Happy (kind of) Opening Day!
Our Michigan State Spartans will take on our Michigan State Spartans tonight as the Spring Game is set to take place at 5 p.m. tonight (Big Ten Network).
Now, we get it — this game can be remarkably boring. However, that’s not quite the case this year as our Spartans are looking to continue the greatness from a 10-3 season with a strong offseason.
Plenty of the starting positions are set, but here are five impact players to zone in on this Spring Game. If everything goes according to plan, you’ll be hearing about them a lot more this fall.
Well, maybe we don’t necessarily want to see this first guy a lot. We prefer our starting quarterback not be injured. Alas...
If Brian Lewerke goes down this season (knocks on every piece of wood within a half mile radius) redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardi is the guy. Unless something wild happens, I’d imagine we are going to get a heavy dose of Lombardi during the Spring Game. Maybe a little bit of early enrollee Theo Day too. Watching those two will certainly be the most fascinating part of the spring game.
After Josiah Price and his 5,089 receiving yards and 87 touchdowns graduated (slightly exaggerated numbers), offensive production at tight end was a bit shaky last season. Matt Sokol was the only tight end with a touchdown grab, and he only had one. Dotson – a highly regarded tight end coming out of high school – has one full year under his belt and is already making noise this spring according to offensive coordinator Dave Warner.
“He played for us a little for us last year, and we’ve had high expectations for him,” Warner said according to the Lansing State Journal. “Maybe it’s not a surprise as much as it is just him getting an opportunity now, and he’s taking advantage of it. He’s done some good things for us.”
Our Spartans have an established three horse stable at wide receiver with Felton Davis, Darrell Stewart and Cody White. With the surprise transfer of Hunter Rison and the not-so-surprising transfer of Trishton Jackson, could this be the first step in Cam Chambers’ resurgence?
Now, of course, this isn’t automatically the former 4-star recruit’s role. Laress Nelson, Andre Welch and Jalen Nailor (Nailor is not on campus yet) will also push for that fourth receiver role.
Whoever is playing center
With Brian Allen gone (and hopefully continuing MSU’s draft streak), the only hole in the offensive line is at center. According to offensive line coach Mark Staten, there will be a three-man battle for that starting role.
“We’ve got guys like Matt Allen, Tyler Higby and Jordan Reid fighting for that spot,” Staten said according to The State News.
An offensive line battle isn’t the most compelling storyline to follow, but it might be the most important with this offense.
LJ Scott is back — woohoo!
Gerald Holmes and Madre London are gone — opposite of woohoo.
With La’Darius Jefferson and Eli Collins not arriving to campus until the summer and Weston Bridges out this spring with an injury, expect a heavy dose of Heyward today. Other running backs that can see the rock today are Noah Sargent, Alante Thomas (younger brother of Lawrence Thomas) and Austin Andrews.