Through the first two games, Michigan State had received little production from the tight end position – just one catch for seven yards.
In Saturday's 55-17 win against Youngstown State, the Spartans tight ends got their names in the scorebook a lot more.
"I think (their production) is very important," Dantonio said. "We've been saying that Josiah Price has great hands. I think you saw that today, makes a great catch. We moved Jamal Lyles over there. It's good to see him over there. He's got great hands and played a lot of positions in high school."
Price had three catches for 28 yards in the win and said it was a great feeling to get his first career receptions.
"It's a great feeling to finally get out there and make a catch or two and get upfield and get a few first downs," the redshirt freshman said. "It's a great feeling and it's very rewarding for all the hard work we've put in over the past two years. For myself, I've put in a lot of extra work and it's a very rewarding feeling."
Price said in an offense that relies on its tight ends to produce, there is a lot of pressure.
"This is Michigan State and they say that we use our tight ends a lot and it's a very valuable position," he said. "They put a lot of pressure on us to perform at a very high level and I think we are a pretty young group."
The group stayed young when the coaches moved defensive end Lyles – also a redshirt freshman – to tight end in practice leading up to the South Florida game.
Price said that Saturday helped the tight ends a lot moving forward and that Lyles was a part of that with two catches and 19 yards.
"Jamal Lyles had a few catches and I had a few, too," he said. "I think it's a huge help to the passing game. The defense has to respect the tight end then and it will take a little pressure off the receivers. You saw the receivers making outstanding catches and getting upfield and doing things after they catch the ball. I don't have any worry on your receivers, they're all great players."
Sophomore wide receiver MacGarrett Kings, who had four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown, said having the tight ends playing a bigger part is good for the offense.
"It's good, get to take another guy out the box," Kings said. "It frees up other receivers when you have a good tight end."
Price said he felt good getting a few reps in a game for the first time, but more importantly that it was a big day for the offense.
"I feel like it was a great day – a great day overall for our offense," he said.