RB Javon Ringer

2006 Statistics

Coach: Mark Dantonio
1st year
2006 Record: 4-8
at Pittsburgh WON 38-23
at Michigan LOST 13-31
at Northwestern WON 41-38
at Indiana LOST 21-46
at Penn State LOST 13-17

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

The latest direction of Spartan football under its new (24th) head coach has fans reenergized, but some are rightfully weary after now-departed John L. Smith brought in a sterling reputation in 2003 only to then produce the past three losing efforts. Mark Dantonio has less accolades as a leader – save his Cincinnati Bearcat’s 2006 strong statistical showings – than Smith, but his better grasp of the modern game offers loyal Spartan followers the promise of rebuilding their team with much more balance and confidence on both sides of scrimmage. This Zanesville, OH-native has brought almost his entire supporting staff from his moderately successful (19-17) three-year run in Cincy, so the continuity of his effective vision need only be instilled in his players. Appropriately, the offense finds itself under the leadership of a first-year starter, Brian Hoyer, who tutored under now-gone legend Drew Stanton and saw enough playing time so the new MSU field general isn’t really that green (set school record with 61 pass attempts vs. Penn State 11/18/06). He has picked up well the pro-style offensive system that will now run the rock more (than State did under Smith), and a back like Javon Ringer offers enough distraction for Hoyer to have more room to settle in. Defense is Dantonio’s strongpoint, and improved results are likely. The potential(s) of the seven starters he inherits have yet to be realized, and they are now in more of an attacking mode. This Spartan team has talent, and this year’s recruiting class guarantees Dantonio is only adding to an already decent hand. We expect State to possibly be back in the mix for a Big Ten title within a few seasons, but for now a winning record and consistency should be the modest goals in East Lansing. Non-cons starters UAB and Bowling Green are no pushovers, and the sequence that follows - with Pitt, and then trips to South Bend and Madison - means the new plans have to start out well in place if Michigan State is to finish above .500. With the past six games in the Notre Dame series being won by the away team, a 3-1 or 4-0 start isn’t far fetched and that would give the Spartans the kind of momentum needed to possibly go 3-2 during their slate’s juggernaut end. Their closing five games offer up the cream of the conference crop. Not only could that mean a losing campaign, but these guys will definitely earn any bowl birth the hard way. Dantonio worked under innovators Jim Tressel and Nick Saban, and we think he is an up-and-coming coach who, like Saban, will use success here ultimately to slingshot into an even better school. Until then, MSU will only benefit from this coaching prodigies’ presence here - he has to win big to up his stock, right?

Projected 2007 record: 5-7
DB Otis Wiley
QB - 3 DL - 3
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3 DB - 2.5
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Brian Hoyer, 82-144-3, 863 yds., 4 TD

Rushing: Javon Ringer, 86 att., 497 yds., 1 TD

Receiving: T.J. Williams, 25 rec., 281 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Brett Swenson, 15-19 FG, 33-33 PAT, 78 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Brett Swenson, 15-19 FG, 33-33 PAT, 78 pts.

Tackles: Otis Wiley, 94 tot., 58 solo

Sacks: Ervin Baldwin, 4 sacks

Interceptions: SirDarean Adams, 2 for 38 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Javon Ringer, 4 ret., 21.2 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Terry Love, 18 ret., 4.9 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Kyle Cook-OG, Matt Trannon-WR, Kerry Reed-WR, Jerramy Scott-WR, Drew Stanton-QB
DEFENSE: Clifton Ryan-DT, David Stanton-DT, David Herron-LB, Greg Cooper-CB, Demond Williams-CB, Brandon Fields-P

The Spartans will now lean more on the run with the pro-style offense new coordinator Don Treadwell is implementing. At Cincy (2004-06) and at Ball Sate (’03), Treadwell’s schemes produced balanced results that favor his play-maker’s strength(s). With the new approach, Treadwell gets a new starter behind center, “soft clay” to shape as needed. The Drew Stanton era officially gives way to understudy Brian Hoyer. Hoyer will eventually be just capable in drop-back mode, though, he will not be asked to “carry” the team with his 4.7 speed (like second-leading rusher Stanton had to). With the plan to run first, especially with a back like Javon Ringer, this will definitely help the first-year starter find his targets more open more often. Incoming frosh Nick Foles is tentatively listed as the second-stringer – his 6’5 frame allows him to throw on the move well and his ability to look off safeties gets him the initial/proverbial nod over heady classmate Kirk Cousins. Is there even room for dual-threat soph Conner Dixon, the backup who led his Green side to a win in the spring game? This position may lack experience, but in the new regime, this much raw talent is adjusting well and seems ahead of the game for what is now required. As evidenced throughout spring, Ringer appears back at full strength after last year’s knee troubles. This surprisingly strong back runs through would-be tacklers as well as he takes the corner, and the junior should be all-conference by season’s end. A.J. Jimmerson, who had a fabulous spring, is possibly the fastest Spartan back, but it is the 4.4 speed of 250+-pounder Jehuu Caulcrick that is the ‘X’ factor for this offense. Caulcrick will remain a tailback due to his threat, though, we wouldn’t be surprised at the matchup difficulties posed if/when both he and Ringer are in simultaneously. The fullback position has been reinstated here, and hulking ex-TE Dwayne Holmes’ superior blocking has him in front of ex-LB Jeff McPherson. Both should see ample reps. This more conservative approach will assure less volatile results for the new signal-caller(s). The line returns four of its five starters. The change under the new administration has these largest of Spartans most often found in a three-point stance…rather than the two-point one they were using that too frequently telegraphed the pending pass play(s). Both tackles graded out over 90% last year, though, Mike Gyetvai was held out of reps this spring due to the shoulder injury that hindered his 2006 efforts. John Masters still needs to develop into a first-team center after apprenticing there four years. The battle for left guard is one of those ongoing things that can only benefit MSU - Kenny Shane has a slight edge at this juncture over (former) starter Pete Clifford. Rounded out by right guard Roland Martin’s solid showing in every game of ‘06, the starting five (with three seniors) looks formidable for Big Ten play. The second team OL was suspect many times when employed this spring, so any injury rash could affect production. The receivers lose their top three playmakers, but that doesn’t mean the coffers are bare in East Lansing. T.J. Williams’ play down the stretch last year as a true freshman signals his big play-potential, and Terry Love is still a bit unpolished, but he has all the makings of a BCS-level starter. Depth exists with Curry and Thomas both vying for the third-receiver slot; they hope to hold off Mark Dell’s imminent impact as the four-star prospect looks to contribute. Word has it that the TEs will likely have 30-50 catches (up from 17 last year), and 6’6 Kellen Davis will see most of those touches since he is the entire package for what a tight end should be. Expect this offense to start slowly; the buildup of the competition level over the first three contests will be the perfect sequence for ramping up the new system and getting everyone moving together.


OT Jesse Miller


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Brian Hoyer-Jr (6-2, 210) Nick Foles-Fr (6-5, 235)
FB Dwayne Holmes-Jr (6-0, 275) Jeff McPherson-Jr (6-1, 240)
RB Javon Ringer-Jr (5-9, 202) Jehuu Caulcrick-Sr (6-0, 255)
WR T.J. Williams-So (6-3, 184) Deon Curry-Jr (6-1, 199)
WR Terry Love-Sr (5-11, 173) Devin Thomas-Jr (6-2, 214)
TE Kellen Davis-Sr (6-6, 254) Eric Andino-Sr (6-4, 246)
OT Mike Gyetvai-Sr (6-7, 307) Rocco Cironi-So (6-6, 300)
OG Kenny Shane-Sr (6-6, 325) Pete Clifford-Sr (6-7, 316)
C John Masters-Sr (6-4, 285) Joel Nitchman-So (6-3, 295)
OG Roland Martin-Jr (6-5, 325) Brendon Moss-So (6-6, 295)
OT Jesse Miller-Jr (6-6, 307) Mike Schmeding-So (6-8, 315)
K Brett Swenson-So (5-8, 160) ..



This is where coach Dantonio has spent his entire career prior to being the big Bearcat chief – he was DC at Ohio State when they won it all in 2002-03 and was the secondary coach here from 1995-2000. He brings right-hand man Pat Narduzzi, whose tenure under Dantonio was responsible for quietly building one of the Big East’s top defenses. Like on offense, the balanced results found so far in off-season practices are promising for a D that finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten in all major statistical categories. Gone are the wrist-bands that often distracted more than they helped. To be fair, the MSU line did a decent job stopping the run (held foes to 3.8 per carry and only eight rushing TDs), but only earning 16 sacks means much work is still needed for State to keep up in this league. Furthermore, losing Stanton and Ryan (their two biggest playmakers in the middle) hurts, but even the second-teamers look promising in the new attacking mindset. Justin Kershaw slides over from stud end, offering athleticism to balance former JUCO-transfer Ogemdi Nwagbuo’s and classmate Bobby Jones’ size. Senior end Ervin Baldwin was the line’s top tackler in ’06 after transferring from the JUCO level, so we expect a big senior campaign from the Georgia native. Jonal Saint-Dic is another junior college player (second team All-American NJCAA) who should have an even better effort his second time around. Two four-star recruits highlight this year’s DL-heavy class, and the new staff will have this line playing with more consistency, a dimension that is a must for MSU to get back into the league’s upper echelons. The linebackers look just as likely to improve seeing how they only lose one starter. Jon Misch is the newest cog – the freshman has flown up the latest depth charts on the strongside with his abilities in coverage as a hybrid LB/SS. Kaleb Thornhill’s size-speed combination works well in the middle. The positive emotional effect of SirDarean Adams’ choice to stay after his mentor/coach/recruiter John L. Smith left, along with the additional depth available here, makes this hungry unit the defense’s best. Ex-sprinter Ross Weaver, out all of last year with a broken ankle, is one of the two new corners who have so far impressed throughout spring. The other, speedy Kendall Davis-Clark, actually finished with more tackles than either of 2006’s now-departed starters. The capable safeties will have to build upon tough lessons – all-conference selection Wiley led the team in tackles while JUCO-transfer Warrick and oft-seen backup Key are better in run support than they are in coverage. The bump-and-run techniques used so effectively in spring scrimmages signal that Dantonio’s coaching strong suit, amongst the DBs, will surely help to improve the Spartan’s 97th ranking for pass defense. This year’s stoppers are relying less on a complicated system (like they did) and more on “old school” swarming/attacking with speed. As long as everyone knows the assignments, this can work.


DE Ervin Baldwin


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Brandon Long-Jr (6-4, 245) Jonal Saint-Dic-Sr (6-1, 250)
DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo-Sr (6-4, 290) John Stipek-So (6-5, 276)
DT Justin Kershaw-Jr (6-4, 260) Bobby Jones-Sr (6-4, 302)
DE Ervin Baldwin-Sr (6-2, 270) Reggie Graham-So (6-4, 223)
SLB Jon Misch-Fr (6-2, 200) Andrew Hawken-So (6-2, 235)
MLB Kaleb Thornhill-Sr (6-1, 240) Josh Rouse-So (6-3, 230)
WLB SirDarean Adams-Sr (6-0, 230) Eric Gordon-Fr (6-0, 225)
CB Ross Weaver-So (6-1, 202) Jeremy Ware-So (5-10, 181)
CB Kendell Davis-Clark-Jr (5-11, 199) Ashton Henderson-So (5-11, 183)
SS Nehemiah Warrick-Sr (6-1, 200) Travis Key-Sr (5-10, 185)
FS Otis Wiley-Jr (6-2, 210) Roderick Jenrette-So (6-1, 196)
P Aaron Bates-Fr (6-0, 190) ..




Punting chores are currently up for grabs in a battle between streaky walk-on Ed Wagner and incoming frosh Aaron Bates. The team will be better off if one of them can separate himself by fall. Brett Swenson’s fabulous freshman campaign not only proves his accuracy more than his foot’s power, but also just how reliable three points are once they advance near the 30 yard-line. Terry Love needs to either step up (his efforts) or step back (and give someone else a shot) on punt returns after his dismal showing in 2006. The KR slot is open – Ringer is in line, but his health prospects as the No.1 RB would be better served if instead one of the new speedsters could do this chore.