The release of the Michigan State Spartans preseason depth chart answers a few questions heading into the 2016 season. Spartan Digest takes a look at each position with a short breakdown while also giving you our surprises as the Spartans prepare to enter camp.
It is no surprise David Beedle has moved up the depth chart at left tackle. The redshirt sophomore saw action last season and stepped ahead of older players with each snap taken. Big, physical and athletic best describes Beedle and while it must be listed as a surprise, Spartan Digest is not surprised by the direction Mark Staten is taking his offensive line with the move of Dennis Finley to right tackle to battle Miguel Machado.
Finley is down in weight but still has the tools needed to play at a high level. Beedle will be asked to protect Tyler O’Connor’s back side and should be up to the task.
The move of Finley to right tackle also allows Kodi Kieler to move over to center where he should provide solid up the middle protection of Spartan quarterbacks. It is no secret that Kieler struggled at times with guys off the edge and he’s better suited to play inside.
The move of Kieler also gives Brian Allen a chance to move to left guard on a full time basis. Keep an eye on fifth-year senior Benny McGowan as he provides the ability to play center or guard and is a solid run blocker. Brandon Clemons will have to earn his starts over McGowan.
Another player to keep an eye on this fall will be Nick Padla.
Look for these players to take the majority of snaps during the season unless injuries step forward. Beedle, Allen, Kieler, Finley, Clemons, McGowan, Padla and Cole Chewins.
RUNNING BACK - FULLBACK
Really no surprises here as the Spartans are loaded with three running backs in Gerald Holmes, L.J. Scott and Madre London. All three can play and while Scott gets the love media and fans, keep an eye on London. Delton Williams has a chance to be special at fullback with his athletic ability. No real surprises as Holmes as a senior should have been listed first out of the three backs.
Keeping Tyler O'Connor and Damion Terry competing was a must despite the fact it looked as if O’Connor showed more during the spring. O’Connor is going to be instructed to become like an Alabama quarterback and not do anything to lose a game. He’s more talented than some think but he’s also not Connor Cook and must stay within the game plan placed in front of him. Really no surprises here.
TIGHT END – WIDE RECEIVERS
Josiah Price is a given at tight end and Jamal Lyles looks to be staying at the position despite the looks he got during the spring on the defensive side of the ball. Talk of Dylan Chmura ending his football career look to have happened as he’s not listed on the roster or depth chart. No real surprises at tight end.
The biggest questions away from the offensive line comes at wide receiver. There is talent here with players like Felton Davis III stepping forward. But don’t sleep on fifth-year senior Monty Madaris. Sources are telling Spartan Digest they feel Madaris will finally put everything together on the field as his life off the field is really starting to come together.
The biggest surprise is at “F” receiver as redshirt freshman Darrell Stewart has used a strong spring and summer to step forward and claim a spot early. Now he must keep it. R.J. Shelton has proven what he can do but expect true freshman Donnie Corley to get his chances to shine.