Preseason lists are coming out left and right and here at Spartan Avenue, it’s no different. I know most of these lists are clickbait and completely inaccurate (looking at TCU who was picked to win three games last year) but let’s hand out some preseason Michigan State football awards.
Offensive MVP: TE Maliq Carr
The tight end is a new quarterback’s best friend. He’s an even better friend when he’s 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds. He can catch, he runs downhill like a running back, and runs sideline fades like a wide receiver.
I know his blocking could still be improved and that might have affected his usage last year, but it just seemed like every time he touched the ball, it was a big play. Whether it was the catch and long run against Indiana, the tipped ball touchdown against the Hoosiers, or the one-hander against Penn State, Carr had an automatic first down every time he caught the ball (13.1 yards per catch).
With the departure of Jayden Reed and Daniel Barker to the NFL and Keon Coleman being released from his two-year sentence, there’s a lot of receptions up for grabs (no pun intended — OK, maybe a little pun intended).
Carr is fast enough to get separation from linebackers, tall enough to grab jump balls over defensive backs, and athletic enough to shake any defender. If I’m Jay Johnson and I see the inexperience at the outside skill positions, I’m involving my athletic tight ends as much and as creative as possible.
Dark horse candidate: QB Katin Houser – If he comes in and makes plays, the ceiling for this kid is unfathomable.