Michigan State Football: Who will be No. 1 receiver with Cody White gone?

Cody White, Michigan State football (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Cody White, Michigan State football (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Cody White made a surprising announcement on Friday afternoon, revealing his plans to leave Michigan State football for the NFL draft.

What a season it was for Michigan State’s Cody White. He took over as the No. 1 receiver when Darrell Stewart Jr. went down and he finished the year with 66 catches for 922 yards and six touchdowns.

He finished his career with 1,967 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on 143 receptions.

On Friday afternoon, however, he decided to cash in that solid junior season for a ticket to the NFL draft — which is more than deserved.


The Spartans lost one of the best receivers in the Big Ten and a kid who has the body to catch the ball over any defender and use his physicality and plus-athleticism to make defensive backfields focus him. With him gone, the Spartans are now looking for a true No. 1 receiver and that’ll be tough with no proven No. 1-caliber targets on the roster.

OK, that might be a stretch because Western Michigan transfer Jayden Reed is a No. 1-caliber target who was a Freshman All-American in 2018 with the Broncos before sitting out in 2019. He could be the go-to guy for whoever starts at quarterback for the green and white.

Let’s say Reed earns an increased role, is he ready to be No. 1? Maybe, but there are other options such as Tre Mosley who proved himself as a freshman or Jalen Nailor who looks like a rising star with plenty of speed and ability to make things happen after the catch. CJ Hayes could also be an option and a kid who has worked his way up the depth chart over the past couple of years. He reminds me a little of Aaron Burbridge and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.

Michigan State could also go the route of Julian Barnett but there’s a good chance he’ll be back at cornerback next season with Josiah Scott gone. But could he play two ways? Absolutely.

Incoming freshman Ricky White is also an option and while he likely won’t be on the No. 1 target level right away, he should get some run at wide out in 2020.

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So who is the favorite to take the No. 1 spot? I’d say it’s between Mosley, Reed and Nailor, all young guys who show promise. White will be missed plenty, though.