2013 College Football Early Preview
OFFENSE: Chris McDonald-OG, Larry Caper-TB, Dan Conroy-K, Le'Veon Bell-RB (NFL), Dion Sims-TE (NFL)
DEFENSE: A.R. White-NT, Chris Norman-STAR, Johnny Adams-CB, William Gholston-DE (NFL)
RB Le'Veon Bell
- declared for NFL -
Running Back / Defense

Le'Veon Bell led the Big Ten in rushing. The 6'2, 237 pound bruiser ran for over 1,600 yards. If he returns for his senior year he will easily be a top Heisman Candidate. The defense returns eight starters from a group that finished ranked near the top of the Big Ten in almost every single statistical category.


This is a severe area of need if the Spartans are to make some noise. Will it be Maxwell again? Connor Cook? Or the more mobile Tyler O'Connor? Whoever winds up in charge has to do more than complete 53% of his passes.

DE William Gholston
- declared for NFL -
* DEPTH CHARTS were only designed as a simplistic gauge for listing players that departed and players that received the most playing experience (consistent starters). NationalChamps.net recognizes the importance of missing personnel data not listed such as redshirts, transfers, injuries, incoming recruits, back ups and alternates. Their coverage will begin with our full 2013 Preseason Preview due out this coming spring.
MICHIGAN STATE 2013 DEPTH CHART (updated Jan. 7)
Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Andrew Maxwell-Sr Connor Cook-So / Tyler O'Connor-RFr
FB Lawrence Thomas-So Trevon Pendleton-So
TB Nick Hill-Jr ..
WR Aaron Burbridge-So Tony Lippett-Jr
WR Keith Mumphrey-Jr Andre Sims-So
WR Bennie Fowler-Sr Macgarrett Kings-So
TE Paul Lang-So Andrew Gleichert-Jr
OT Dan France-Sr Donavon Clark-So
OG Blake Treadwell-Sr ..
C Jack Allen-So Travis Jackson-Jr (inj.)
OG .. ..
OT Skyler Burkland-Jr Fou Fonoti-Sr (inj.)
K .. ..
MICHIGAN STATE 2013 DEPTH CHART (updated Jan. 7)
Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Marcus Rush-Jr Shilique Calhoun-So
DT Micajah Reynolds-Sr ..
NT James Kittredge-Jr ..
DE Denzel Drone-Sr ..
SLB Denicos Allen-Sr Ed Davis-So
MLB Max Bullough-Sr Kyler Elsworth-Sr
STAR Taiwan Jones-Jr ..
CB Darqueze Dennard-Sr ..
CB .. ..
SS Isaiah Lewis-Sr Jairus Jones-Sr
FS Kurtis Drummond-Jr RJ Williamson-So
P Mike Sadler-Jr ..


  • Cutting to the chase, Michigan State has been severely hampered by an underachieving passing offense. It only seemed to get worse later in the 2012 season. Things were not expected to come easy for first-time starter Andrew Maxwell as he stepped in for NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins and it didn't. Putting points on the board (107th nationally in scoring offense) and completing passes (111th nationally in passing efficiency) are numbers that cannot be ignored.
  • Word on the East Lansing street is that coach Dantonio is looking for a running quarterback. Does that mean redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor will be his guy? Or will pro-style quarterbacks like Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook continue to hold the reigns?
  • Wisconsin's Montee Ball may have won the Doak Walker Award but Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell led the conference in rushing. If Bell comes back and the offensive line, which was riddled by injury in 2012, comes back healthy, the Spartans will be a force to reckon with in the Big Ten.
  • This was also the best run defense in the Big Ten and 85% of this its parts up front will return led by potential All-Americans seniors William Gholston at defensive end and Max Bullough at middle linebacker.
  • Despite being strong up front, Michigan State lacks a dominating pass rush. But the secondary is strong. Outside of the lagging sack totals this defense looks like a complete terror for 2013.
  • This will continue to be a running football team that plays solid defense and the Spartans will do it better next season. Sure there were some inconsistencies in the rushing attack, but these issues can easily be ironed out with better quarterback play. This could really be a special season brewing if coaches can find a solution to the quarterback situation.



Aug. 31 - Western Michigan
Sept. 7 - South Florida
Sept. 14 - Youngstown State
Sept. 21 - at Notre Dame
Oct. 5 - at Iowa
Oct. 12 - Indiana
Oct. 19 - Purdue
Oct. 26 - at Illinois
Nov. 2 - Michigan
Nov. 16 - at Nebraska
Nov. 23 - at Northwestern
Nov. 30 - Minnesota