Michigan State Football: 10 storylines to follow ahead of 2018 season

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 09: Running back LJ Scott #3 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates his first quarter touchdown against the Western Michigan Broncos with wide receiver Cody White #7 of the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 9, 2017 in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State defeated Western Michigan 24-14. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 09: Running back LJ Scott #3 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates his first quarter touchdown against the Western Michigan Broncos with wide receiver Cody White #7 of the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 9, 2017 in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State defeated Western Michigan 24-14. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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EAST LANSING, MI – SEPTEMBER 02: Matt Sokol #81 of the Michigan State Spartans tries to escape the tackle of Cameron Jefferies #18 of the Bowling Green Falcons at Spartan Stadium on September 2, 2017 in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State won the game 35-10. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI – SEPTEMBER 02: Matt Sokol #81 of the Michigan State Spartans tries to escape the tackle of Cameron Jefferies #18 of the Bowling Green Falcons at Spartan Stadium on September 2, 2017 in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State won the game 35-10. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

8. Tight end production

The tight ends will be monitored closely this fall. Mark Dantonio’s tight ends are usually a big part of the offense, especially during the Josiah Price era, but the 2017 season was the least productive they’ve ever been.

In fact, Matt Sokol — the starter — finished with 21 receptions for 222 yards and a touchdown and he was guilty of a plethora of drops. He needs to step up and prove that he’s better than the young guns making a run for that No. 1 job.

Speaking of young guns, Matt Dotson — a sophomore — is turning heads this fall. He’s added weight to his slim frame and already has the height, hands and athleticism to become one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the Big Ten. There was a reason he was highly sought-after out of high school and he might just swoop in and steal No. 1 snaps.

Related Story. 5 reasons Michigan State can win 2018 Big Ten title. light

Those are the two favorites to earn time and increase that tight end production, but Trenton Gillison will be a name to watch as well. The incoming freshman has all the tools — literally all of them — to become one of the best tight ends in the nation. He may be a year or two away from working toward that, though.

If Noah Davis is healthy, he, too, could contend for some playing time.

Michigan State needs more production from these guys and it looks like the Spartans have the tools to make that happen.