Tight end position starting to take shape

Price, Lyles getting into the rotation as playmakers for the Spartans as they prepare for Notre Dame on Saturday in South Bend.

Michigan State started to see some production from the tight end position last weekend against Youngstown State.

Redshirt freshmen Josiah Price and Jamal Lyles combined for five catches for 47 yards in the 55-17 win.

Offensive coordinator Dave Warner said the pair played well last week, but that they still are learning as they go.

"The challenge for those guys isn't necessarily gonna be in the passing game it's gonna be in the run game against what is a big physical front," Warner said. "So the question is still a little bit out there as far as what they're gonna be able to do against (Notre Dame), but we're counting on them doing their job."

MSU coach Mark Dantonio said the Spartans are trying to put in the younger guys at the tight end position.

"There's a learning curve there and they have to continue to get better," he said. "We moved Lyles over there. He's moving in that direction and I think he can be a better player. He's almost 250 pounds, quick body guy.

"I think Josiah Price has excellent hands – has Brian Linthicum type hands."

Dantonio also praised having Mike Dennis, Paul Lang and Andrew Gleichert, too.

"We have five guys we can play in there," he said. "We need to have production from our tight end position, whether that's running the football or catching the ball. They need to be a weapon and they need to be a factor running the ball as well."

As part of working on the solution at tight end – and with Lyles moving from defensive end – the Spartans have redshirt freshman Evan Jones working at defensive end.

"He's been impressive there," Dantonio said. "He gives us another guy that's getting up near 260 pounds, using his hands well. He's a good football player."

Dantonio said Jones moved to defensive end last week.

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