Friday night officially kicks off the 2016 football season for the Michigan State Spartans and that means the first depth chart of the season has been released.
What surprises on offense showed up on the first regular season depth chart? We take a look at each position.
BIGGEST SURPRISE? Miguel Machado earned the start at right tackle over Dennis Finley.
QUARTERBACK: No real surprises here as Tyler O'Connor is the starter. This was fully expected as O’Connor has waited his turn to lead the Spartans offense and stepped fully into the role during the spring. As O’Connor has said this preseason. He has no plan of being a one-hit wonder. We also expect to see Damion Terry and even Brian Lewerke at some point with Messiah deWeaver being redshirted.
RUNNING BACK: No surprises here at all with LJ Scott, Madre London and Gerald Holmes all capable of being the starter. Each could earn a start this fall and while Dave Warner would like to stick to one main back, the talent is so deep that it may be impossible to do.
FULLBACK: A name not talked about is Prescott Line, a graduate student who last played at SMU. At 6-foot, 253-pounds, Line has the build the Spartans like at fullback. Last season he started 11 games for the Mustangs where he rushed for 186 yards on 60 attempts with a touchdown and also had six receptions for 51 yards. Delton Williams is more of a tailback than fullback and will give the Spartans another threat when on the field. This gives MSU another weapon that could provide a major surprise on offense.
OFFENSIVE LINE: The real surprise was Miguel Machado earning the start at right tackle over Dennis Finley for the season opener. Machado struggled at times last season and could be on a short stick early this season with Finley and freshman Thiyo Lukusa pushing hard. David Beedle has earned the left tackle spot and Kodi Kieler is set at center with Brian Allen at left guard. Right guard could see Brandon Clemons or Benny McGowan with McGowan also capable of being a center. It will be interesting to see how the battle at right tackle plays out following the season opener.
TIGHT ENDS: Josiah Price and Jamal Lyles are no surprise here and with both being fifth-year seniors it will be interesting to see how the development of Matt Sokol is coming along.
WIDE RECEIVERS: It’s great to finally see Monty Madaris listed as a starter on the depth chart at the Z receiver spot. Madaris knows he must step forward as freshman Donnie Corley is on his heels and will get his reps as well. At the X receiver spot Felton Davis and Darrell Stewart will both be getting reps and should provide big plays to the offense. RJ Shelton is solid at the F receiver spot and brings experience to the field with the other players all stepping forward for the first time during their careers to play bigger roles.