Embed from Getty Images Some players have been in the program, some players have not even taken a class yet. Michigan State football has a few players who could make an impact at key positions of need this fall. That is good news for the Spartans.
Strong Safety, Xavier Henderson: as a freshman Henderson played all 13 games. He was the third down nickelback, Xavier will be the most significant new starter on the Spartans’ top-10 defense that returns nearly intact. Henderson will need to show early on he can improve his tackling and coverage. Something Spartan coaches full expect from the second year player.
Running Back, Anthony Williams: an early enrollee on the Michigan State campus, Williams really stood out during spring practices and is coming for LJ Scott’s starting job.
Tight End, Trenton Gillison: last seasons tight ends Matt Sokol and Chase Gianacakos have graduated leaving a spot up for grabs. Gillison played 14 snaps in two 2018 games against Penn State and Maryland. Choosing to focus on football and a chance to become a contributor in the revamped passing game, the Spartans need Gillison to take the next step.
Offensive lineman, Devontae Dobbs: he is a sturdy 6′ 3″, 295-pound and very aggressive play at the point of attack could force immediate playing time. Dobbs can help the offensive line group that struggled in run blocking the past two seasons.
The Michigan State Spartans are looking to get back to their run first roots. Use the run to set up the pass. It worked once. The question is with the elite teams that use speed in space can the clunky semi-outdated run first-ball control offense do enough in today’s college football landscape to produce more wins?
Michigan State is willing to find out.