Michigan State Spartans College Football Preview 2021: Top Players
Best Michigan State Spartans Offensive Player
WR Jalen Nailor, Jr.
The running backs are going to be stronger if Elijah Collins can regain his 2019 form and transfer Kenneth Walker rocks right away.
There will be all-Big Ten honors for at least some of the veteran offensive linemen this time around – there’s too much experience in place not to be better.
But the receivers should be the best players of the bunch early on.
The 6-0, 185-pound Nailor led the team with 26 catches for 515 yards and four scores – averaging close to 20 yards per grab. He hit Penn State for two scores, came up with 119 yards against Iowa, and he and Jayden Reed were bright spots in a gloomy offensive campaign.
2. RB Kenneth Walker, Soph.
3. WR Jayden Reed, Jr.
4. C Matt Allen, Sr.
5. QB Anthony Russo, Sr.
Best Michigan State Spartans Defensive Player
S Xavier Henderson, Sr.
Call this the safe choice.
LB Noah Harvey should get more respect, and a few pass rushers should make a push for stronger seasons, but the very good, very steady Henderson will be a constant.
The 6-1, 210-pound tackler followed up his 83-stop 2019 season with 41 last season. He’s always physical, but he’s always out there making things happen in the open field.
2. DE Drew Beesley, Sr.
3. LB Noah Harvey, Sr.
4. DE Jacub Panasiuk, Sr.
5. LB Chase Kline, Jr.
Top Incoming Michigan State Spartans Transfer
RB Kenneth Walker, Soph.
The hope is for QB Anthony Russo from Temple to be the star transfer – more on that in a moment – and a few of the incoming corners should be strong, but Walker might be the steadying force the offense desperately needs.
Michigan State has running backs, but after a rough season with no touchdown runs among the top guys, the offense needs a guy who can get into the end zone.
The 5-10, 205-pound sophomore from Wake Forest ran for 579 yards in each of the last two seasons with four touchdown runs in his freshman year, and he pounded for 13 scores in just seven games in 2020.