Michigan State has changes to backfield
Few teams in the B1G boast the backfield depth that Michigan State does. All four of the Spartans’ top running backs from 2015 will be back in 2016.
But not without some change.
Mark Dantonio previewed his team’s spring practices by addressing some of those adjustments.
Delton Williams, who lost his scholarship but remained on the team last season after a road-rage incident, is back on scholarship this summer. Given Michigan State’s loaded backfield, however, Dantonio is trying him out at fullback. He remained open to the idea of giving Williams looks at tailback, but he would appear to fit the build at 6-1, 228 pounds.
Delton Williams is the starter at FB, with Collin Lucas behind him. Williams adds a FB dimension unlike any other in Dantonio's era.
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) March 21, 2016
That wasn’t the only change Dantonio had in the backfield on Michigan’s spring depth chart. He also listed linebacker Drake Martinez, the brother of former Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, at running back instead of linebacker.
A former high school running back, Martinez rushed for 1,613 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior. He played in two games in his first season with the Spartans after transferring from Saddleback College (JUCO).
Dantonio said LB Drake Martinez had good all-around talent and great speed, and will be tried at tailback this spring.
— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) March 21, 2016
Martinez will have to share backfield touches with the likes of L.J. Scott, Madre London, and Gerald Holmes, all of whom were listed as starters on MSU’s spring depth chart.
As expected, Dantonio didn’t offer much of an end-game with the battle at quarterback. He did say that Tyler O’Connor has the leg up on Damion Terry as the more experienced signal-caller, but that both would battle it out possibly through the start of the season. They were listed as co-starters on the depth chart.
On the defensive side, Dantonio confirmed that Montez Sweat and Craig Evans were both participating in spring practice and in good standing after dealing with suspensions in 2015.
MSU will begin spring practice on Tuesday.