnny Adams at boundary corner.

-- Andrew Gleichert is the top tight end on the depth chart, followed by Paul Lang. Big power tight end Derek Hoebing moved to left tackle and is listed at third-string.

-- Defensive back Jairus Jones is listed at STAR linebacker, which likely is a depth thing because of the injury to Davis.

-- Jack Conklin, a late addition to the 2012 class, drew rave reviews at left tackle on the scout team last year and made the leap to the backup at left tackle behind Fonoti. Of course, France could move back over there after the spring, but this speaks highly of the redshirt freshman Conklin.

-- Kodi Kieler, who was a 2012 offensive tackle recruit, has moved to center and is listed as the backup to Travis Jackson.

More notes from the press conference:

-- And, of course, the quarterbacks. Dantonio emphasized Andrew Maxwell is the No. 1, but also made it known that all three QBs (Maxwell, Connor Cook and Tyler O'Connor) will work with the first team.

-- Tight end will be a position that MSU has to address with the departure of Dion Sims, and freshman Josiah Price was a name thrown out by Dantonio, as was Evan Jones -- both redshirt freshmen.