Offensive line looks to find the right group

The Spartans return seven players with starting experience and hope to find the right combination of players to provide a consistent lineup in 2013.

The offensive line at Michigan State was the subject of attention last year as injuries hurt the team and made developing chemistry difficult.

As a result, Michigan State returns seven plays with starting experience, valuable for a team that is creating competition.

"It feels great to (have people back)," senior Blake Treadwell said. "We have lots of chemistry and lots of guys with a lot of experience and knowing their stuff.

"As an offensive lineman, when you're playing with someone that knows what they are doing and have confidence in them, it makes offensive lineman a lot better and makes you play a lot better yourself."

As injuries hindered growth, Treadwell said it helped his focus change to the future.

"It can be very hard (to develop chemistry)," Treadwell said. "We know now to make sure these young guys really know what they are doing so if someone goes out, another guy will keep picking it up and take us where we are going."

As the group looks to establish more chemistry, the depth chart heading into the fall looks a lot different than the spring depth chart did.

Treadwell said there were a few reasons for the changes.

"Players progressed and injured guys have come back after missing spring ball," Treadwell said. "Usually after the first two weeks of camp, everything is settled and we will know where we are at."

One thing that could change the way the offensive line looks it the status of senior Skyler Burkland who reportedly might take a medical DQ.

"Right now Skyler is a guy a little up in the air. We'll talk about him probably next week, see how this all falls out," Dantonio said. "He's been a guy who has been a starter for us, but he's battled some injuries."

Dantonio also said that the way the offensive line will look doesn't hinge upon Burkland's status.

"I think we have guys that can play a lot of different positions," Dantonio said. "Jack Allen can play center or guard. Blake Treadwell can play center or guard. You've got some guys like Dan France that you can pop in at tackle or guard. So, we are going to play the best five. … I think the main thing is getting those five guys on the same page and allowing the competition to take place and not naming our starters."

Dantonio also mentioned Henry Conway had a great summer, as well as Donavon Clark and Fou Fonoti being guys that can play multiple spots. Redshirt freshman Jack Conklin also drew praise from Dantonio, in addition to Treadwell.

"Jack Conklin is a young guy," Treadwell said. "(He is a) very smart offensive lineman that stood out to me."


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