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Michigan State Preview 2006 - Offense
Michigan State Spartans
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 6, 2006


Michigan State Spartans Preview 2006 - MSU Offense

What you need to know ... The offense wasn't always consistent after hitting the wall at some strange times, but it should be among the most explosive in the nation after finishing fifth in total yards and 18th in scoring. Quarterback Drew Stanton leads the tremendous array of skill players with outstanding veteran receivers to work with to go along with a group of running backs that bring a nice combination of lightning speed and good power. The line isn't anything special, but it just has to be merely decent for all the stars to shine.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Drew Stanton
236-354, 3,077 yds, 22 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: Javon Ringer
122 carries, 817 yds, 5 TD
Receiving:
Jerramy Scott
49 catches, 722 yds, 4 TD

Star of the offense: Senior QB Drew Stanton
Player that has to step up and become a star: Sophomore OT James Miller
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman RB A.J. Jimmerson
Best pro prospect: Stanton
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Stanton, 2) RB Javon Ringer, 3) WR Matt Trannon
Strength of the offense: Skill players, wide receiver
Weakness of the offense:
Offensive line depth, proven overall consistency

Quarterbacks
The emergence of Brian Hoyer this spring as a bona fide star of the future makes a good situation fantastic. Drew Stanton is one of the nation's most talented all-around quarterbacks with the potential to blossom into one of the top high-rising prospects for the 2007 NFL draft. He has to cut down on his interceptions and must prove that last year wasn't a fluke when he was able to stay healthy for the first time in his career.
The key to the unit: Keep Stanton healthy. He's not afraid to take some big shots when running the ball, but he needs to use his experience and savvy to stay on the field. Hoyer can certainly run the show, but Michigan State needs No. 5 if it's going to be in the hunt for a bowl.
Quarterback Rating: 9

Projected Starter
- Drew Stanton, Sr. - 236-354, 3,077 yds, 67%, 22 TD, 12 INT, 121 carries, 338 yds, 2.8 ypc 4 TD
The only possible knock is that he tries too hard. Other than that, he should grow into a big-time pro prospect if he has a huge senior season. Arguably the best quarterback in college football over the first four games of last year after starting out throwing 13 touchdown passes, he cooled off big time having problems with interceptions when he tried to carry the inconsistent offense. When he's on, there are few better and with his combination of 6-3, 230-pound size, accuracy, running skills, and experience, he's the total package. If he can stay healthy, this should be the year he puts it all together and becomes an All-American.

Top Backups
- Brian Hoyer, Soph. - 15-23, 167 yds, 65%, 2 TD, 2 carries, 1 yard
Considering Drew Stanton's past history of getting banged up, Hoyer had better be ready to roll at a moment's notice. He saw mop up duty against Illinois completing six of eight passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns, and he appeared strong enough this spring to be ready to keep the attack running if needed without missing a beat. Despite getting everything but the kitchen sink thrown at him from the defense in scrimmages, he handled it all in stride with an excellent command of the offense.

Running Backs
There's a nice mix here to get excited about with the speed of Javon Ringer and A.J. Jimmerson combining with the power of Jehuu Caulcrick. Jimmerson was the talk of spring ball showing off the speed, hands, and moves that should eventually make him a star, but this is Ringer's season; he's on the verge of All-Big Ten honors. 
The key to the unit: Produce against the big boys. The trio of great backs will light up the mediocre defenses like a Christmas tree, but they have to prove they can carry the offense in the bigger games.
Running Back Rating: 7.5

Projected Starter
- Javon Ringer, Soph.- 12 carries, 817 yds, 6.7 ypc, 5 TD, 19 catches, 138 yds, 7.3 ypc
With 4.4.speed and a little bit of power, Ringer can strike from anywhere on the field and also be effective at time between the tackles. While he cranked out three 100-yard games, they were against Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern and hasn't been used as a workhorse. He still has to prove he can produce against a top-flight run defense.

Top Backups
- Jehuu Caulcrick, Jr. - 89 carries, 478 yds, 5.4 ypc, 7 TD, 5 catches, 53 yds, 10.6 ypc
The 245-pound former linebacker turned into a strong runner last season finishing second on the team in rushing. Most of his production came in a 140-yard, three touchdown performance in the opener against Kent State, but he proved he could be a tough goal line back and also showed off a little bit of speed. He's a great change-up next to the speedy other backs.
- A.J. Jimmerson, RFr.
A top scout teamer last year, the lightning fast Jimmerson provides some serious pop as the team's number three back. He has sub-4.4 speed and moves that should make him a dangerous receiver and third down back, but he's not much of a blocker yet.

Receivers
This could turn into the Big Ten's best receiving corps if everyone plays up to their talent level. Four of the top five receivers return led by Jerramy Scott and Matt Trannon, who'll each see time in an NFL camp next year. Terry Love is a lightning quick third option.  Backups Kerry Reed and Ryan Allison would start for several other Big Ten teams. Tight end Kellen Davis will be used more as a receiver.
The key to the unit: Get even more big play production. There's too much talent and too much experience not to grow into an unstoppable corps.
Receiver Rating: 8

Projected Starters
- Jerramy Scott, Sr. - 49 carries, 722 yds, 14.7 ypc, 4 TD
Scott grew into more of a playmaker last season after being used mostly as a possession receiver early in his career. He's a small, quick receiver can be used as a runner as well as a deep threat. He led the team in receiving playing his biggest games against Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. He can also be used as a kickoff returner.

- Matt Trannon, Sr. - 40 catches, 573 yds, 14.3 ypc, 4 TD
The 6-6, 227-pound senior has been a part of the Spartan basketball team and now will concentrate solely on becoming an NFL caliber receiver. He has the size, the athleticism, and the speed to blossom into a star, but he has to be more consistent. He tore up Notre Dame for 136 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 75 yards and a score the following week against Illinois, but then struggled to make deep plays the rest of the way.

- Terry Love, Jr. - 28 catches, 430 yds, 15.4 ypc, 3 TD
Love doesn't get the publicity of the other Spartan receivers, but he can be just as dangerous. He's one of the team's faster players and proved to be a steady playmaker all season long. With his quickness, he'll be used again as a runner as well as a punt returner to get him the ball in space.

- Tight end
Kellen Davis, Jr. - 15 catches, 122 yds, 8.1 ypc, 2 TD
The 6-6, 247-pound junior isn't going to blow anyone off the ball, but he's a good receiver who became a steady target in his role as a spot starter last season. He has the speed and the hands to be more of a big play threat.

Top Backups
-
Kerry Reed, Sr. - 31 catches, 438 yds, 14.1 ypc, 5 TD
The superstar JUCO transfer stepped in right away and was a key reserve before getting three starts late in the year. The 6-2, 198-pound senior is a big target who provides more size than Terry Love at an inside spot.
- Ryan Allison, Soph. - 4 catches, 43 yds, 10.8 ypc
Allison saw time in nine games as a true freshman getting the most work against Northwestern catching three passes for 34 yards. The 6-3, 215-pound sophomore with 4.4 speed and NFL athleticism will be in the hunt to be the team's number one receiver next year, but this season he'll play behind Matt Trannon and push for time in three and four wide sets.
- Tight end Dwayne Holmes, Soph. - 3 catches, 25 yds, 7.3 ypc
The former defensive player is a far better fit for the offensive side. While he'll get a few catches, the 6-0, 275-pound sophomore will mostly be used as a crushing blocker. He could play fullback if needed.

Offensive Linemen
Only two starters return, but there are some great prospects ready to shine in prime time. The left side will be a rock with Mike Gyetvai moving over from left tackle, and guard Kyle Cook on the verge of all-star recognition. John Masters served as the understudy behind Chris Morris at center for the last few years and is more than ready to handle the work. Huge sophomores Roland Martin and Jesse Miller have to live up to their potential on the right side. Depth will be an issue early on.

The key to the unit: Use all the beef to be nasty against the run. With the projected starting five averaging more than 300 pounds, this should be a physical group that controls games once it figures out how to play together.
Offensive Line Rating: 7

Projected Starters
- OT Mike Gyetvai, Jr.
A talented regular to the line, Gyetvai will move from right to left tackle to make room for Jesse Miller on the other side. He's the line's best pass protector looking like an All-Big Ten caliber performer this spring and should be in for a big year. At 6-7 and 304 pounds, he can be an imposing force on either side.
- OG Kyle Cook, Sr.
Able to play center or guard, the 6-3, 295-pound senior is one of the line's more versatile blockers. As one of only two returning starters up front, he's going to have to be more of a leader and needs to be the main man the running attack works behind.
- C John Masters, Jr.
It'll be up to Masters to take over for long-time starter Chris Morris in the middle. The 6-4, 299-pound junior saw a little bit of backup work and should be ready to handle the work after bulking up over the last several months.
- OG Roland Martin, Soph.
It's time for Martin to live up to his talent. A star prospect coming out of high school, he wasn't able to make too much noise last season playing as a backup in seven games. He's 6-5, 324 pounds and has the ability to become a dominant force in time.
- OT Jesse Miller, Soph.
An up-and-coming factor on the right side, he'll have to shine right away to allow Mike Gyetvai to stay at left tackle. He's an athletic 6-6 and 306 pounds with next-level upside if he's able to progress over the next few years.

Top Backups
- OG Pete Clifford, Jr.
Clifford didn't start to live up to his potential last year only seeing time in four games as a reserve guard. At 6-7 and 320 pounds, he's a tackle-sized guard who has the upside to push for a starting job. At the very least, he'll be a factor in the rotation on the left side behind Kyle Cook.
- OG Daniel Zynn, Sr.
The former Boise State Bronco saw a little bit of time last year, mostly early on, and now he'll need to play more of a role in the rotation on the right side behind Roland Martin. He's a physical 6-2 and 330 pounds with good run blocking skills.

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