Michigan State Football: 5 players poised for a career year

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Oct 11, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Aaron Burbridge (16) runs through the tackle of Purdue Boilermakers defensive back Anthony Brown (9)at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 Michigan State football season is likely one of the most anticipated in school history as head coach Mark Dantonio has assembled a squad that can truly compete for a national title. While Ohio State is the Big Ten’s top dog right now, the Spartans aren’t too far behind.

One downside to Ohio State being the reigning champs is that they will likely be the one team who everyone believes will come out of the Big Ten and make it to the second annual College Football Playoff.

Michigan State is no stranger to receiving little to no exposure when it comes to being a favorite for titles despite winning at least 10 games in four of five seasons, but Dantonio’s crew handles underdog status well and that will translate into a solid 2015 campaign. However, the Spartans will have to travel to Columbus to take on the reigning national champs, hoping to knock off the nation’s No. 1 team.

With a solid recruiting class coming in and top players such as Connor Cook, Jack Conklin and Shilique Calhoun returning, Michigan State could be a serious contender for the College Football Playoff and it would be a shame to see them miss out — especially if it can take down OSU.

Cook is a strong Heisman contender, Calhoun is one of the nation’s best defensive linemen and Conklin is one of the best offensive linemen in the land, but who are the other key pieces to the puzzle?

I have compiled a list of five players who will have career years in 2015, helping to lead the Spartans to the promised land: the national title game.

Let’s take a look at those five players and what they could potentially do this year.

Next: 5. Riley Bullough, LB