"No matter what, I expect him to be a senior leader, I expect him to be more mature," Staten said. "He had a productive spring."
Last season, Davis and TE Eric Andino (Sr.) were punished after they were involved in an off-campus incident. They were suspended from the team for a good portion of the season as they faced misdemeanor assault charges.
This free story is just an example of the great content you'll receive everyday when you become a GSN insider. Why not sign up for a free 7-day trial right now? But Davis and Andino hope to turn a new page. Davis is expected to become the Green and White's number one option at tight end and figures to be an important component in the revamped offense.
"Tight end is going to be an important position in this offense," head coach Mark Dantonio said in an MSU release. "Kellen Davis has experience and he's got the athletic ability, so it's time to put it all together for his senior year." Andino is also competing for snaps with the first team. "His role will be dictated by the summer he has," Staten said. "He's got that fire, that little bit of nastiness . . . he's got that tenacity to him and that will take him above what his talents will allow him to be."
As for the rest of the unit, Staten says red-shirt freshman Charlie Gantt showed signs of competing for playing time as he got better through spring practice, but he's still a long way off. Incoming freshman Garrett Celek (6-5, 240), David Duran (6-5, 240), and Kevin Pickleman (6-3, 240) should provide depth. Celek comes to the Spartans with pedigree; his brother played for Dantonio in Cincinnati and was drafted in the 5th round of the NFL draft this year.
But in the end, coach Staten said playing time will be determined entirely on performance. "Whoever is the best come first game, that is who's gonna start, that's who's gonna get playing time." Staten said. "You gotta show up everyday as if your job is on the line."