Last Saturday was a black eye for the Michigan State football program. Not only did the Spartans fall short to their in-state rival, 29-7, but there was also a pair of post-game altercations that have all of Michigan and Michigan State Twitter engaging in a civil war long beyond the final whistle.
As of Wednesday, eight members of the team have been suspended indefinitely for their roles in the altercation, including breakout star Jacoby Windmon. Angelo Grose, Brandon Wright, Zion Young, and Justin White are also among those suspended who see significant playing time.
With these suspensions in place, there are quite a few holes on the depth chart that need to be filled. Today, I want to look at five players who can step up in the next few games.
5. James Schott, DE
James Schott begins this list as a player who may see the field due to the perilous lack of depth at defensive end for the Spartans. When reading the list of suspended players, half of the players have made appearances at defensive end during their Spartan careers.
I originally was going to list Chase Carter here, as he has saw the field earlier this year against Akron. However, he was among those who did not dress for the Michigan game. There appears to be a plague on the MSU edge rushing room in terms of health this season.
Defensive end was already a concern for the Spartans coming into this season, as they lost Jacub Panasiuk, Drew Beesley, and Drew Jordan to graduation, along with losing Jack Camper, Alex Okelo, and Tyson Watson to the transfer portal. Additionally, incoming transfer Khris Bogle has dealt with a multitude of injuries, and he also did not dress for the game against Michigan.
Schott has not seen the field during his time as a Spartan, and I also have not seen him mentioned as someone who was dressed for a game this year. With the lack of depth, I certainly hope to see him now. Of the 10 listed defensive ends on Michigan State’s official roster, seven of them will have missed a game due to injury, suspension, or transfer rules (Ken Talley).
Schott entered the program ranked as the No. 901 prospect in the country in the 2022 class and ranked No. 17 among all prospects in Indiana. His offer list was reflective of this, as the Spartans were his only Power Five offer. Additionally, the Spartans moved on from Ron Burton, Schott’s primary recruiter, this offseason. He is listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, by far the lightest of the Spartan defensive ends.
Based on the lack of playing time this season thus far, I believe the plan was to redshirt Schott and let him bulk up to be ready for the fierce Big Ten competition. However, it is time for the Greenwood, Ind., prospect to step up.