SpartanDigest Mailbag: October 24

Answering your questions about Michigan State football, basketball and recruiting!

Who is the best pro prospect on the field for either team? (Has to be one of Jack Conklin, Devin Funchess, Trae Waynes, Shilique Calhoun, or Connor Cook)

That is a really good question. Funchess brings a unique level of mismatch ability that makes him a very intriguing pro. Conklin is the youngest of the group and could be the best of the group when all is said and done. Waynes and Calhoun both are strong prospects and Cook is right in that mix, too. I take Funchess as the best pro prospect.

Any visitors on commit watch this weekend?

Michigan State certainly has a lot of visitors coming in for both football and basketball this weekend. As far as football goes, I don’t see anyone committing at this time. I would not be surprised if a couple offers went out, though. On the basketball side, Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln big man Nick Ward has seemed like a player who really likes MSU since he got his offer. He will be on campus and that is a visit I will be keeping an eye on.

Doesn't have to be the score, but maybe a difference maker for MSU on Saturday?

Offensive guard Connor Kruse is my guy for this game. I think if the guards can run block well, Michigan State will have enough success on the ground to do some good things and open up the rest of the offense.

Tom Izzo entrance prediction for Midnight Madness? I'm going with Batman and speculating Ben Affleck coming to campus recently has a part of this and he will make an appearance also.

Well, it is in Indianapolis, so maybe something auto-themed. I like the Batman idea, but honestly I can’t even offer up a good guess.

Does MSU take the ball or defer if we win the toss tomorrow? I can see the advantages of either choice.

I would be surprised if MSU took the ball. It plays into Pat Narduzzi’s hands to defer, see the offensive attack and have more time to adjust based on a bigger sample size.

Will MSU have a 100-yard rusher on Saturday? Why or why not?

Michigan has a very strong run defense that has not allowed a lot of rushing yards to date. Minnesota did have success and David Cobb had a big day. Can Michigan State have success? I think so. Will it have one guy go for 100 yards? I think the only way that happens is with a big play or two. Last year, Michigan State did not have huge success on the ground until the fourth quarter when Jeremy Langford racked up some yards. I expect a similar pattern Saturday. The other thing that makes this interesting is Michigan State has given more carries to Nick Hill this year, so will one player break 100 or will a pair hit 75-80?

So what has happened to DeAnthony Arnett? He went from a good player as a freshman at Tennessee to struggling to make the field?

Well, simply put, Michigan State has a lot of depth – upperclassman depth – at wide receiver. Who would he play over right now? The top six is very solid with Tony Lippett, Aaron Burbridge, MacGarrett Kings, Keith Mumphery, R.J. Shelton and A.J. Troup. Monty Madaris has cracked the rotation lately and that is good news as Michigan State needs him to be good in two years when all the aforementioned six have graduated. It is possible Arnett sees more playing time next with the graduation of Lippett and Mumphery.

Has Demetrius Cooper been playing the role of Funchess in practice this week or did one of scout team players like Matt Sokol take that role?

I believe it would be Montez Sweat, who played tight end in high school and can bring some freaky athleticism in his own right. Cooper, being in the mix at defensive end now, wouldn’t be called upon for that role anymore.


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