Five Big Questions for Spartan Spring Football
1. Left Tackle Dan France played the position well last season. He and the OL came together and they were a strength in 2011 when the season was over. He and Skyler Burkland are locked in a battle for the LT starting slot that could go well into the summer. Burkland was a starter before getting injured last year and he is younger. There is an old adage in football that a tie goes to the younger player. These two young men are going at it every rep, of every practice and who will be Andrew Maxwellâ€™s primary body guard on that crucial left side in 2012 is a key battle to watch.
2. C, LG Blake Treadwell and Travis Jackson are the starters on the depth chart right now. Both are great football players. Their challenge comes from upstart star in the making Jack Allen. Allen is simply a football player. He is an old school, mud, snot and brute force trauma inducing stud. He can play center and guard. It does not matter if he earns a starters role, he is a future star. Like Jackson and Treadwell they are all tough football players fighting for reps. Dantonio canâ€™t stop talking about all three, but Allen consistently gets mentioned and praised. No matter who wins what spots these three stars fighting for two spots makes MSU better. The Spartan Nation wins no matter how this plays out. All three can play both spots.
3. DE Backup Battle Shilique Calhoun and Joel Heath are two freshman backups that bring to the table and incredible amount of potential and ability. They are stars. How good? Both would have started as true freshman earlier in Mark Dantonioâ€™s tenure at the helm at MSU. They both have all of the tools to be NFL talents and both will get reps. Having the DE depth and talent only makes MSU better. Both of them just need reps and this spring they will get plenty. Big, fast, strong and intense are the words to describe these young men. The question is not will they win starting jobs, but how good can they get this spring. After all, William Gholston and Marcus Rush sit #1 on the depth chart.
4. Safety With the loss of Trenton Robinson, Kurtis Drummond and R.J. Williamson are in the middle of a major battle for the starting free safety spot on the nationâ€™s best defense. Both are head to head and both are battling it out. Not only in scrimmages, but they are going at it each and every rep in drills, in the weight room and any other spot the staff can make them compete! Who wins it? That is truly anyoneâ€™s guess, but it is a battle to watch!
5. TE Dion Sims is the solid #1 TE, but the battle is for the other spots. MSU is not against using a two and three TE set and who can step up and get those spots? MSU has perhaps the best TE class in the country with the 2012 recruiting class in Evan BULLDOZER Jones and Josiah Price. Both are in top physical shape, highly intelligent and ready to compete immediately. Spartan TEs need to show some separation this spring because those two are coming in ready to play and will get a look. If Dan Roushar is happy with what he sees this spring, the freshmen will likely red shirt. If he has concerns, they will get reps and both are good enough to play this fall.