Central Michigan vs Michigan State: 5 players to watch

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Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans wide receiver R.J. Shelton (12) turns the corner on the Western Michigan Broncos defense prior to a game at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With Aaron Burbridge already making a name for himself in Connor Cook’s passing attack, there needs to be an emergence of No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 receivers not named Josiah Price. The junior tight end is having yet another solid season, catching six passes for 87 yards and three touchdowns, but the Spartans need a guy on the outside to really step up.

Related: Central Michigan vs Michigan State: 5 bold predictions

Burbridge is the best receiver in the Big Ten so far this season, snagging 20 receptions for 374 yards and four touchdowns while the next closest wide receiver has just nine catches for 80 yards and no touchdowns.

That next closest receiver happens to be junior wide out R.J. Shelton. The slot receiver has the potential to be a secret weapon in the offense, but he has really yet to step his game up, other than against Air Force. Through the first two contests of the year, Shelton had just four catches for 12 yards, but against the Falcons last week, he had five receptions for 68 yards.

If the Cook-Burbridge connection is going to avoid being targeted by opposing defenses, guys like Shelton will need to have that kind of production every week.

Expect R.J. to really step his game up and don’t be surprised if he scores his first touchdown of the year and even eclipses the 100-yard mark.

Next: 2. Cooper Rush