While college basketball is getting younger and younger, success on the football field still requires a strong base of experience. The Spartans, on the other hand, are looking at a season where they will be dependent on freshman.
Monday, Dantonio told the media he expects seven true freshman to play in the coming season.
Dantonio naming freshman who will play: Antwaun Simmons, Cody White, Hunter Rison, Matt Dotson, Kevin Jarvis, Jakub Panasiuk, Jack Camper.— Nathaniel Bott (@Nathaniel_Bott) August 7, 2017
The three-star recruit comes from a football family and is athletically gifted. Through high school, first in his hometown of Virginia Beach, then at IMG Academy, Camper spent most of his time playing defense. His senior year, however, he focused much more on tight end. Camper was an early enrollee at MSU. He likely won’t be the top tight end on the roster to start the year, but his physical play will be utilized by the Spartans.
Dotson is a playmaking tight end that looks to take over a huge part of the MSU offense. In fact, part of the reason Dotson is in East Lansing is he knew the Spartans had turnover at the position and he’d have a chance to play early. Dotson was a four-star recruit ranked among the top 10 tight ends in the nation by every major recruiting outlet. The Ohio native still needs to put on weight, but has the offensive explosion to be a factor early in his career.
One of the best interior lineman in the country, Jarvis is a guard that had the athleticism to play the defensive line in high school. The four-star offensive lineman received attention from around the Big Ten and SEC. Jarvis has the chance to start immediately for the Spartans, but even if he isn’t in the starting lineup, he will get plenty of opportunities to prove himself on the young offensive line. At 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds, Jarvis could be a force in the MSU running game.
It’s tough to not compare Jacub Panasiuk to his older brother Mike, especially when they could be standing next to each other on the MSU defensive line. Jacub followed in his brother’s footsteps, coming from Illinois to East Lansing. His sophomore brother was a breakout player last year for Michigan State as a defensive tackle and Jacub has the chance to be the same as a defensive end. There is a chance Jacub could move inside if he continues to add weight to his 6-foot-3 frame.
Possibly the biggest name in MSU’s 2016 freshman class, in large part due to his father Andre Rison who also went to MSU and starred in the NFL, Rison is a playmaking receiver. Dantonio has complimented the 5-foot-11 receiver repeatedly for his crisp route running and soft hands. Rison will have the chance to be a go-to target among the very inexperienced MSU receivers.
The Ann Arbor linebacker was flipped from Ohio State during the recruiting process. Simmons is a four-star linebacker who had the athletic ability to play running back and wide receiver in high school. Simmons is a big hitter who can drop back into pass coverage and already has a strong grip on breaking down offensive schemes. Combined with his high motor, Simmons could be a bonafide stud on any defense.
White, son of Spartans director of player personnel Sheldon White, was named Michigan’s Mr. Football for his ability to play just about every position on the field. A receiver for MSU, White could have the prototypical wide out build with a little bit more muscle on his 6-foot-3 frame. Along with Rison, White will be looked at to make an immediate impact in the Spartans offense alongside a very inexperienced group.