EAST LANSING — After weeks of speculation and anticipation to see who would come out on top in the running back battle that took place during Michigan State’s offseason, head coach Mark Dantonio believes he has found his guy.
While the depth chart states that junior Jeremy Langford “or” redshirt freshman Riley Bullough will start in Friday’s season opener against Western Michigan, Dantonio said during Tuesday’s press conference that Langford will get the nod.
After weeks of uncertainty at who will take the reins at several different positions on the field for MSU, Dantonio feels really good about what Langford will offer to an offense that is full of questions.
“One thing I’m confident of is that Jeremy Langford had an excellent, excellent camp,” Dantonio said. ”I think he’s ready for a great season. He can make you miss. He can go the distance anytime he gets the ball.”
The 6-foot, 206-pound running back led all Spartan tailbacks in yards (106) and touchdowns (3) during the two closed-scrimmages.
As camp began for the Spartans, Bullough, a linebacker converted tailback, was named the starter. However, an injury sidelined him for a couple of days during camp, and his time off gave guys like Langford the opportunity to take the starting job.
Langford, a junior from Wayne, Mich., has only nine career carries and 23 yards as a member of the Spartans. To this point in his career he has been primarily used on special teams where he has 11 career tackles.
With the loss of standout tailback Le’Veon Bell to the NFL, the Spartans are looking to replace at least a portion of his production with guys that have little to zero game experience. Aside from Langford and Bullough, the Spartans have junior Nick Hill listed as third on the depth chart and freshmen Gerald Holmes and Delton Williams fighting it out for the last two spots. The five tailbacks listed on the Spartans depth chart have a career 60 rushes, 186 yards and one touchdown among them (all by Hill and Langford).