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Game Thread Game Six: Ohio State 35, Michigan State 24 (final)

Discussion in '2005 Football Season Capsule' started by Clarity, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Clarity

    Clarity Will Bryant Staff Member

    Pheasant likes this.
  2. VprHis

    VprHis Get off my lawn, you hooligans!

    OK, folks, as the board resident here in Spartyburg, I'm gonna try and report on goings on up here.

    From the sound of things, it seems that Stanton's pretty much locked down the starting QB slot (no big surprise), and, along with the two returning RB's MSU should have a pretty solid running threat. Also some pretty good WR's, so this could be one explosive offense (remember what they did to Minny... and Wisky... and scUM last year? I'm thinking the offense will be much the same... but more seasoned)

    The Defense, on the other hand... well. "Porous" might be kind, judging from all the doom and gloom I've encountered so far. Concerns at DB, DL... LB's and "bandit" should be ok... maybe.

    Depth Chart... for those interested

    Better yet... personnel breakdown

    I'd count Knott and Cobb as notable losses at TE and RB, respectively.

    On D, I'd say Dortch and Harmon (Bandit and FS) will be missed.

    Smith has been moved from SS to Bandit (which in JLS's system is a hybrid safety/LB whose sole function is to headhunt--find ball, get ball :) ). My undergrads (who pay more attention to these things than I do) tell me he is a solid safety, so this could be a great move for the team, provided someons steps up in the defensive backfield.

    Just my opinion, but this will likely be a team that will rely heavily on offensive production to win games. They'll try to mix a wide-open spread offense, with ball control/grind it out with your backs, and the occasional scramble by the quite mobile QB. Opposing defenses will spend a lot of time on the field, if they're not careful, and that could be what it takes to overcome Sparty's defensive shortcomings.

    There's an open practice tomorrow, and I'll try to attend (If I can get my work done in time, that is)... so hopefully I will be able to give you an idea of what I've seen--but don't get your hopes up, because a seasoned scout I am NOT. :)
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2005
  3. VprHis

    VprHis Get off my lawn, you hooligans!

    Scrimmage notes

    Format: Started off as 2's vs. 2's, then a "punt" (no coverage, just kick distance) and the 1's v 1's took it. Alternated possessions this way--but after the first couple series, many personnel shifts, so it's a bit hard to track performance based on the variation in matchups.

    Offense Overall. Looked good, but I'm not sure how much weight to put behind them, as the defense was less impressive, IMO. From what I could see, offensive depth is pretty good--most positions had what looked like a solid backup, with enough talented (and diverse) RB's and WR's to really wear down opposing D's.

    Started with a LOT of work on the passing game. Passing looked solid, if unspectacular. Ran a lot of typical spread formations, tried to exploit mismatches...

    The running game really set the tone, I think. The defense could keep up, so long as they weren't worrying too much about the run. Once the RB's started to get some touches, the D just kinda fell apart.

    Stanton looked GOOD. Only played the first couple series, though. He missed a couple of deep passes, but everything else was right where it needed to be. Seems he's been working on ball placement. His scrambling was enough to turn a broken play into at least a 'no loss' situation, and on a designed run, he easily broke free for 8 yds.

    The backups all looked decent, if unspectacular. All decent scramblers, decent throws. The Frosh, Natale, got a lot of reps... made some bad reads (missed a few guaranteed TD's on blown coverages), but nothing else really stood out to me.

    looked good today. better than good. Teague and Caulcrick both showed good power, excellent burst, and the ability to break it open, given the slightest seam. great vision--teague reversed field beautifully on one play and went about 40 yards before one of the DB's could close with him. Mix this in with Stanton's running, and this could cause some major problems for people.

    OL: I'm no expert, and I should have paid more attention, but the OL looked a bit suspect to me... One play saw one of the Guards get shoved back into the QB--on a 5 step drop--that worries me. They looked best when the entire line would run (and correct me if I'm messing up the terminology here) a zone scheme, basically moving the entire DL to the right or left... abandoning specific assignments and just playing 'moving wall.' The QB's could hide behind and throw off the rollout, find a seam and squirt through on foot, or hand it off. Two of the biggest gains came off this look

    1. spread form, 3 WR stacked in the right slot, 1 (trannon) left. Sealed the R side of the line, and gave the look of a QB boot Rt, but hit a shovel pass to a WR out of the break... little shifty GOnzo clone... he hit a seam and took it about 40 yards through traffic.

    2. Same sort of thing.... entire team going right, ran a left counter to teague. The entire D was shadowing to the right and lil' T just went untouched through a gap I swear my fat ass could have hit effectively. :)


    Trannon: looked great. Good speed, cutting, made a couple jump balls. could be very dangerous this year.

    Shabaj: got in behind the D several times, but the QB missed the read.

    Scott: looked good out of the slot. He's a lot like Shabaj, small quick guy who gets lost in the shuffle, until the ball hits him in the hands and he's off.

    As for the D. Well, I was less observant on that side of the ball. Basically you can infer a lot form the offensive performance. It seems to me that they're very good against a spread, in that they clamp down in those first 5 yards of space or so, but have trouble if they get out of position, or if there's a breakdown somewhere. Gave up a lot of no gain to short gain.... or a big breakout play.

    CB's were helpless against the taller WR's (Trannon and Alexander looked like Braylon Edwards at times). Travis Key (#2 Right Corner) laid some great hits... Totally decleated a TE right in front of me, caused him to lose the ball.

    The front seven held their own against the run for the first half of the scrimmage, but once the O started to feature the RB's... they gave up a lot of turf.

    I'll refrain from too much more on this, as I don't have a chance to look at film and try to pick apart just what went wrong....

    Bear in mind this was a working scrimmage type practice, and I'm sure the playcalling would differ greatly on both sides of the ball, were this a game. It seemed to me that the D was almost trying to brute force correct their weaknesses by deliberately putting a guy or two in a mismatch and seeing if he could work through it--they had some success, but just couldnt hold tight.

    Special teams looked good. Punter was BLASTING them. averaged upper 40's 4.75 to 5 sec hang, and once he hit his groove it more along the lines of 50-55 yards consistently with 5+ seconds for the coverage team to get downfield.

    New PK... looks to have good range, but got a bit shaky when they put a rush on him. Missed a 40 yarder and a 51, but in warmups was pretty consistent from 40-50 range... could be good with a bit of seasoning.

    Overall, looked like a mid-B10 performance (potential)... but with a good summer, could challenge for a top-tier finish. Remember this team put some scares into the better teams in the conference (see OSU, scUm, etc), and they're not really losing too much talent.

    Then again, they lost to Rutgers last year, too... so who really knows?

    Edit: By the way... Some of the sparties got into a discussion about B10 stadia. Consensus is that the SHOE is hands down the best place in the midwest to watch a college football game. I knew there was a reason I liked these folks :)

    Edit2:'s take:
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2005
  4. VprHis

    VprHis Get off my lawn, you hooligans!

    MSU Backup QB in legal trouble

    Backup QB in legal trouble (Dumbass....)

    Reaves arraigned on drunken driving, unlawful license charges


    The State News

    <table align="right" border="0"> <tbody><tr><td>
    </td></tr></tbody> </table> A 20-year-old MSU student and football player was arraigned Wednesday on charges of drunken driving and unlawfully displaying a license, court officials said. Stephen Reaves, a sophomore who was backup quarterback for the MSU football team in fall 2004, was arraigned on the two misdemeanor charges.

    The maximum penalty is 93 days in jail and/or $500 per misdemeanor charge, Assistant City Attorney Tom Yeadon said.

    MSU Associate Athletics Director John Lewandowski would not detail what action will be taken.

    "Coach Smith will take appropriate disciplinary action - we are not going to air our dirty laundry in public," Lewandowski said.

    Reaves was previously charged with a minor in possession and a prohibited alcohol charge.

    Reaves is the fifth football player of the semester to appear in court.

    Last season, the Tampa, Fla., native played in five games, going 23-for-58 with 331 yards with two touchdowns. In his first career start last Sept. 11, he recorded the win, going 9-of-19 for 183 yards and a 44-yard touchdown pass in the win.

    Coming into spring practice, which last four weeks and ended last Friday, Reaves was listed fourth on the quarterbacks depth chart.


    This will most likely not impact our game at all, but a few things did jump out at me.

    Gosh, 5 players this semester... where's ESPiN?

    Compare this to how Tress handles these things. We all know that there is team discipline going on beyond what we hear in the news. Would it be wise for press statements to make mention of it? Seems to me that we low-key these things...

    Maybe it's better to just lay down the consequences and just put it all in the past.

    BETTER YET. let's not go bucknuts and start a massive thread on discipline. We've kicked that horse long enough, I think.
  5. scott91575

    scott91575 Resident hater

    Man, you loves yourself some you!

    Anyway, I will be at the game. I'm bringing my Sparty fans so they can party at Hineygate while I go to the game. I live in "that state up North," but I enjoy you Sparties. Not only do you enjoy to party, but you also hate Michigan.

    In the words of a great Spartan..."I'm a Michigan State student, and I looooooooove to drink!"
  6. GoBucks459

    GoBucks459 Newbie

    Michigan State game, yes I'l be there...GO BUCKS!

    Last year TGJR victimized two Michigan teams
    lets do it again
  7. VprHis

    VprHis Get off my lawn, you hooligans!

    Hehe. Yeah, but I have to say that the Ohio State students I know are much bigger drinkers than the sparties I know. Might just be that my undergrads are boring....
  8. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    MSU reserve QB Reaves to transfer

    EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State reserve quarterback Stephen Reaves, who had been competing for the No. 2 slot for the Spartans during spring drills, has decided to transfer from the school.

    Reaves' request for release from his scholarship was granted, associate athletic director John Lewandowski told the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and the Lansing State Journal for Tuesday stories.

    A message was left seeking comment Tuesday for Reaves.

    Reaves, a sophomore from Tampa, Fla., started two games last season before losing the job to Drew Stanton.

  9. VprHis

    VprHis Get off my lawn, you hooligans!

    CFN Preview

    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="650"> <tbody><tr><td width="122">
    </td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff">
    Preview 2005
    Michigan State Spartans

    </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>
    <table align="right" border="0" cellspacing="6" height="562" width="170"> <tbody><tr> <td> <table height="863" width="165"> <tbody><tr> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" height="751"> <center> </center><center> </center><center> </center><table cellspacing="0" height="475" width="170"> <tbody><tr> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" height="32" width="157">
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]Want the CFN Spartan Preview in printable pdf?
    Sign up here

    Head coach: John L. Smith
    3rd year at MSU: 13-12
    17th year overall: 123-72
    Returning O Lettermen: 19
    Returning D Lettermen: 20
    Returning ST Lettermen: 1
    Lettermen Lost: 22
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" height="1" width="157"> <hr> </td> </tr> <tr> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" height="158" width="157">
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]Ten Best Spartan Players
    1. QB Drew Stanton, Jr.
    2. P Brandon Fields, Jr.
    3. LB/SS Eric Smith, Sr.
    4. WR Matt Trannon, Sr.
    5. WR Kyle Brown, Sr.
    6. WR Jerramy Scott, Jr.
    7. DE Clifton Ryan, Jr.
    8. DT Brandon McKinney, Sr.
    9. OT Stefan Wheeler, Sr.
    10. RB Jason Trague, Sr.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" height="18"> <table id="table22" width="160"> <tbody><tr> <td colspan="2" align="left" bgcolor="#003300" width="146">
    2005 Schedule
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]3[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] Kent State[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/10[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] Hawaii[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/17[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica]at Notre Dame[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/24[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] at Illinois[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/1[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] Michigan [/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]15[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] at Ohio State[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]22[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] Northwestern[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/2[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]9[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] Indiana[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/5[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] at Purdue[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/12[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] at Minnesota[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/19[/font]</td> <td align="left" width="119"> [font=Arial, Helvetica] Penn State[/font]</td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <center> </center> <center> </center> <center> </center><table id="table13" cellspacing="0" height="299" width="169"> <tbody><tr> <td align="left" bgcolor="#ffffff" height="253" width="165"> <center> </center> <center> </center> <center> </center><table id="table16" cellspacing="0" width="170"> <tbody><tr> <td align="left" bgcolor="#ffffff"> <table id="table20" cellspacing="0" width="169"> <tbody><tr> <td bgcolor="#003300">
    2004 SCHEDULE
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]CFN Prediction: 6-6
    2004 Record: 5-7

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" bgcolor="#ffffff"> [font=Arial, Helvetica]Preview 2004 predicted wins[/font] <table id="table21" height="1" width="162"> <tbody><tr> <td align="left" height="1" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/4[/font]</td> <td height="1" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Rutgers L 19-14 [/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="1" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/11[/font]</td> <td height="1" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]Central Mich[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica] W 24-7[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="1" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/18[/font]</td> <td height="1" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]Notre Dame[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica] L 31-24[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="1" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/25[/font]</td> <td height="1" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Indiana[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica] W 30-20[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="1" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/2[/font]</td> <td height="1" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Iowa L 38-16[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="19" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/9[/font]</td> <td height="19" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]Illinois[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica] W 38.25[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="1" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/16[/font]</td> <td height="1" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]Minnesota W 51-17[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="19" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/30[/font]</td> <td height="19" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Michigan L 45-37 3OT[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="1" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/6[/font]</td> <td height="1" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]Ohio State L 32-19[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="18" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/13[/font]</td> <td height="18" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]Wisconsin W 49-14[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="1" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/20[/font]</td> <td height="1" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Penn State L 37-13[/font]</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="18" width="27">[font=Arial, Helvetica]12/4[/font]</td> <td height="18" width="121">[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Hawaii[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica] L 41-38[/font]</td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" bgcolor="#ffffff" height="2" width="157">
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> ​
    <hr> [​IMG]By Pete Fiutak
    O.K. Michigan State, what are you?
    Are you the team that was good enough to obliterate very good Wisconsin and Minnesota teams and outplay Michigan until Braylon Edwards decided to take over? Are you the team that somehow found a way to make one of the nation's worst offenses, Penn State's, look like USC? Are you the team that lost to Rutgers and Hawaii ruining hopes of a bowl year? Year three of the John L. Smith era has to be more stable, but it probably won't be.

    To have a more consistent season, three big things have to happen. First, star QB Drew Stanton has to be able to stay healthy and be on the field for more than half the year. A rotation at quarterback over the last two years have led to the flaky production. Next, the young defense has to come together in a big hurry. The star playmakers are on offense, but the defense has enough athletes to come up with a better year. Finally, the D has to start taking the ball away and the offense has to stop giving it away. The Spartans turned it over 24 times and only took it away 14 times. If that doesn't even out, a bowl game will be tough to come by.

    Even with the issues, Spartan fans have to be happy with the direction the program is heading after slipping into the abyss a few years ago. Smith might be among the most eccentric coaches in college football, but he's a good one and has the temperament and talent to eventually make Michigan State a major Big Ten power again. It's not going to happen this year, but expect a couple of major shockers again.

    The Schedule: The potential is there for a huge start to the season if the Spartans can find a way to get past Notre Dame in third game of the year. 4-0 is very possible before the showdowns against Michigan and at Ohio State followed up by home dates against Northwestern and Indiana. At Purdue and at Minnesota won't help bowl hopes before playing Penn State to close things out. This isn't a good year to miss Wisconsin, but not playing Iowa is a huge break.
    Best Offensive Player: Junior QB Drew Stanton. When he's healthy, he's the Big Ten's best quarterback, but he's not reliable enough to last the entire season. He'll try to stop being so reckless on his runs, but that's not in his aggressive nature.
    Best Defensive Player: Senior LB/SS Eric Smith. Smith plays the hybrid Bandit position allowing him to make plays all over the field. He's an intimidating hitter and is great in pass coverage.
    Key player to a successful season: Stanton. There isn't a lick of experience among the backup quarterbacks, so Stanton has to stay healthy. He's the team's leader and the one who makes the the offense explode. With him, Michigan State can beat anyone on the schedule.
    The season will be a success if ... MSU wins seven games and gets back to a bowl. This is a very young team in several areas, but it's experienced enough to play in the post-season. 2006 should be the year the Spartans make some big noise, so this year has to be a big stepping stone.
    Key game: Oct. 1 vs. Michigan. Assuming a win at Illinois to start out Big Ten play, the Spartans can make some major noise if it can get by its arch-nemesis from Ann Arbor. The program's attitude and season expectations will change drastically with a win.

    2004 Fun Stats:

    - Sacks: MSU 21 - Opponents 8
    - Average yards per carry: MSU 5.7 - Opponents 4.4
    - Penalties: MSU 76 for 648 yards - Opponents 59 for 482
    Offense Breakdown and Analysis | Defense Breakdown and Analysis
    - Depth Chart

    <hr> 2005 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Bobby Jones DL 6-5 275 Yankton (Yankton) S.D.
    Enrolled at Michigan State on Jan. 10, 2005, for the beginning of the spring semester . . . ranked among the nation's top JUCO 50 prospects by (No. 26) and SuperPrep (No. 44) . . . rated among the top 10 JUCO defensive ends by (No. 6) . . . two-year starter for Coach Mike Beagle at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D. . . . recorded 34 tackles in 2004, with eight for losses including four sacks . . . also credited with 12 quarterback hurries and five pass break-ups as a sophomore . . . honorable mention All-Region XI selection in 2003 . . . produced 38 tackles in seven games as a freshman, with nine for losses including five tackles . . . had 10 QB hurries and eight pass break-ups in 2003 . . . returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown vs. William Rainey-Harper . . . caught a two-point conversion vs. Northern Iowa Area . . . his junior college career totals include 72 tackles, with 17 for losses including nine sacks . . . earned first-team all-state and all-conference honors as a senior at Yankton (S.D.) High School . . . selected South Dakota Lineman of the Year in 2002 after leading Yankton win the state title . . . also named to the Argus Leader Elite 45 . . . registered 56 tackles as a senior, with 17 for losses including 10 sacks . . . intercepted two passes in 2002, returning one for a score . . . runs 4.71 in the 40 and bench presses 330 pounds

    Instant Impact Players
    Kendall Davis DB 6-0 185 Alliance (Alliance) Ohio
    Rated among the nation's top cornerbacks by (No. 25) and Max Emfinger (No. 46) . . . named to PrepStar's All-Midwest Team . . . ranked among the state's top 20 seniors by Ohio Future Stars (No. 11) and (No. 14) . . . three-year starter for Coach Ron Kuceyeski at Alliance (Ohio) High School . . . Associated Press Division III All-Ohio selection at running back in 2004 . . . also earned Northeast Inland All-District and All-Stark County honors as a senior . . . named Metro Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,108 yards and 11 touchdowns in just seven games in 2004 . . . averaged nearly 11.0 yards per carry (101 rushing attempts) as a senior . . . missed the last five games of the 2004 season with a shoulder injury . . . second-team All-Ohio pick as a junior . . . his prep career rushing totals include 3,300 yards and 30 TDs . . . also competes in track as a sprinter . . . 2004 state champion in the 100 and 200 meters . . . runs 4.34 in the 40

    Emory Jones WR 6-4 210 Detroit (Cass) Mich.
    Rated among the nation's top 75 JUCO prospects by SuperPrep (No. 63) and (No. 69) . . . ranked among the nation's top 20 JUCO receivers by (No. 14) . . . also listed among Mississippi's top 25 JUCO prospects by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger (No. 18) . . . two-year starter for Coach Andy Greening at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, Miss. . . . earned MACJC all-state (first team) honors in 2004 after helping the Tigers (7-2) to the North Division championship . . . finished second in the MACJC/Region 23 in receptions with 46 for 434 yards (9.4 avg.) and two touchdowns as a sophomore . . . had six catches for 70 yards vs. Copiah-Lincoln, including a 26-yard TD grab . . . caught 37 passes for 514 yards (13.9 avg.) and six TDs as a freshman . . . his 15-yard TD reception with 1:27 left gave the Tigers a 17-13 victory over East Central in 2003 . . . his junior college career totals include 83 catches for 948 yards (11.4 avg.) and eight TDs . . . originally signed with Toledo in 2003, coming out of Cass Tech in Detroit, Mich., where he played for Coach Thomas Wilcher . . . ranked among the state's top seniors by The Detroit News (No. 18) and Detroit Free Press (No. 47) . . . first-team all-state receiver had 38 catches for 847 yards (22.3 avg.) and 12 TDs in 2002 . . . returned one punt and one kickoff for scores as a senior . . . also intercepted two passes in 2002, returning one for a TD . . . runs 4.45 in the 40 and bench presses 315 pounds

    Rest of the Class

    <table id="table23" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="464"> <tbody><tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Ryan Allison</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> WR</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-3</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 205</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Lake Orion (Lake Orion)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Mich.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Rocco Cironi</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> OL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-6</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 260</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Warren (Harding)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Ohio</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Adam Decker</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> LB</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-3</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 215</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Bloomfield Hills (Brother Rice)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Mich.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Dan Fortener</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> WR</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-1</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 182</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Kettering (Archbishop Alter)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Ohio</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Reggie Graham</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> DL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-4</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 210</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Homewood (Homewood)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Ala.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Andrew Hawken</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> LB</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-2</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 210</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Grandville (Grandville)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Mich.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Hayward Howard</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> OL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-5</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 290</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> New Orleans (Carver)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> La.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> A.J. Jimmerson</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> RB</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 5-11</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 205</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Florissant (Hazelwood Central)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Mo.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Brandon Long</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> LB</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-3</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 230</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Canton (GlenOak)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Ohio</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Brendon Moss</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> OL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-6</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 265</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Saline (Saline)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Mich.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Domenic Natale</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> QB</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-1</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 190</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Princeton (The Hun School)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> N.J.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Joel Nitchman</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> OL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-4</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 270</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Kalamazoo (Hackett Cath Cent)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Mich.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Diego Oquendo</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> WR</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-0</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 170</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Staten Island (Tottenville)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> N.Y.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Javon Ringer</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> RB</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 5-11</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 205</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Dayton (Chaminade-Julienne)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Ohio</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Jonal Saint-Dic</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> DL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-2</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 265</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Elizabeth (Elizabeth)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> N.J.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Mike Schmeding</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> OL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-8</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 285</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Rutherford (St. Mary's)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> N.J.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Kenny Shane</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> OL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 7-7</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 320</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Indianapolis (North Central)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Ind.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> David Stanton</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> DL</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-3</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 273</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> LA(Coll of the Canyons)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Calif.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Ross Weaver</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> DB</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-1</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 185</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Southfield (Southfield)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Mich.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Otis Wiley</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> WR</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 6-2</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 180</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Flint (Carman-Ainsworth)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Mich.</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="109"> Demond Williams</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> DB</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="27"> 5-11</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="31"> 185</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="199"> Jackson (Jackson)</td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="41"> Ala.</td></tr></tbody> </table>

    <table border="0" width="652"> <tbody><tr><td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="133">
    </td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="505">
    Preview 2005
    Michigan State offense

    </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr> 2005 Michigan State Preview | Defense Breakdown and Analysis | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

    Basically ... Last year's attack finished tenth in the nation, and first in the Big Ten, exploding on top defenses like Wisconsin's and Michigan's. Consistency was an issue, and it will be again unless talented quarterback Drew Stanton can stay on the field. With no reliable backup quarterback to count on, the oft-injured Stanton's health is the difference between a good and a great offense. While there aren't the name players like other Big Ten teams boast, this has the potential to be the league's best offense if a home run hitter can be found at running back and the newcomers to the right side of the line come through as expected.

    <table align="right" border="0" cellspacing="6" width="30%"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="100%">
    </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>
    Star of the offense: Junior QB Drew Stanton
    Player that has to step up and become a star: Redshirt freshman QB Brian Hoyer
    Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman WR Carl Grimes
    Best pro prospect: Senior WR Matt Trannon
    Top three all-star candidates: 1) Stanton, 2) OT Stefon Wheeler, 3) Trannon
    Strength of the offense: Receiver depth
    Weakness of the offense: Backup quarterback

    Drew Stanton is an unquestioned talent who could be the first team All-Big Ten selection if he can stay

    healthy for an entire season. Stephen Reaves is out of the mix after a variety of off-the-field issues, so now there isn't anyone to rely on behind the oft-banged up Stanton. The emphasis is now on Stanton to be a bit more conservative and run out of bounds instead of always going for the extra few yards. Brian Hoyer and Domenic Natale are talented, but they're not ready.Player to keep an eye on: Brian Hoyer, RFr. ... Quarterback Rating: 7.5
    Projected Starter
    - Drew Stanton, Jr. - When healthy and on a roll, Stanton is the best quarterback in the Big Ten. He's 6-3 and 228 pounds with a good arm and fantastic running skills with 687 yards and five touchdowns last year to go along with 1,601 passing yards and eight scores with six interceptions. Can he stay on the field? He's a little too reckless with his body and will take huge shots getting knocked out the last two years with shoulder and knee problems. With the backup situation shaky at best, he'll have to be a little more careful. While not the prettiest passer around, he gets the job done.

    Top Backup
    - Brian Hoyer, RFr. - Hoyer has the skills with a live arm and good mobility, but he's still green when it comes to playing experience. He's smart enough to have the offense down and will be all but assured of seeing playing time considering Drew Stanton's history of getting banged up.
    - Domenic Natale, Fr. - The top recruit will get every shot at backup time with the unsettled reserve situation. He isn't all that big, but he has been around the team joining the team early this spring. He's a good drop back passer with good decision making ability.

    Running Backs
    There might not be a better 1-2 power punch in the Big Ten than Jason Teague and Jahuu Caulcrick, but until freshman Javon Ringer comes around, the best home run hitter is quarterback Drew Stanton. DeAndra Cobb averaged 7.6 yards per carry last year and will be sorely missed, but the combination of Teague and Caulcrick should combine for 1,500 yards without a problem.
    Player to keep an eye on: Javon Ringer, Fr. ... Running back rating: 7.5

    Projected Starters
    - Jason Teague, Sr. - The 199-pound senior was the team's second leading rusher last year with 688 yards and a team-leading eight touchdowns. He's also a strong receiver with 28 grabs for 219 yards and two scores. He isn't flashy, but he's a hard runner who gets the hard yards between the tackles. However, he'll need help in the rotation as he isn't big enough to handle a 200 carry workload.

    Top Backups
    - Jahuu Caulcrick, Soph. - Caulcrick is a 243-pound battering ram who averaged 5.5 yards per carry with 619 yards and five touchdowns. He's not the receiver Jason Teague is, but he doesn't have bad hands. The former linebacker can play fullback if needed and is a good workhorse if something happens to Teague.
    - Javon Ringer, Fr. - With 4.4 speed, Ringer provides a home run hitting ability the backfield desperately needs after losing DeAndra Cobb. He isn't all that big, but he's a big time talent who could've gone just about anywhere.

    This has the potential to be among the league's best corps if all the top prospects play up to their capabilities. Basketball player Matt Trannon has the potential to grow into a superstar if he can focus more on wanting to be an NFL receiver. Kyle Brown and Jerramy Scott are underrated targets that can beat up most secondaries. How deep is this group? Aaron Alexander and Agim Shabaj would find starting spots on many Big Ten teams. The tight end situation is a problem needing Ryan Woods and Kellen Davis to replace the underachieving, but very talented Eric Knott and Jason Randall.
    Player to keep an eye on: Carl Grimes, RFr. ... Receiver rating: 8.5

    Projected Starters
    - Matt Trannon, Sr. - The 6-6, 225-pound basketball star became a strong receiver as last year went on finishing second on the team with 36 catches for 405 yards and two touchdowns. He should grow into a solid NFL prospect if he can continue to improve and start to make more big plays.
    - Kyle Brown, Sr. - At 6-1 and 207 pounds, Brown can be a physical receiver to go along with some of the best wheels in the corps. He averaged 13.1 yards per catch making 23 grabs for 302 yards and a touchdown and will be used more as a deep threat.
    - Jerramy Scott, Jr. - While he isn't a highlight reel deep threat like some of the other Spartan receivers, he's a solid short to midrange target leading the team with 39 grabs for 444 yards and three scores. He's great with the ball in his hands and excellent at making the first defender miss.
    - Tight end Ryan Woods, Sr. - While he's still getting over a knee injury, the 259-pound senior will have to make up for the loss of Eric Knott and Jason Randall. He has the talent to become a top target, and a strong blocker, now that he has the job to himself.

    Top Backups - Terry Love, Soph. - The speedy sophomore made a few big plays last year and is a nice home run hitter behind Matt Trannon on the X. He caught 21 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown and will be used more this year to open things up for the underneath receivers.
    - Aaron Alexander, Sr. - The 6-5, 200-pound former quarterback was supposed to grow into a star receiver last year. He was fine, but it didn't quite happen catching 15 passes for 178 yards after having problems with a foot injury. Now he'll have to battle with Terry Love for time behind Matt Trannon at the X.
    - Agim Shabaj, Sr. - One of the team's fastest players and the leading receiver in 2003 catching 57 passes for 692 yards and five touchdowns, Shabaj slipped a little bit last year finishing third on the team with 29 grabs for 308 yards and a score. His biggest problem is with his schoolwork. Until he performs more in the classroom, he'll struggle to get time in the slot.
    - Carl Grimes, RFr. - While he isn't Agim Shabaj, he has a little bit of the same breakaway skills and good speed. He'll combine with Shabaj behind Jerramy Scott in the slot.
    - Tight End Kellen Davis, Soph. - Catching the ball isn't a problem for the sophomore, but being a physical run blocker is. He's 6-6 and 244 pounds with good speed, and now he has to become a stronger blocker to see more playing time.

    Offensive Line
    The line didn't have the all stars or press of other Big Ten lines, but it was the best in the conference by the end of the year paving the way for 2,862 yards, 5.7 yards per carry and 22 touchdowns along with only allowed eight sacks. Expect more of the same from this no-name group with experience on the left side and at center, and some massive options on the right side. There's depth and good prospects to get excited about. Even with all the good players, the whole is better than the sum of its parts.
    Player to keep an eye on: G Roland Martin, RFr. ... Offensive line rating: 8

    Projected Starters
    - Tackle Stefon Wheeler, Sr. - The 320-pound senior has been a steady producer for a few years and is on the verge of All-Big Ten honors. He's the best lineman on a solid front wall and a great pass protector for his size.
    - Guard Kyle Cook, Jr. - With experience along with a non-stop motor, the 293-pound Cook is a fantastic run blocker and the go-to guy on the line for hard yards. He's versatile enough to play center if needed, but is more important at left guard.
    - Center Chris Morris, Sr. - The quarterback of the line, the 298-poun Morris is a smart veteran and a decent technician. While he isn't going to steamroll over the better Big Ten tackles, he can hold his own as a pass blocker.
    - Guard Gordon Niebylski, Sr. - Even though he missed spring ball injured, the 314-pound senior is still supposed to hold off Roland Martin on the right side. He has seen enough time get the first look, but he'll have to fight to keep the job all season long.
    - Tackle Mike Gyetvai, Soph. - At 6-7 and 305 pounds, Gyetvai is a big, talented young blocker with great upside. He'll take some lumps early on, but he should grow into a good one on the right side.

    Top Backups
    - G Roland Martin, RFr. - All that's missing is a little bit of time. Martin is 6-5 and 318 pounds with a world of talent. He won't start the season sitting behind Gordon Niebylski, but he'll be in the lineup once he develops a killer attitude.
    - T Pete Clifford,Soph. - While Clifford isn't the talent Mike Gyetvai is at right tackle, he's a little bit bigger at 6-7 and 317 pounds. He needs a little more time to hone his skills, but he has the potential to be special.

    <table border="0" width="652"> <tbody><tr><td width="133">
    </td> <td bgcolor="#ffffff" width="505">
    Preview 2005
    Michigan State defense

    </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr> 2005 Michigan State Preview | Offense Breakdown and Analysis | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

    Basically ... Some work needs to be done after losing several top players from just about everywhere. This wasn't a solid defense, but it had its moments and will be athletic this year, if nothing else. There isn't a steady pass rush putting more pressure than needed on the average corners. The linebackers can move and should be the D's strength as the season goes on. Being tougher against the run would be a big plus.

    <table align="right" border="0" cellspacing="6" width="30%"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="100%">
    </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>
    Star of the defense: Senior LB/SS Eric Smith
    Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior CB Ashton Watson
    Unsung star on the rise: Junior DT Bobby Jones
    Best pro prospect: Junior DE Clifton Ryan
    Top three all-star candidates: 1) Smith, 2) Ryan, 3) DT Brandon McKinney
    Strength of the defense: Outside linebacker
    Weakness of the defense: Steady pass rush, corner

    Defensive Line
    This will be a good line, but not a great one without and sure-thing speed rushers and average to above average talent all along the front four. On the plus side, there are plenty of big, experienced bodies to hope for an improvement on the nation's 72nd ranked run defense. JUCO transfers will help bolster the depth, especially inside. Nick Smith and Clifton Ryan needs to help the D generate more than the 21 sacks it came up with last year.
    Player to keep an eye on: DT Bobby Jones, Jr. ... Defensive Line rating: 6.5

    Projected Starters
    - DE Michael Bazemore, Sr. - 17 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss ... He's been decent against the run and fine, occasionally, as a pass rusher, but he needs to be more consistent. He has the quickness as a former outside linebacker to do a lot more.
    - DT Donata Peko, Sr. - 14 tackles, 2 quarterback hurries ... The former JUCO transfer started getting some work late last year and showed good strength against the run. At 6-2 and 310 pounds, he's a big body who appears to be ready for a big year as one of the anchors upfront.
    - DT Brandon McKinney, Sr. - 42 tackles, 2 tackles for loss ... The 6-3, 315-pound senior is the team's best lineman against the run after playing hurt two years ago. He isn't going to be much of an interior pass rusher and needs to put down the fork once in a while, but he's a strong cog up front.
    - DE Clifton Ryan, Jr. - 41 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss ... Ryan appears to have just scratched the surface of how good he can be. He's not only 294 pounds, he's the team's best pass rusher with a great motor and a drive to get better.

    Top Backups
    - DT Bobby Jones, Jr. - Jones is one of the nation's top JUCO defensive tackle prospects with outside linebacker speed in the body of a 296-pound tackle. He'll start out behind Domata Peko, but he'll quickly grow into a top producer in the rotation if he doesn't move to end.
    - DE Nick Smith, Soph. - 4 tackles ... At 6-6 and 269 pounds, Smith has a large frame with a prototype NFL body. Now he has to progress behind Michael Bazemore and start providing a pass rush.
    - DT Joe Toth, Soph. - 6 tackles ... The 284-pound sophomore got his feet wet last year, and now he'll be expected to grow into a producer behind Brandon McKinney. While Toth isn't nearly as big as McKinney, he's quicker.

    Despite being very young with with four sophomores playing prominent roles along with David Herron and Eric Smith, this is a productive group with enough talent to not be a liability. There isn't a killer in the corps, but there are several playmakers and a potentially steady force in the middle in Kaleb Thornhill. Herron is huge on the weakside, while Smith, who plays safety and linebacker, will provide plenty of highlight reel shots. The backups need work, but they all can move.
    Player to keep an eye on: Eric Andino, Soph. ... Linebacker rating: 6.5

    Projected Starters
    - David Herron, Jr. - 95 tackles, 3 sacks, 8 tackles for loss ... The former fullback was one of the team's most pleasant surprises finishing fourth on the team in tackles and was one of the top pass rushers. He's a big, 250 pounds on the weakside with nice range and good toughness.
    - Kaleb Thornhill, Soph. -32 tackles, 4 tackles for loss ... While he isn't nearly as good as his brother, former Spartan star Josh, he's a nice worker who should grow into the role in the middle. He has good speed and great nose for the ball.
    - Eric Smith, Sr. - 115 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 9 broken up passes ... Part linebacker and part strong safety playing MSU's Bandit position. He's only 193 pounds, but he's a huge hitter with excellent speed and enough smarts to always be in the right position. He should come up with another 100+ tackle season.

    Top Backups
    - Eric Andino, Soph. - 6 tackles ... Andino is 6-4, 237 pounds and fast. He has more skills than Kaleb Thornhill in the middle, but he isn't the same player. He could eventually see time on the outside.
    - Sir Darean Adams, Soph. - One of the team's most versatile players, Adams is a speedy Bandit behind Eric Smith and can shift to cornerback if needed. At 220 pounds he has more size than Smith, but he still has to grow into a top defender.

    Defensive Backs
    The pass defense didn't get much help from a pass rush, but it wasn't all that strong when it was challenged in big moments. Now three starters need to be replaced from a group that only picked off eight passes with the only returning starter, Jaren Hayes, still learning the cornerback job. Forget about experienced backups; the starters still need to cut their teeth. On the plus side, this is a fast group that will need a short memory against the better quarterbacks needing to find a way to be consistent by the time the Big Ten season hits.
    Player to keep an eye on: SS Cole Corey, Soph. ... Secondary rating: 6

    Projected Starters
    - CB Ashton Watson, Sr. - 10 tackles, 1 interception, 1 broken up pass ... A career reserve, Watson has been around long enough and has logged enough time to be ready to step into the starting corner spot. He'll start out on the left side where he'll be picked on early by teams staying away from Jaren Hayes.
    - FS Greg Cooper, Jr. - 17 tackles, 5 broken up passes ... With a few starts and time as a nickel back, the 5-11, 187-pound junior will take over for do-it-all defender Jason Harmon providing more speed. He runs a 4.4 and should be all over the field as a huge help to the corners.
    - SS Cole Corey, Soph. - 2 tackles ... He isn't huge at 5-10 and 194 pounds and needs to fill the shoes of Eric Smith, who made 115 tackles last year. He has excellent speed and is more than quick enough to get to the ball. What he's missing is experience needing to go through some growing pains, but he's expected to be a fixture for the next three years.
    - CB Jaren Hayes, Sr. - 68 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 8 broken up passes ... The former running back is still growing into the job, but he should be more of a playmaker this year now that he knows what he's doing. He isn't big at 5-9 and 180 pounds and needs help on the bigger receivers, but he's fast and should be good as the team's number one corner.

    Top Backups
    - FS Mike Bell, Soph. - The former corner will move over to free safety to provide more speed behind Greg Cooper. He isn't all that big, but he can run and should be good in pass coverage. He'll have to prove he can be physical.- CB Travis Key, Soph. - With some of the best speed in the secondary, Key will be a major backup behind Ashton Watson on the left side, but he'll have to battle with Eric Hines for time.

    Special Teams
    Brandon Fields is a top college kicker and a great pro prospect, but he's the only steady player in the special teams. John Goss needs to replace Dave Rayner with placekicker with Kyle Mayer getting a few looks. DeAndra Cobb, one of the nation's top kickoff returners, will need to be replaced. The punt coverage unit allowed a whopping 16 yards per return last year.
    Special Teams rating: 6
    - Placekicker John Goss, Jr. - Goss will have to replace steady long time starter Dave Rayner who hit 22 of 31 field goals last year with five of the misses coming from beyond 50 yards. Goss is a big JUCO transfer who redshirted last year with a big leg. Consistency will be his key. He'll also be the backup punter.
    - Punter Brandon Fields, Jr. - If he isn't the nation's best punter, he isn't far off after leading the nation with a 47.9-yard average putting 13 inside the 20. He's 6-6 and 235 pounds with a monster leg. To nitpick, he often outkicks his coverage allowing for huge returns. It's wasn't necessarily the coverage team's fault that MSU finished 34th in the nation in net punting despite the bombs Fields set off.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2005
  10. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    He was their leading receiver in 2003, but their third wideout last year.

    Spartans' Shabaj declared ineligible

    EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State receiver Agim Shabaj will miss the 2005 season after being declared academically ineligible.

    Shabaj, who would be a senior this season, was the Spartans' third-leading receiver in 2004 with 29 catches for 308 yards and one touchdown. He was the team's leading receiver in 2003 with 57 catches for 692 yards and five touchdowns.
    Under Big Ten rules, academically ineligible athletes are not allowed to remain on scholarship. It was not clear whether Shabaj planned to enroll at Michigan State for the next academic year, associate athletic director John Lewandowski said Wednesday.

  11. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    An MSU QB is transferring to Southern Miss. Reaves didn't play in the tOSU game last year, Damon Dowdell was their QB in that game.

    QB Reaves transferring to So. Miss

    HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Stephen Reaves, the one-time starting quarterback at Michigan State, is expected to transfer to Southern Mississippi, according to newspaper reports.

    Reaves and his father, former Florida quarterback John Reaves, told Florida newspapers that he visited Southern Miss last week and planned to enroll.

    "I went up there and talked to coach [Jeff] Bower and just [had] a good feel for the campus," Reaves said.

    Southern Miss officials are not allowed to comment on players until they report to school and sign a scholarship.

    Reaves, a left-handed Tampa native, started two games and played in five for the Spartans. He was 23-of-58 passing for 331 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted five times and lost the starting job to Drew Stanton.

    A drunken-driving charge against Reaves in May was dropped. He told newspapers that the incident wasn't a factor in his decision to transfer. Under transfer rules, he would have to sit out the 2005 season.

    He would fill the void left by Brock Landry, the only quarterback signed by Southern Miss in the most recent signing period. He is giving up football because of a degenerative hip disease.

  12. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Shabaj is going to enter the supplemental draft. I can't see any team taking him with a supplemental pick that would cost them something in the first 4 rounds next year.

    Ineligible Spartans receiver to enter supplemental draft
    EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State receiver Agim Shabaj will enter the NFL's supplemental draft after being declared ineligible for the 2005 season.

    Shabaj, who would be a senior this season, was the Spartans' third-leading receiver in 2004 with 29 catches for 308 yards and one touchdown. He was the team's leading receiver in 2003 with 57 catches for 692 yards and five touchdowns.

    Under Big Ten rules, academically ineligible athletes are not allowed to remain on scholarship.
  13. VprHis

    VprHis Get off my lawn, you hooligans!

    Allright. I consulted the grapevine on this one. I am informed that

    #1. Agim is actually a pretty good student. Unfortunately, the source on this one is one of Agim's fellow Kinesiology majors... and thus, has little idea what the rest of the world considers a "good student."

    The reason Agim is ineligible is that he "failed to put his name/student number on his chemistry final." wow. just wow. Think if this were actually the case, and Agim had been going to class and being the aforementioned good student, that the prof would be willing to connect a student with no score to an exam with no grade? Remember, MSU's chem dept. is nowhere near as... well, let's just say that unlike OSU, MSU chem does not expect perfection.

    Either way, I agree with BB73. Agim's looking at Free Agency. He COULD be a pretty good pickup, though. He's got good elusive speed--I see him sticking somewhere for a year or two as cannon fodder for the starting DB's.
  14. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Article on some players having problems at MSU.

    <!--ARTICLE HEADLINE-->Published July 22, 2005

    <!--ARTICLE SIDEBAR PHOTO--><TABLE style="BORDER-RIGHT: #41763e 1px solid; BORDER-TOP: #41763e 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #41763e 1px solid; BORDER-BOTTOM: #41763e 1px solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f3f5ed" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=10 width=250 align=right><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top><!--MAIN PHOTO-->
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    <SCRIPT language=JavaScript>OAS_AD('Right');</SCRIPT>
    </TD></TR><!--ARTICLE SIDEBAR--></TBODY></TABLE>Spartans' CB Hayes suspended
    Off-field incident has senior off team indefinitely

    By Joe Rexrode
    Lansing State Journal
    <!--STORY TEXT-->
    Michigan State starting senior cornerback Jaren Hayes has been suspended indefinitely from the team by coach John L. Smith.

    Hayes was suspended for an unspecified off-the-field incident, said MSU assistant athletic director John Lewandowski. Records from the Michigan State police, East Lansing's District Court 54-B and the police department in Lebanon, Pa., Hayes' hometown, indicate Hayes has not been charged with any crimes in those locations.

    Calls placed to what MSU lists as Hayes' local phone number went unanswered Thursday. He is the sixth MSU player - four of them projected starters in 2005 - since May to have his playing status jeopardized or taken away:

    • Backup sophomore quarterback Stephen Reaves left the team in May, soon after a drunken driving arrest. It was later reduced to reckless driving, and Reaves eventually transferred to Southern Mississippi.

    • Backup senior receiver Agim Shabaj was ruled academically ineligible in May.

    • Starting senior running back Jason Teague faces a charge of misdemeanor assault and battery, stemming from an Oct. 31 incident in East Lansing. He faces up to 93 days in jail.

    Jury selection is the next step in Teague's assault case, because a plea bargain did not result from his pretrial hearing Wednesday. A date has not yet been set for jury selection, according to East Lansing court documents.

    • Backup senior receiver Aaron Alexander will be sentenced Aug. 12 on a conviction of misdemeanor driving while impaired. He faces up to 93 days in jail.

    • Starting junior offensive lineman Gordie Niebylski pled guilty May 21 to a charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, stemming from a Feb. 19 fight off campus. As a first-time offender, he will have the charge dismissed if he stays out of legal trouble through Nov. 21, said Molly Clark, East Lansing assistant city attorney.

    • Starting senior defensive tackle Domata Peko pled guilty June 23 to a charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, stemming from a May 21 incident. According to the police report, Peko tried to flee from officers after he was caught urinating in public, but he was eventually caught after a foot chase in East Lansing.

    Like Niebylski, Peko will have the charge dismissed if he avoids legal trouble through Dec. 23 - six months after the date of his guilty plea.

    Niebylski, Peko, Alexander and Teague remain on the team, Lewandowski said. All declined comment through Lewandowski.

    Smith does not publicly disclose his methods of punishment. Smith is still looking into Teague's case, Lewandowski said.

    According to the incident report, the alleged victim, a woman, said Teague struck her three times in the jaw after she asked him to leave her front lawn during a party. The alleged incident took place about 1 a.m. on Oct. 31 - hours after MSU's loss at Michigan.

    Police reported failed attempts to contact Teague via phone messages in December and May, before issuing a warrant June 3. Teague turned himself in July 12.

    Players report Aug. 7 for MSU's fall camp. Most of the Spartans' incoming class of players report that they're academically eligible and ready to go.

    MSU is still waiting on junior college transfers Emory Jones, a receiver, and Steven Jaurez, a linebacker, to finish up their requirements for a successful transfer.

    All of MSU's incoming freshman except defensive tackle Hayward Howard say they're eligible. Howard said Thursday he is waiting on the results of his third try at the ACT - and that he was one point away from the necessary score on his second try.

    "I'll find out Aug. 5, and hopefully I'll be OK and I can come to MSU right after that," said Howard, of New Orleans.
  15. VprHis

    VprHis Get off my lawn, you hooligans!

    Doesn't really pertain to the game, but I didn't feel like cluttering up the main board with it. --PICS AT BOTTOM

    Article on the expansion at Spartan Stadium, as well as a few pics.

    Todd Schulz: Better stadium needs better play

    <!--ARTICLE SIDEBAR PHOTO--> <table align="right" bgcolor="#eaeadc" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0" width="250"> <!--BANNER AD--> <tbody><tr> <td align="center" bgcolor="#ffffff"> Advertisement
    <script language="JavaScript">OAS_AD('300x250_1');</script></td> </tr> <!--ARTICLE SIDEBAR--> </tbody> </table> <!--STORY TEXT--> EAST LANSING - It's impressive.

    Whether you see it from a distance (you can't miss it from U.S. 127) or stand in its considerable shadow, the super-sized Spartan Stadium is worthy of a good long stare.

    Look up. Way up. Keep going. It's about nine stories to the top of the shiny new press box. Slightly less to the posh luxury suites (there are cup holders and everything) reserved for those with cash or corporate connections or both.

    Taking in the magnitude of the monstrous addition requires tipping your neck back until you're in danger of falling flat on your back. And that's the whole idea. To overwhelm.

    "It really provides a lot of 'wow' factor," third-year MSU football coach John L. Smith said. "It's a big-time look."

    Yep. Anyone who passes by would assume the expanded 75,005-seat stadium is home to one of the Big Ten big boys.

    They would be wrong.

    Remember, this is a program that is 15 years removed from its last league title and has reached just one Rose Bowl in nearly four decades.

    But hey, sometimes looking the part is a start. And the $64 million stadium expansion certainly makes MSU look like a Big Ten power.

    Now, if the Spartans actually could play like one.

    That, of course, is Smith's job. Building MSU into a consistent winner will take considerably longer than the 20 months needed to overhaul the stadium.

    But now that the hammers have stopped pounding, toes will start tapping. The expansion only creates more urgency for Smith to get his part of the project done.

    The school is doing its part by pouring unprecedented dollars into the program. The fans, an amazingly patient and loyal bunch, are doing their part by paying unprecedented prices.

    Sooner or later (and by that, of course, we mean sooner) Smith must deliver a return on the investment.

    Without wins, MSU will have trouble filling its 24 luxury suites (20 are sold) and its 838 club seats (fewer than half are sold). The school is banking on the revenue to pay off its debt on the project.

    Presumably, one can schmooze and snack for only so long. Eventually, the folks in the swanky seats will want to look down - way down - and expect to see some victories.

    Smith downplays any added pressure. Even so, he must feel its presence.

    "We don't have to fill the boxes," he insisted. "That will take care of itself."

    Truth be told, the renovation isn't really about helping the football team. It's about creating much-needed revenue for the athletic department that funds 24 other sports.

    Still, Smith insists the revamped stadium is the first critical step toward returning MSU to gridiron glory. Step two, he says, is a plan for a $9 million-$10 million expansion of the Duffy Daugherty Football Building that includes a new weight room. Private fundraising is under way.

    "Facilities sell," he said. "You can get kids in the stadium and say, 'This is first class. This is as good as there is in the country.' "

    There's no question the overhauled stadium will send some high school recruits scurrying to sign their letters of intent. MSU wide receiver Matt Trannon said if he was a 17-year-old strolling into Spartan Stadium, he'd be "speechless."

    Still, wins speak the loudest on the recruiting trail.

    Smith: "Well son, how 'bout that stadium?"

    Recruit: "Awesome. Wow. Hey, when was the last time you guys won a Big Ten title?"

    Smith: "Uh . . . hey! How 'bout that stadium, huh?"

    The Spartans haven't managed to win seven or more games in consecutive seasons since 1989 and 1990. Over the past 10 seasons, MSU's Big Ten record (39-40-1) ranks seventh of 11 teams. Only Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana have fewer wins.

    But the revamped stadium is not about the Spartans' present. It's a towering tribute to their powerful past - and a commitment to the future.

    The Big Ten's big boys, including Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Iowa and Wisconsin, have expanded their stadiums or plan to do so soon. MSU had to keep pace. It's done so nicely - and on a smaller budget than many of its peers.

    It's hard not to be impressed. The new and improved Spartan Stadium seems to have almost everything.

    Just add team.

    A few pics of the expansion --which I have a bad habit of staring at from my desk (although I am looking from the opposite angle of these pics)

    <click for="" full-size="">




    --Older pic, but the snowbanks make it more realistic, methinks :)

    For more pics, visit The ES</click>

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