Indispensable Spartan No. 5

SpartanDigest takes a look at the most indispensable players for Michigan State this season. A Jim Thorpe Award winner is gone and this player is being called upon to step in to the No. 1 cornerback spot

Trae Waynes/h3>

The Details

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 182 pounds

Position: Cornerback

2013 season

Waynes started for the first time, taking over for Johnny Adams. He paired with Darqueze Dennard to form the Big Ten’s top cornerback tandem and arguably one of the best in the nation. He came on strong late last season with three interceptions in the final three games (two against Minnesota and one in the Rose Bowl against Stanford). It was a solid debut season for the sophomore after he made his first real appearance against TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in 2012.

Breakdown

Waynes will be called upon to move from the field corner position to the boundary corner this season. He will see more throws and be called upon more to blitz and come up in run support, meaning he will need to be willing to be pretty physical. The pressure is on him to step into Dennard’s shoes, which is far easier said than done, but there is little doubt that Waynes is a terrific corner in his own right. Given the Michigan State defense relies on its corners to play strongly on an island, Waynes will need to be a great player in his second season as a starter.

No. 15 Lawrence Thomas

No. 14 Mike Sadler

No. 13 R.J. Shelton

No. 12 Travis Jackson

No. 11 Marcus Rush

No. 10 Aaron Burbridge

No. 9 Jack Allen

No. 8 Tony Lippett

No. 7 Jeremy Langford

No. 6 Taiwan Jones


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