Monday, May 23, 2011
Hope and concern: Michigan State
By ESPN.com staff
The Hope and Concern series marches on with the Michigan State Spartans.
Biggest reason for hope: Depth at the skill positions
Michigan State's recruiting and development have really paid off at spots like running back, wide receiver, defensive back and linebacker. The Spartans bring back veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins, all three of their primary running backs, B.J. Cunningham and several other contributors at receiver and multiple tight ends who can make plays. On the defensive side, the secondary once again should be solid with players like safety Trenton Robinson and cornerback Johnny Adams, who came on strong this spring. Although Greg Jones and Eric Gordon will be missed at linebacker, the Spartans should have enough there with Chris Norman, Max Bullough, TyQuan Hammock, Denicos Allen and others.
Biggest reason for concern: The offensive line
Line play is the area separating Michigan State from elevating its program from good to great. The coming season should provide a good gauge on whether the Spartans can take the next step as they must improve on both sides of the ball. The defensive line could be an area of strength, but there are significant questions up front after Michigan State lost both starting tackles and center John Stipek. Converted defensive linemen like Dan France and Blake Treadwell will be integral this fall, especially France, who should enter the season as the team's starting left tackle. The coaches think the line will be more athletic, but can a new-look group come together and play consistently?
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