With back-to-back top five rankings, Michigan State enters 2015 as a team to watch. However, there could be a few potholes in the Spartans path as they look to win a Big Ten title and earn a spot in the college football playoffs.
The loss of two starters in the secondary would be a concern for most programs. However, Mark Dantonio and his staff have done a great job of recruiting and that talent continues to rise to the front of the class.
NEXT STARS STEPPING FORWARD
All spring the Spartans coaching staff has been singing the praises of Montae Nicholson and Vayante Copeland. Both have the skill set to become super stars at the college level and beyond. Copeland is listed as a possible starter on the spring depth-chart at field corner and if Darian Hicks struggles don’t be surprised if the Spartans defensive staff makes the move as the Dayton, Ohio native has a great skill set. Came into the spring heavier than the staff wanted, but has quickly shed some of the excess weight. Nicholson has been nothing but great all spring and looks to be the next super star to take his talents to the NFL.
FINAL YEAR ALREADY
Seems like only a short time ago we covered the announcement of R.J. Williamson becoming a Spartan. Now he’s a fifth-year senior and looking to showcase his talents. A move from strong safety to free safety should help Williamson make more plays in 2015.
COX HAS ALL THE TOOLSThere is no mistaking the Demetrious Cox has the tools to be a big-time performer for the Spartans. A move last season to corner should help after seeing most of his action as a safety. Big physical player who is not afraid to mix it up and make plays.
OTHERS TO WATCH AND WHY
Arjen Colquhoun – Fifth-year Senior
The “Canadian Flash” is about to play his final season as a Spartan and while he may not have become the star most felt he had the potential to become, he’s been a solid role player and special teams player behind some very good talent. The best could come this fall for the Windsor, Ontario native.
Jermaine Edmondson – Redshirt Junior
Should be a valuable player in 2015 as a back-up and special teams player. Stuck behind some very good talent.
Mark Meyers – Redshirt Junior
Capable player that provides depth as safety and corner. Should see more action in the fall but will be battling others for playing time.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD
The good is the Spartans have some stars in the making.
The bad is we’ll have to wait and see if they step forward when the season opens up.
The good is there is some quality depth behind the main four expected to start.
The bad is they are all unproven when the big lights are on.
As we stated in the opening, Copeland and Nicholson have the skills to become great players. Cox and Williamson are solid with Williamson being a proven performer on the big stage. The loss of Trae Waynes hurts and it will be interesting to see who steps forward and becomes the leader of the group in 2015.