Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Michigan State issues Week 1 depth chart
By Adam Rittenberg
Depth chart fun continues today on the Big Ten blog as Michigan State released its two-deep for Friday night's season-opener against Youngstown State.
Although the Spartans name a clear starter at both quarterback (Kirk Cousins) and running back (Edwin Baker), they might get the nod for most "ORs" in the league.
Let's take a look:
- There are eight offensive or defensive positions with co-starters, including left tackle (Jared McGaha or Dan France), center (Blake Treadwell or Travis Jackson) and tight end (Brian Linthicum or Garrett Celek). Both defensive end spots and both outside linebacker spots list two potential starters for Youngstown State.
- Among the interesting position battles still to be decided are: sophomore William Gholston and junior Tyler Hoover at defensive end; Denicos Allen competing for both starting outside linebacker spots with Chris Norman and Steve Gardiner; McGaha and France at left tackle; and fifth-year seniors B.J. Cunningham and Keith Nichol at the "X" receiver spot.
- Keshawn Martin, a starting wide receiver, is listed as Michigan State's top option on both punt and kickoff returns. Larry Caper joins Martin on kickoff returns.
- Sophomore Max Bullough is the only clear-cut starting linebacker, as he'll be Michigan State's man in the middle. TyQuan Hammock serves as his backup.
- Dynamic redshirt freshman Tony Lippett is listed as both a backup cornerback to Darqueze Dennard and a fourth-string wide receiver.
- Not a huge surprise, but redshirt freshman Skyler Burkland has claimed the starting right tackle spot ahead of junior Fou Fonoti. Burkland is the only redshirt freshman projected to start, although classmate Marcus Rush is a possible starter at defensive end and Jackson could start at center.
- Caper and Le'Veon Bell are listed as co-backups at running back, while Nick Hill appears as the fourth-stringer.
- I'm a little surprised Dion Sims enters the year as the No. 3 tight end. Wouldn't be surprised if he ends up playing a big role in the passing game.