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

To remember one of the best Michigan State squads, Spartan Digest brings you our Spartan 52 for 2016. Why “52”? to remember the 1952 team coach 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 AFCA Coach of the Year.

#1 Tyler O'Connor

From the time camp opens all eyes will be on quarterback Tyler O’Connor as he takes over the Michigan State Spartans offense following three great years with Connor Cook.  O’Connor may not have the on field experience Spartan fans would like, but he guided the ship last season to the Spartans biggest of the season.


The back-up quarterback and punter played in six games overall but will always be remembered by Spartan fans for guiding the underdog Spartans to the biggest win of the 2015 season when the Green and White went to Ohio Stadium and upset the favored Buckeyes in his first career start.  Completed 54 percent of his throws for 133 yards and two touchdowns.  However, O’Connor only attempted 24 total passes.


There may not be a quarterback in college football with more eyes on him when the season gets underway this year.  Replacing Cook will not be an easy feat but it will be up to the Spartan coaching staff to use O’Connor’s strengths to guide the offense.  Dave Warner must not look at O’Connor the same way he did Cook but more like the quarterbacks that have guided Alabama the past couple of years.  O’Connor is smart and will have four proven running backs to help the offense but he must find more than one receiver to spread the ball around when asked to throw.  Because O’Connor is at the helm of the Spartans offense with questions, he’s the No. 1 Spartan to watch during the 2016 season.

Spartan Nation Top Stories