Despite the fact Michigan State will be sitting on the sidelines this weekend awaiting its bowl destination as opposed to playing in Indianapolis come Saturday night, its fourth 10-win season in the last five years and 7-1 Big Ten record shows it's still moving forward under Mark Dantonio.
On Monday, five Spartans earned 2014 All-Big Ten first team honors, headlined by senior wide receiver Tony Lippett and senior safety Kurtis Drummond.
In the midst of catching 60 balls for 1,124 yards and 11 TDs during the regular season, Lippett displayed his explosive potential all year long and was named the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year as a result.
"Tony Lippett has had a remarkable season, and he's become an outstanding leader," Dantonio said in a release posted on MSUSpartans.com. "With more than 1,100 receiving yards, he has put together one of the top six single-season performances in school history while leading the Big Ten in receiving yards per game. Tony is a big-play receiver, and when the pressure is on, he's going to make the clutch catch.
Meanwhile, Drummond kept the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year honor in secondary coach Harlon Barnett's defensive backfield for the second straight year after Darqueze Dennard laid claim to the honor last year en route to eventually picking up the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in the country and being a first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Through the regular season, Drummond has accumulated a team-high 65 tackles, including three TFLs, to go along with four interceptions, 11 PBUs and 15 passes defended.