Michigan State Football: 5 potential breakout stars for 2015

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Sep 20, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive back Montae Nicholson (9) picks up a loose ball during the second quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

1. Montae Nicholson, So., SS

Not too many players intrigue me more than what Montae Nicholson has the chance to do this season at the strong safety position. As a true freshman, Nicholson saw a little bit of playing time in the MSU secondary, but the 2015 season is expected to be one to remember for the former four-star DB out of high school.

He was a highly-touted prospect out of high school and now he’s an even more highly-touted prospect going into his sophomore season with the Spartans in East Lansing. His spring performances have been electric and the coaching staff has fallen in love with what they’ve seen out of him already.

Nicholson played in all 13 games as a freshman, which is rare for a Dantonio-coached player, and recorded the most tackles for a first-year player — 31 total. He was named for All-Big Ten Freshman Teams by ESPN and BTN.com.

This kid is truly going to emerge as the star on defense that the Spartans need after losing Kurtis Drummond and Trae Waynes this year. Nicholson is already a star and the season hasn’t even started yet.

The buzz that he is igniting around East Lansing before nestling into his starting role is undeniable and I just hope the lofty expectations don’t weigh on him too much as he’s just a kid still.

This could be his year, though, and I believe it will be.

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