2018 MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

HEAD COACH: Mark Dantonio (100 – 45)

CAREER RECORD: 118 – 62

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Jim Bollman

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Dave Warner

STADIUM: Spartan Stadium (75,005)

 

2018 SCHEDULE

August 31 Utah State

September 8 at Arizona State

September 22 at Indiana

September 29 Central Michigan

October 6 Northwestern

October 13 at Penn State

October 20 Michigan

October 27 Purdue

November 3 at Maryland

November 10 Ohio State

November 17 at Nebraska

November 24 Rutgers

 

2017 RESULTS

Bowling Green 35 – 10

Western Michigan 28 – 14

Notre Dame 18 – 38

Iowa 17 – 10

Michigan 14 – 10

Minnesota 30 – 27

Indiana 17 – 9

Northwestern 31 – 39 ot

Penn State 27 – 24

Ohio State 3 – 48

Maryland at 17 – 7

Rutgers 40 – 7

Washington State 42 – 17

 

2017 OFFENSIVE STATS

SCORING: 24.5

RUSHING: 167.8

PASSING: 215.2

TOTAL: 383.1

 

2017 DEFENSIVE STATS

SCORING: 20.0

RUSHING: 95.3

PASSING: 202.3

TOTAL: 297.6

 

FIVE YEAR WINNING TREND

2013: 7 – 6

2014: 7 – 6

2015: 3 – 9

2016: 6 – 7

2017: 4 – 8

 

RETURNING STARTERS OFFENSE: 10

RETURNING STARTERS DEFENSE: 9

 

RETURNING LEADERS

PASSING: Brian Lewerke, 246 – 417 –2,793 – 20TD – 7INT

RUSHING: LJ Scott, 201 – 898 – 8TD

RECEIVING: Felton Davis III, 55 – 776 – 9TD

TACKLES: Joe Bachie, 100

SACKS: Kenny Willekes, 7.0

INTERCEPTIONS: David Dowell, 5

 

TOP 10 RECRUITS

Kalon Gervin, CB Detroit, Michigan

Trenton Gillison, TE Pickerington, Ohio

Xavier Anderson, ATH Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Theon Day, QB Dearborn, Michigan

Chase Klein, LB Chadron, Ohio

Michael Dowell, S North Ridgeville, Ohio

Davion Williams, CB Belleville, Michigan

James Ohonba OT , Stockbridge, Georgia

Chris Jackson, CB Marietta, Georgia

La’Darius Jefferson, ATH Muskegon, Michigan

 

OFFENSE PREVIEW

Michigan State has a deep, veteran roster with top 10 potential and yet they could be just the fourth best team in their own division. The Spartans are good enough to make a very, very serious run at a conference championship in 2018. There are established players at just about every position and very few weaknesses.

Quarterback Brian Lewerke has the ability to throw from the pocket or use his feet in a run – past option. He has excellent touch, a strong arm and creative downfield vision. He has the luxury of joining nine other starters on a unit that ranked 35th in the country in points per possession.

It helps when you have wide receivers Felton Davis and Cody White returning along with tight end Matt Sokol and running back LJ Scott. Darrell Stewart is another dangerous receiver who caught 50 passes in a backup role in 2017. Davis is a monster at 6’4” who is now a huge mismatch for opposing defenses. White is another tall receiver who had 35 receptions as a true freshman.

Scott has led the team in rushing for three straight years and provides a big – back power, but needs to be more consistent. Connor Heyward is expected to be Scott’s backup.

The line returns three starters including right guard Kevin Jarvis, left guard David Beedle and left tackle Cole Chewins. Jordan Reid is expected to get the start at right tackle and sophomore Matt Allen is the leading candidate to step in at center.

 

DEFENSE PREVIEW

Michigan State’s defense is expected to be of force again in 2018. They return nine starters from a defense that ranked seventh in the country in total defense and second in a rush defense. Three of four lineman return including stout tackles Mike Panasiuk and Raequan Williams. Naquan Jones and Gerald Owens are solid backups. Jacob Panasiuk and Kenny Willekes will be the starting defensive ends.

The Spartans will be solid at linebacker with Joe Bachie Manning the middle along with Andrew Dowell and Tyriq Thompson on the outside. If there is one weakness in this defense it would be depth at linebacker.

The secondary could be the best in the Big Ten led by Justin Layne, Josiah Scott, David Dowell and Kahari Willis. Josh Butler, Tyson Smith, Dominique Long and Matt Morrissey are solid off the bench.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Matt Coghlin is very consistent after hitting 15 – 19 in the field-goal department. He is also shown he can hit tough kicks under pressure after beating Penn State in the final seconds last season. Punter Jake Hartbarger ranked seventh in the conference at 42 yards per punt but he has excellent hang time. The return game will be solid with several players getting the chance this fall.

 

PREDICTION

The Spartans had a solid rebounds season after going 3 – 9 in 2016. When you have 19 returning starters from a team that went 10 – 3, there is no doubt Michigan State is a very dangerous team and a true contender in one of college football’s best divisions. In terms of pure talent, Michigan State stacks up with anyone in the Big Ten, but to the have enough to get by Ohio State?

 

PROJECTED RECORD: 9 – 3, 6 – 3 Big Ten

 

2018 ROSTER

 

52           Dillon Alexander               DE          6-4         234        SR           Forsyth, Ga. – Lambert

82           Javez Alexander WR         6-2         187        FR           Sandusky, Ohio – Sandusky

97           Justice Alexander             DE          6-5         257        JR           Macedonia, Ohio – Nordonia

64           Matt Allen           OL          6-3         296        SO          Hinsdale, Ill. – Hinsdale Central

16           Austin Andrews RB          6-0         181        SO          Columbus, Ohio – St. Francis DeSales

76           AJ Arcuri              OT          6-7         283        SO          Powell, Ohio – Olentangy Liberty

47           Ryan Armour      SN          6-0         225        JR           Traverse City, Mich. – St. Francis

35           Joe Bachie           LB           6-2         230        JR           Brook Park, Ohio – Berea-Midpark

85           Khylin Barton     WR         6-1         195        SO          Zeeland, Mich. – Zeeland East

59           David Beedle      OG         6-5         333        SR           Clarkston, Mich. – Clarkston

86           Drew Beesley     DL          6-2         246        SO          Rochester Hills, Mich. – Warren De La Salle

27           Weston Bridges RB          5-11       201        RS FR     Copley, Ohio – Copley

29           Shakur Brown    CB          6-0         176        RS FR     Stockbridge, Ga. – Woodland

66           Blake Bueter       OL          6-4         300        RS FR     Howell, Mich. – Detroit Catholic Central

38           Byron Bullough  LB           6-1         232        SR           Traverse City, Mich. – St. Francis

41           Reid Burton        FB           6-1         230        SO          East Lansing, Mich. – East Lansing

19           Josh Butler          CB          6-0         175        JR           Mesquite, Texas – West Mesquite

57           Collin Caflisch    SN          6-4         280        JR           Canton, Mich. – Canton

62           Luke Campbell   OT          6-5         290        SO          Lewis Center, Ohio – Olentangy

91           Jack Camper       DE          6-4         225        RS FR     Virginia Beach, Va. – IMG Academy

56           Matt Carrick       OG         6-4         328        RS FR     Minerva, Ohio – Perry

21           Cam Chambers   WR         6-2         215        SO          Sicklerville, N.J. – Timber Creek Regional

61           Cole Chewins      OT          6-8         288        JR           Clarkston, Mich. – Clarkston

4             Matt Coghlin      K             5-9         192        SO          Cincinnati, Ohio – Archbishop Moeller

18           Felton Davis III   WR         6-4         195        SR           Richmond, Va. – Highland Springs

84           Noah Davis         TE           6-4         244        SO          Cincinnati, Ohio – St. Xavier

6             Theo Day             QB          6-5         217        FR           Canton, Mich. – Divine Child

89           Matt Dotson       TE           6-5         249        SO          Kenwood, Ohio – Archbishop Moeller

77           Dimitri Douglas  OL          6-4         274        FR           Saline, Mich. – Saline

5             Andrew Dowell  LB           6-1         225        SR           North Ridgeville, Ohio – St. Edward

6             David Dowell      S             6-1         196        JR           North Ridgeville, Ohio – St. Edward

14           Emmanuel Flowers          WR         6-1         186        RS FR     Chino Hills, Calif. – Ayala

18           Kalon Gervin       CB          5-11       186        FR           Detroit, Mich. – Cass Technical

94           Chase Gianacakos            TE           6-6         296        SR           St. Charles, Ill. – St. Charles North

98           Cole Hahn           K             5-10       200        RS FR     West Des Moines, Iowa – Valley

30           Tanner Hallock  LB           6-1         232        RS FR     Grand Rapids, Mich. – Forest Hills Central

25           Jake Hartbarger P             6-4         200        SR           Waterville, Ohio – Anthony Wayne

47           Noah Harvey      LB           6-3         221        RS FR     Hartland, Wis. – Arrowhead

4             C.J. Hayes            WR         6-1         206        RS FR     Bowling Green, Ky. – South Warren

3             Xavier Henderson             DB          6-1         194        FR           Reynoldsburg, Ohio – Pickerington Central

74           Jack Henrichs      OL          6-6         268        RS FR     Thiensville, Wis. – Homestead

11           Connor Heyward              RB          6-0         228        SO          Duluth, Ga. – Peachtree Ridge

70           Tyler Higby          OG         6-5         284        JR           Houston, Texas – The Kinkaid School

83           Mufi Hill-Hunt    DT          6-5         301        SO          Sandy, Utah – Taylorsville

97           Tyler Hunt           K             6-2         215        RS FR     Gobles, Mich. – Gobles

75           Kevin Jarvis         OG         6-4         312        SO          Chicago, Ill. – Maine South

93           Naquan Jones    DT          6-4         342        SO          Evanston, Ill. – Mount Prospect

79           Mustafa Khaleefah          OT          6-5         280        RS FR     Dearborn Heights, Mich. – Dearborn

12           Nick Krumm        WR         5-10       184        JR           Commerce Township, Mich. – Walled Lake Central

2             Justin Layne        CB          6-3         185        JR           Cleveland, Ohio – Benedictine

20           Davis Lewandowski         WR         6-0         197        JR           Okemos, Mich. – Okemos

14           Brian Lewerke    QB          6-3         215        JR           Phoenix, Ariz. – Pinnacle

69           Tommy Liesveld                OL          6-6         280        SO          Bloomfield Hills, Mich. – Saginaw Valley State

45           Ben Line              FB           6-2         250        SR           Oxford, Mich. – Robert Morris

63           Noah Listermann              OL          6-8         304        JR           Cincinnati, Ohio – Winton Woods

12           Rocky Lombardi QB          6-3         219        RS FR     Cliva, Iowa – Valley

9             Dominique Long               S             6-2         185        SO          Westerville, Ohio – Westerville South

40           Collin Lucas        FB           6-1         234        SR           Avon Lake, Ohio – Avon Lake

13           Mickey Macius   QB          6-2         210        SR           Arlington Heights, Ill. – Austin Peay

19           Julian Major       WR         6-2         171        FR           Pittsburgh, Pa. – Penn Hills

43           Jack Mandryk     S             6-0         187        RS FR     Hudsonville, Mich. – Hudsonville

93           Jack McKenna    K/P         6-0         179        RS FR     Commerce Township, Mich. – Walled Lake Northern

44           Grayson Miller   LB           6-3         208        SR           Georgetown, Ky. – Scott

10           Matt Morrissey  S             6-3         204        SR           Lincolnshire, Ill. – Adlai E. Stevenson

42           Brent Mossburg LB           6-2         218        RS FR     Carleton, Mich. – Airport

13           Laress Nelson     WR         5-8         182        SO          Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – American Heritage

36           Jiah Norman       CB          5-11       194        RS FR     Houston, Texas – Hotchkiss School

41           Gerald Owens    DL          6-2         306        SR           Thorofare, N.J. – West Deptford

96           Jacub Panasiuk   DE          6-3         269        SO          Roselle, Ill. – Lake Part West

72           Mike Panasiuk    DT          6-4         296        JR           Roselle, Ill. – Lake Park West

24           Tre Person          S             5-10       165        SO          Atlanta, Ga. – Westlake

32           Corey Pryor        DB          5-10       208        SO          Jackson, Mich. – Jackson

26           Brandon Randle LB           6-2         225        SO          Battle Creek, Mich. – Battle Creek Central

37           Dante Razzano   LB           6-2         221        SO          Niles, Mich. – Edwardsburg

55           Jordan Reid         OT          6-4         281        SO          Mt. Clemens, Mich. – Detroit Cass Tech

44           Max Rosenthal   FB           6-2         244        RS FR     Winnetka, Ill. – New Trier Township Winnetka

36           Noah Sargent     RB          6-0         198        SO          Fenton, Mich. – Saginaw Valley State

22           Josiah Scott        CB          5-10       170        SO          Hamilton, Ohio – Fairfield

3             LJ Scott RB          6-1         226        SR           Hubbard, Ohio – Hubbard

80           Matt Seybert      TE           6-4         249        JR           Traverse City, Mich. – Buffalo

34           Antjuan Simmons             LB           6-0         221        SO          Ann Arbor, Mich. – Pioneer

15           Tyson Smith        CB          5-11       171        SR           Southfield, Mich. – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

81           Matt Sokol          TE           6-6         255        SR           Rochester, Mich. – Adams

54           Mitchell Sokol    LB           6-3         226        RS FR     Rochester, Mich. – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

16           Brandon Sowards             WR         6-0         189        SR           Wyandotte, Mich. – Roosevelt

25           Darrell Stewart Jr.            WR         6-2         214        JR           Houston, Texas – Nimitz

39           Alante Thomas  RB          5-9         189        SO          Detroit, Mich. – Saginaw Valley State

17           Tyriq Thompson               LB           6-1         244        JR           Detroit, Mich. – Martin Luther King

92           DeAri Todd         DE          6-2         274        RS FR     Lorain, Ohio – Clearview

31           Edward Warinner             LB           6-0         219        FR           Powell, Ohio – Olentangy Liberty

87           Jahz Watts          WR         5-11       176        RS FR     Belleville, Mich. – Belleville

88           Andre Welch      WR         5-9         175        SO          East Kentwood, Mich. – East Kentwood

7             Cody White         WR         6-3         214        SO          Novi, Mich. – Walled Lake Western

67           Bryce Wilker       OL          6-5         306        JR           Belding, Mich. – Belding Area

48           Kenny Willekes  DE          6-4         250        JR           Rockford, Mich. – NorthPointe Christian

99           Raequan Williams            DT          6-4         295        JR           Chicago, Ill. – DePaul College Prep

27           Khari Willis          S             6-0         214        SR           Jackson, Mich. – Lumen Christi

 

Coaches

Mark Dantonio – Head Coach

Mark Staten – Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line

Mike Tressel – Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

Dave Warner – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs

Jim Bollman – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends

Chuck Bullough – Defensive Ends

Ron Burton – Defensive Tackles

Brad Salem – Quarterbacks

Paul Haynes – Secondary

Terrence Samuel – Wide Receivers

Don Treadwell – Assistant Defensive Backs/Special Teams, Freshmen

Tim Allen – Assistant Athletic Director / Director of Football Operations

Brad Lunsford – Director of Executive Football Operations

Dino Folino – Director of Personnel/Player Development

Sheldon White – Executive Director of Player Personnel & Recruiting

Cody Cox – Assistant Director of Football Operations/Camp Coordinator

Butler Benton – Director of On-Campus Recruiting

Ken Mannie – Head Strength & Conditioning Coach

Tommy Hoke – Associate Head Strength & Conditioning Coach

Mike Vorkapich – Assoc. Head Strength & Conditioning Coach / Director of Sport Science

Lorenzo Guess – Associate Strength & Conditioning Coach

Bill Burghardt – Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach

Steve Gardiner – Defensive Analyst

Nick Ruffing – Offensive Analyst

Garrett Briningstool – Recruiting Operations Assistant

Jesse Johnson – Graduate Assistant/Defense

Blake Treadwell – Graduate Assistant/Offense

Ethan McGuire – Graduate Assistant/Offense

Matt Adolph – Defensive/Special Teams Intern

Dave Rayner – Special Teams Intern

Jairus Jones – Recruiting Intern