4. Tight Ends
The tight end room gets knocked down a few because of a lack of depth at the position right now. The top billing for the tight end room is Maliq Carr who is poised to have a monster year. The old saying goes, “The tight end is a quarterback’s best friend,” and Carr can help Noah Kim or Katin Houser take a short pass and turn it into a big gain.
Whether by design or a safety valve, Jay Johnson needs Carr to be involved in the offense early and often and make defenses account for him when he on the field.
On the flip side, Carr is the only returning tight end with a catch last season, but Michigan State did pick up two transfers with considerable experience with their former teams. Jaylan Franklin comes from Wisconsin and played a good amount of snaps but lacked offensive production with only two catches last season. Tyneil Hopper comes from Boise State with just six starts under his belt from last year but had over 100 yards receiving on the 2022 season.
3. Wide Receivers
The wide receiver corps can be compared to the 2022-23 Michigan State men’s basketball squad. No one here is a household name — yet.
No preseason All-Big Ten mentions, no consensus All-Americans. The ones with experience are three-star recruits and the higher ranked receivers have all transferred in Germie Bernard, Rickey White, Terry Lockett, and Keon Coleman.
Seniors Tre Mosley and Montorie Foster Jr. lead the way, but with only a combined 12 starts between them. However, Antonio Gates Jr. received quite a bit of attention in spring ball, making an unbelievable over-the-shoulder touchdown grab from Noah Kim.
Look for a breakout year from sophomore Tyrell Henry who doubles as a returner, giving off hints of RJ Shelton, who more than doubled his touchdown output from year one (two touchdowns) to year two (five touchdowns).