Indispensable Spartan No. 4

SpartanDigest takes a look at the most indispensable players for Michigan State this season. The Spartans young starting left tackle is next at No. 4.

Jack Conklin

The Details

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 303 pounds

Position: Offensive tackle

2013 season

After arriving at Michigan State as a walk-on in the fall of 2012, Conklin blew up and worked his way into a starting spot in 2013. As a redshirt freshman, he gave Michigan State a strong player at left tackle, something it had lacked in recent years. He split time with Donavon Clark at the spot last year, but the position is all his this season.

Breakdown

It is easy to make a case for either Taiwan Jones or Trae Waynes being higher on this list and dropping Conklin a couple of spots, but the sophomore left tackle is as critical as any player on the Spartans’ roster. He protects Connor Cook’s blindside, for starters, but last season he was essential to the success up front. With Conklin plugged in as a true, pure left tackle, it allowed the rest of the offensive line to fall into its correct spots as Dan France stuck at right guard an Fou Fonoti at right tackle. This season, Conklin is eyeing a big jump. He slimmed down about 23 pounds to play faster and with better technique. Offensive line coach Mark Staten had high praise, saying he would challenge someone to find a better left tackle in the Big Ten. It has been a while since Michigan State has seen an offensive lineman drafted and Conklin could be the one to break that streak and maybe be a high draft pick if his development continues.

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

No. 5 Trae Waynes


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