2013 College Football 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)
Offensive Line
Offensive Line / Secondary

This offensive line is powerful and experienced. Only starter Chris McDonald is gone but big time JUCO transfer Fou Fonoti returns from a foot injury that sidelined him last fall. He may be the best player on this offense. If coaches can locate a replacement for Johnny Adams on the corner this secondary has the makings to be the best in the Big Ten.

Offensive Skill Positions / Pass Rush

There are no playmakers on this offense with the ball in their hands, a reason why the offensive line is regarded as the star. Losing Le'Veon Bell at running back will sting. The incumbents have promise as do the quarterbacks and receivers. But none have shown they are capable of helping this team win with offense. The pass rush was 11th best in the Big Ten and now stud defense end Williams Gholston took his talent to the NFL.

LB Max Bullough
Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Andrew Maxwell-Sr (6-3, 210) Connor Cook-So (6-4, 218)
FB Trevon Pendleton-So (5-11, 248) Niko Palazeti-Jr (6-1, 252)
TB Riley Bullough-RFr (6-2, 230) Nick Hill-Jr (5-8, 198)
WR Aaron Burbridge-So (6-1, 195) Macgarrett Kings-So (5-10, 186)
WR Keith Mumphrey-Jr (6-0, 208) DeAnthony Arnett-Jr (5-11, 175)
WR Bennie Fowler-Sr (6-1, 212) Tony Lippett-Jr (6-3, 191)
TE Andrew Gleichert-Jr (6-5, 263) Paul Lang-So (6-5, 257)
OT Dan France-Sr (6-6, 312) Donavon Clark-So (6-3, 300)
OG Blake Treadwell-Sr (6-3, 304) Connor Kruse-Jr (6-4, 320)
C Travis Jackson-Jr (6-3, 283) Kodi Kieler-RFr (6-5, 326)
OG Jack Allen-So (6-1, 297) Henry Conway-Sr (6-6, 327)
OT Fou Fonoti-Sr (6-4, 298) Skyler Burkland-Jr (6-7, 315)
K Kevin Cronin-RFr (6-1, 209) Kevin Muma-Sr (6-0, 206)
Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Marcus Rush-Jr (6-2, 245) Denzel Drone-Sr (6-2, 251) / Joel Heath-So (6-6, 260)
NT Micajah Reynolds-Sr James Kittredge-Jr (6-4, 252)
DT Tyler Hoover-Sr (6-7, 290) Lawrence Thomas-So (6-3, 305)
DE Shilique Calhoun-So (6-4, 250) Jamal Lyles-RFr (6-3, 246)
SLB Denicos Allen-Sr (5-11, 218) Ed Davis-So (6-3, 230)
MLB Max Bullough-Sr (6-3, 245) Kyler Elsworth-Sr (6-1, 225)
STAR Jairus Jones-Sr (6-1, 213) Taiwan Jones-Jr (6-3, 250)
CB Darqueze Dennard-Sr (5-11, 197) Jermaine Edmondson-RFr (6-0, 182)
CB Trae Waynes-So (6-1, 185) Ezra Robinson-RFr (6-0, 180)
SS Isaiah Lewis-Sr (5-10, 208) RJ Williamson-So (6-0, 212)
FS Kurtis Drummond-Jr (6-1, 200) Demetrious Cox-RFr (6-1, 199)
P Mike Sadler-Jr (6-0, 192) Kevin Muma-Sr (6-0, 206)


  • 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 see time on the field? Or will pro-style quarterbacks like Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook continue to hold the reigns? Looks like the experience of Maxwell gives him the edge. He has the potential to be much better if he can start finding the end zone more than throwing picks.
  • Big Ten leading rusher Le'Veon Bell took his wide body to the NFL a year early. He was the major workhorse which meant no one else got many reps. Filling Bell's shoes will take a committee approach which is why coaches made an interesting move shifting linebacker Riley Bullough over to the tailback spot. Another big bruiser like Bell, the 6'2, 232-pound redshirt frosh Bullough will keep the power game from fading too much. Nick Hill is the small blazer who will add the lightning portion to this attack.
  • The receivers were a rebuilding effort heading into 2012 and they were awful. The passing game suffered and the effects could be felt in the loss column. Good or bad...all of these wideouts return.
  • The strength of the offense is easily up front. The offensive line turned out to be exceptionally good last season and it gets everyone back including the return of senior Fou Fanoti, a former JUCO stand out who got knocked out early last year with a foot injury. This is a powerful, experienced group.
  • If defense and a strong offensive line wins championships, Michigan State will do much better than people expect. This was the best run defense in the Big Ten last fall and much of its starting parts return. The pass rush is questionable with the big loss of All-American defensive end Williams Gholston but the secondary and linebacking core led by All-American Max Bullough in the middle will be stout.
  • 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.
  • If the offense can keep from being a total liability the defense alone should get the Spartans into a run for the Roses.



Aug. 30 - 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