We continue our countdown of the 52 Michigan State Spartans to watch during the 2016 college football season.

To remember one of the best Michigan State squads, Spartan Digest brings you Spartan 52 for 2016. Why “52”? To remember the 1952 team coached by Clarence Lester “Biggie” Munn that went 9-0 winning a National Championship by being voted No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls. Munn was also named the AFCA Coach of the Year. So to start our official countdown to the season we announce the 52 most important Spartans for 2016. No. 49 is incoming freshman defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk.

#49 Mike Panasiuk

http://www.scout.com/player/194484-mike-panasiuk?s=175&year=2016

A few weeks ago Spartan Digest would have been very reserved on placing Mike Panasiuk on this list.  However, that was before we saw him at the Chicago Opening and saw the gains in physical size that he’s made over the past year.  Because of the issues on the Spartans depth-chart, Ron Burton will be looking for guys to plug in and take reps.  Panasiuk could we be one of those guys Burton turns to.

2015

A year ago Panasiuk was looking to get ready for The Opening after earning a spot.  A solid senior season saw Scout rank him as a three-star defensive tackle (No. 33 overall at position) and a major recruiting get for the Michigan State Spartans.

WHY HE MADE THE COUNTDOWN

You’ll hear us continue to talk about players coming in from the Class of 2016 from the defensive front four as depth is a real issue heading into the season.  Panasiuk now has the size and there is no mistaking he’s got the toughness to take the field early and compete.  It will be interesting to see early in the season what the Spartans choose to do with the Roselle (IL) Lake Park product.


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