Michigan State football: Young players leading the way


Michigan State Football
Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Darrell Stewart Jr. runs the ball against the Western Michigan Broncos during the second half of a game at Spartan Stadium. Photo By: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Young talent is always a good sign for a team’s future and Michigan State Football has just that. The Spartans are only starting two seniors, one on each side of the ball, in Brian Allen at center and Chris Frey at linebacker. After starting the season 2-0 this is a good sign for head coach Mark Dantonio.

After going 3-9 last season no one wanted to address the elephant in the room and suggest that maybe Michigan State football was entering a rebuilding stage. Even the famous Michigan State defense was struggling, giving up an average of 27 points per game and highs of 45 and 54 points.

Now with a strong 2-0 start led by younger players, the thoughts of a rebuilding stage may start to fade away. But even with a strong start, you can’t forget that the Spartans started off last season 2-0, then lost the next seven straight games to go on and finish 3-9. I don’t believe this will happen again and that the young contributors on this years team give hope for a strong season not only this year but next year also.

With the Spartans only starting two seniors it may come at no surprise that the main contributors are younger players.

First, the Spartans have sophomore, Brian Lewerke, leading the way at the quarterback position. Lewerke may not be the best quarterback in college football but he has shown a lot of potential. Being able to score on a 61-yard run says a lot about a young quarterback. I believe Lewerke will be able to grow and learn a lot this season and come back next year ready to lead a strong team.

In the backfield, they have junior, L.J. Scott and also a junior, Madre London. Scott was able to earn the majority of the called runs last game getting 18 touches. I think multiple carries is a key for Scott. This will give him a chance to find his rhythm and prove himself as a go-to back. Scott was the Spartans leading rusher last game gaining 86 yards on 18 attempts. Returning next season will also be Madre London who was able to add 28 yards on only eight carries.

Rounding out the skilled positions of young contributors are junior, Felton Davis and sophomore, Darrell Stewart at the wide receiver position. Stewart is becoming a threat receiving the ball and also rushing the ball. Stewart was able to haul in nine passes for 118 yards but also have six rushes for 98 yards so far this season. Davis snagged eight receptions for a total of 104 yards, looking as if he will be one of Lewerke’s go-to targets. Having both returning next season is great news for the Spartans.

Michigan State Football
Western Michigan Broncos quarterback Jon Wassink (16) is sacked by Michigan State Spartans defensive tackle Raequan Williams (99) and Michigan State Spartans linebacker Joe Bachie (35) during the first quarter of a game at Spartan Stadium. Photo By: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

On the defensive side young players are also standing out. Sophomore, Joe Bachie, lead the team last game with 11 total tackles from his linebacker position and junior, Khari Willis, was able to make eight tackles from his safety position.

Although these players are the top contributors the Spartans are also getting some contributions from other younger players. On the offensive side, they have four starting lineman, another starting receiver and also their tight end all returning next season. Similar to the offensive side the defense will only lose one player in linebacker Chris Frey. This will give the Spartans a lot of experienced players for next season.

The two seniors starting for the Spartans may play key roles but with all top contributors returning next season, the ideas of a rebuilding stage should be non-existent. Michigan State Football is well known for developing players, so these young contributors will only get better for next season. These young contributors should be able to lead Michigan State football to a winning season and possibly become Big Ten Championship contenders next season.

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