Michigan State vs Western Michigan: 5 players who must step up

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Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Aaron Burbridge (16) is tackled by Baylor Bears cornerback Ryan Reid (9) in the game in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. Michigan State beat Baylor 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

3. Aaron Burbridge, WR

Who’s going to step up out of the receiving corps? Will it be Macgarrett Kings Jr., DeAnthony Arnett or R.J. Shelton? Spartan fans are probably hoping it’s none of the above as Aaron Burbridge should be the leader of the group, if all goes as planned.

Related: Michigan State vs Western Michigan: 5 bold predictions

Burbridge had his best season in the green and white as a freshman, and has struggled to really match his production from a few years ago ever since. Could this be the year he finally puts it all together and becomes the No. 1 receiver he was anticipated to be when he stepped foot on campus.

Dantonio has stated how he wants to see how the receivers step up and how he believes that this group of wide outs is talented enough to lessen the blow of losing Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphery from last year.

It will be interesting to see how much the senior receiver has improved and to see if he has really taken a leadership role in the way Lippett did in 2014.

The spotlight will definitely be on Burbridge as he will likely be the most targeted of the receivers early and if he can capitalize on that, he will start the season red-hot.

Next: 2. RJ Williamson