Michigan State Football: 5 players to watch during spring game

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Aug 29, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerback Darian Hicks (2) reacts to a play during the 1st half of a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

3. Darian Hicks, CB, Junior

Ah, this might be a last-ditch effort for junior cornerback Darian Hicks to really prove he belongs in the starting lineup for the Spartans. There have been serious rumbling around MSU camp regarding the cornerback positions as Hicks looks to win a spot back that he likely lost after a poor performance in 2014.

Over the past two years, he has bulked up in order to be more physical with the big receivers in the Big Ten, but his footwork suffered in the process. I’m not saying Hicks isn’t a good cornerback, because that would be a silly statement. I just think he has some serious work to do in his own game in order to win Mark Dantonio’s trust back and earn a position in the defensive backfield.

In case you missed any of the games last season, Hicks got torched often, which was almost inevitable with a guy like Trae Waynes playing on the opposite side of the field.

Waynes gobbled up receivers, leaving quarterbacks no option but to throw to Hicks’ side, leaving him vulnerable more often than not. He got burned deep for touchdowns against teams like Ohio State, Oregon and Baylor.

In the first spring scrimmage, Hicks impressed Dantonio, and others, intercepting a deflected Connor Cook pass and returning it for a touchdown. However, his performance was a bit overlooked as the rest of the defense played well enough to win the battle and two other interceptions were returned for touchdowns by the Spartans’ defense.

Hicks is playing with something to prove.

Next: Damion Terry, QB, Sophomore(RS)

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