Michigan State Football: 5 players who will become household names in 2015

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Oct 25, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas (8) stands on the field between plays during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-11. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2015 Michigan State football season, there are high expectations for some of the top players on the team.

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For Connor Cook, the hope is that he will bring home a national title and maybe even contend for the illustrious Heisman Trophy. No Spartan in school history has won the award, but Cook has probably the best chance of anyone in recent memory to do so.

The senior quarterback is coming off back-to-back solid seasons, going 23-3 since being named starter early in 2013. He has started for the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl champion teams, looking to up his game this year to help bring home a national crown.

While he is the captain on the offensive side of the ball, the defense is looking for leaders after losing quite a few in the last two years — Darqueze Dennard, Denicos Allen, Max Bullough and Trae Waynes. Shilique Calhoun is expected to step up and become that guy.

Calhoun has been a force for the last two years on the defensive line, but this is supposed to be his year to really prove himself as a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year candidate and first-round draft pick in 2016.

Everyone knows about those two guys already. If you’re a Michigan State fan, you’re looking for the next batch of guys who will step up and become elite.

Here’s the list for the five guys who I believe will become household names in 2015.

Next: Honorable Mention: Aaron Burbridge, WR