On Monday, he listed off all the ways he is a different player than he was more than two years ago when he transferred from Tennessee. The list started with the physical, being bigger, faster and stronger. It moved to the mental, being more knowledgeable in the playbook and in reading defenses. It ended with an overarching sentiment.
”I’m a lot more comfortable,” he said.
Now, he is just eager for an show what he can do at Michigan State after redshirting last season.
“I can just say that I’m ready for my opportunity whenever it presents itself,” he said.
On Saturday, Arnett was the headliner of a big scrimmage for the Spartans offense as he posted two touchdowns on eight catches for 172 yards. He said he was doing well getting open over the safeties and catching deep balls, as well as some runs after catches.
”I just had a good day and was just running my routes and being where the quarterbacks needed me to,” he said.
Simply put, Arnett said he just made plays. Junior quarterback Connor Cook put Arnett’s performance another way.
“DeAnthony went bananas in the scrimmage,” Cook said. “He is slippery, in open space guys can’t really tackle him.
”He’s got good juke moves and he’s comfortable.”
Cook said he can see the difference in Arnett from when he set foot on campus.
“When he came in, he was just thinking a lot,” he said. “You could see that and you saw it this past spring he was more comfortable and just going out and playing. He has made an even bigger jump from the spring until now.”
The competition at wide receiver is strong right now for the Spartans, though, with Tony Lippett, Keith Mumphery, Aaron Burbridge, MacGarrett Kings and R.J. Shelton among the players fighting for snaps.
Coach Mark Dantonio said his big performance in Saturday’s scrimmage has him in the picture to play and as one of the top six guys.
”(DeAnthony) played very consistently, caught the ball very consistently, made tough catches,” he said. “He’s got great speed, he played as well as he’s played.”
Arnett also has bulked up after spending last year redshirting. He said he weighs 190 pounds now after being 172 this time last year. That added strength has added to his skill set, which he said allows him to be more aggressive.
”Usually I just use my quickness to get wherever I want to on the field,” he said. “Now, when I see press situations from the defense, I can pretty much do whatever I want at the line if I want to be physical with the DB.”
Now, with added strength, speed, knowledge and having a greater sense of comfort, his goal is to keep progressing and finding consistency through preseason camp.
“I’m trying to do the same thing next Friday and possibly even more if I can,” he said.