between the departures of running back kenneth walker iii and wide receiver jalen nylonor for the nfl draft, and an ever-rotating offensive line, michigan state’s offense may stir up more questions than it did before last season.
The fact is, we didn’t know what to expect heading into the 2021 campaign. Now, a running back committee will try to deliver on a new expectation for the running game, while a slew of wide receivers prepare for the job of running back. receiver initial “z”.
Reading: Michigan state football spring game
Earlier this week, the only colors provided several insights into the defensive side of football after the spring game. Now, let’s take a look at what we saw from the offense.
The best midfielder is no secret:
redshirt senior wide receiver jayden reed:
since sitting out the 2019 season after transferring from western michigan, reed has provided much of what was missing in msu’s offense. His speed produced results on offense and on special teams, amassing 92 receptions for 1,433 yards and 16 total touchdowns (13 receptions, two punt returns and one run) in 20 career games for the Spartans.
In his junior season last year, Reed eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards with 10 touchdown receptions en route to winning offensive MVP in the Spartans’ win over Pittsburgh.
His punt return for a crucial late-game touchdown against Nebraska became the first points the punt return unit had recorded since Keshawn Martin in 2011. It’s safe to say Reed brings an X-factor or, as he puts it, called, “juice”, the Spartans have been lacking in recent years.
He really plays bigger than his 6-foot, 185-pound frame, too. He sees his late touchdown grab in the Peach Bowl and a critical two-point grab against Michigan, each of which he completed through tight coverage.
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“not a lot of people know how banged up he was last year,” redshirt junior quarterback payton thorne said of reed saturday. “He played injured practically all last year. and then he’s gotten healthy or healthier over the spring, which has been great for him. I see more bursts of him, which, you know, was fast last year, but now he’s going in and out of his cuts.”
This could mitigate some of the concerns about the offense that inspired walker’s departure. In the Peach Bowl, Reed appropriately shouldered the burden of being the focal point of the offense. this season, that will have to become the norm.
backup quarterback competition
redshirt sophomore quarterback noah kim appears to have an advantage:
kim turned heads on Saturday. Well, it caught my attention, at least. through the warm-ups, it became clear that it wasn’t. 12 was the most capable quarterback behind no. 10, spine. Then, when the Spartans entered the fray, Kim seized his chance to prove his worth, placing the ball only where Reed could grab it on a one-handed touchdown catch.
He has undoubtedly separated himself from red shirt freshman hamp fay and real freshman katin houser in the competition for the alternate spot. Of course, Tucker is always hesitant to admit such a thing so soon, but his comments speak volumes.
“noah (kim)…is very talented,” tucker said after the spring game. “He has grown tremendously since he has been here. it is a competitive situation. out there, you see katin (houser) and hamp (fay) and noah (kim). They are all very talented guys. Noah is ready to compete. he can throw it and he knows the system.”
tucker said he expects the backup quarterback competition to come into fall camp, but kim seems to be in the best position.
it seems that the spartans could try to fill the void of walker by means of a committee. the biggest question remains who will lead it. Clocking in for Saturday, redshirt sophomore and Wisconsin transfer Jalen Berger appears to be in the lead after getting the first few plays off the offense at running back.
“Jalen ran the ball well today,” Thorne said. it will be a little different. we are putting new things. we’re just trying to get better as an offense. but… you know, (kenneth walker iii) is a player you won’t be able to replicate. so he’s going to be a little different this year.”
redshirt freshman davion primm, a product of oak park, flashed his hands off the field a couple of times and has gotten a lot of attention this spring.
That still leaves three redshirt seniors: 2020 pac-12 offensive player of the year jarek broussard, who will reunite with tucker from colorado when he joins the program in the summer, former four-star recruit harold joiner and u of D Jesuit product Elijah Collins, who nearly broke the 1,000 rushing yards as a redshirt freshman in Dantonio’s final season. junior jordan simmons will also be in the mix.
Assuming reed and redshirt junior tre mosely have two spots secured, the third receiver position is up for grabs.
juniormontorie foster, alumnus of cleveland’s st. Edwards, following the Dowell trio, suited up for all 13 Spartans games last season, most notably the game against Maryland in which he replaced an injured Nylon and had 52 yards and a touchdown in a win.
Redshirt sophomore christian fitzpatrick, a louisville transfer and southfield native, caught only two passes last year, but his name has been gaining ground for the starting job.
sophomore keon coleman might be the most successful yet he still has the most potential. After scoring a touchdown and seven receptions in the fall, the Louisiana native showed his athleticism, scoring a late jumper against Michigan at the Breslin Center. He became the first player to score points for a top 10 football and basketball team in the same season since Charlie Ward at FSU in 1992-1993.
Fifth-year senior tackle jarrett horst did not participate Saturday because he and many other offensive linemen were “hit.” Redshirt sophomore tight end Maliq Carr also sat out with an apparent injury. They are each expected to start fresh this year after transferring in early 2021 from Arkansas State and Purdue, respectively.
as mentioned, the offensive line position in particular was very thin for the spring game, with only eight players, including two converted defensive linemen, dressed. In addition to Horst, projected starting left guard J.D. Duplain and right guard Matt Carrick missed the game.
Given injuries to the offensive line and other positions, and the “spring game” open practice format, it was hard to glean much more from the 2022 offense, but there are certainly plenty to pay attention to. heading to fall camp in August.