The Michigan State football team returns 13 starters from last year’s 11-win team, which means there are quite a few shoes to fill. With inexperience at a few positions for the Spartans, it will be interesting to see if any of the newcomers battle for a spot this August. Here are five incoming freshman to keep an eye on before Boise State arrives:
Aaron Burbridge: The 6-foot-1, 175-pound four star freshman represents one of the best wide receiver recruiting classes in Michigan State football history. Burbridge was the best player in the state of Michigan last year, and could put up a fight at the position that is the biggest question mark for the Spartans. There are no returning starters, but there is a large pool of talent to choose from.
Monty Madaris: Here’s another wide receiver that could possibly vie for playing time this fall. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Madaris brings another element to the table with his down-field blocking ability.
Moving over to the tight end position, the Spartans return only one player with game-experience, that being Dion Sims. It is time for the talented Sims to come through for the Spartans, having battled injuries and legal issues the past three years. Still, there needs to be more depth. Sophomore Andrew Gleichert and junior Derek Hoebing provide a little depth, but really have no game-experience. Junior Denzel Drone moved from defensive end to tight end and has yet to prove anything and Paul Lang was injured his entire freshman year. Two freshmen tight ends may compete for playing time in August:
Josiah Price: The 6-foot-5, 239-pound freshman is ranked as the No. 19 tight end in the nation by Rivals and the fourth best incoming tight end in the Big Ten.
Evan Jones: Rivals has the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Jones as the sixth best incoming tight end in the Big Ten.
Both tight ends may get a close look by coaches early on.
On defense, many of the positions seem to be locked up by returning starters. Seniors Anthony-Rashad White and Tyler Hoover will fill in for the middle of the defensive line. The real question is at the free safety position. Sophomore Kurtis Drummond had two interceptions last season and is competing with redshirt freshman R.J. Williamson for the starting job.
Demetrious Cox: The 6-foot-1, 192-pound four star recruit could be thrown into the mix early in the season if Drummond and Williamson don’t shine.