Position Breakdown: Wide Receivers

Michigan State hits the midway point with weekend. How has the Spartans performed at wide receiver? We break it down.

After going back and looking at the first five games of the season. How has Michigan State looked at the wide receiver position?

Here is how we see it.

After five games the Spartans have seen six receivers record catches on the season. Senior B.J. Cunningham has led the way with 582 yards on the season.

How have the Spartans performed overall at the receiver positions?

The main three for the Spartans have been Cunningham, Keshawn Martin and Keith Nichol. They've been joined by Brad Sonntag, Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphery with catches on the stat sheet.

B.J. Cunningham: There is no doubt the Ohio native will leave his mark on the Spartans program when he leaves after this season. With an average of 15.3 yards per catch and 38 grabs, Cunningham has outperformed his two main counterparts by himself. He is also only 12 catches and 29 yards away from matching last season's totals. At this pace he'll pass 1,000 yards on the season and should be a favorite to be All-Big Ten.

Keshawn Martin: The speed part of the Spartans receiving core has yet to find the end zone. Martin has pulled down 19 balls but only has 177 yards on the season. At his current pace he should pass last season's number for catches and by-pass his yardage total. However, Martin has yet to provide his spark on special teams and let's hope that comes soon.

Keith Nichol: A year ago Nichol posted 22 catches for 262 yards and a touchdown. So far in 2011, the converted quarterback has nine catches and 138 yards. Right now Nichol is on pace to match last season's totals leaving a void in the overall numbers posted a year ago by the receivers group as a whole.

Lippett – Sonntag – Mumphery: The three unsung receivers on this year's team are posting some solid numbers having combined for 11 catches and 124 yards. While there was hope Lippett was set for a breakout season, we've yet to see him really be part of the overall game plan. Could that soon be coming?

Keys: Cunningham is having a great year and teams will start looking to shut him down until the Spartans spread the ball around more. Last season the Spartans posted 133 catches among their top three receivers. While they should match last year's receptions mark, early projections show they'll come up short in yards and touchdowns.

Spartan Digest Grade: A (Because of B.J. Cummingham)


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