Analysis: Trae Waynes to the NFL

Taking a look at what the lockdown cornerback's early departure means for Michigan State moving forward into next season

While Michigan State got good news with the returns of Shilique Calhoun and Connor Cook, it suffered major blow by losing Trae Waynes to the NFL.

The “No Fly Zone” took a drop off with the departures of Darqueze Dennard and Isaiah Lewis to the NFL and now it loses a lockdown corner for the second season in a row with Waynes departing – not to mention the loss of senior safety Kurtis Drummond as well.

For the Spartans, the loss of Waynes is a big dent for next season. The secondary struggled at points this year and was shredded against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. But the strength it fell back on was Waynes. Now, MSU is left with two question marks at cornerback.

The player that started most of the season across from Waynes was sophomore Darian Hicks, but he was benched later in the year in favor of senior wide receiver Tony Lippett. Redshirt sophomore Demetrious Cox also was getting snaps at cornerback after moving over from safety.

So with Waynes gone, what does the cornerback spot look like next year? Is Hicks going to take a step forward and become the guy? It looks like his development will be as important as anything this offseason for Michigan State.

Behind him, Arjen Colquhoun, Jermaine Edmondson and Cox will be looking to make their way into the starting lineup.

But this much is known: MSU is left lacking a lockdown corner heading into the season for the first time in a while.

It lost Waynes and it lost Lippett, who was as big an indication that Hicks either had lost confidence or simply was not getting the job done.

So can Hicks be the player MSU thought he would be going into this season? Can someone else take a step up? Will it be an inexperienced player like Vaynate Copeland to step in?

This spring football period will be very telling about MSU next year when it comes to the secondary.

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