3 non-starters who can make a huge impact on Michigan State football in 2024

Michigan State v Penn State
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I have taken the last week and a half off from writing about any type of sport due to focus on some life stuff, but also, the Michigan State basketball season really took up a lot of energy as it did for a lot of fans. The season just got more and more frustrating, and pile that on top of the worst Michigan State football season on and off the field, I was burnt out.

The disappointment had far outweighed the joys of the season and honestly, nothing really happened with the basketball team that my fellow writers didn't cover.

But the warm Michigan weather already has me thinking about the fall.

New football coach Jonathan Smith is bringing a new culture to East Lansing and has this team trending in the right direction.

Here are three players that do not look like starters now, but could have a huge impact on how successful this team is at the end of the year.

1. Antonio Gates Jr., WR

While the wide receiver room is mixed with upperclassmen (Montorie Foster Jr.) and exciting young talent (Nick Marsh), there is no clear No.1 receiver.

While there is plenty of opportunity for anyone to take that spot, I expect Antonio Gates Jr. to play a major role in the offense this year, as does Jonathan Smith.

While he may not have the snap count if Foster Jr., he saw enough action last season to let everyone know his potential. Yes, his biggest catch was against FCS Richmond. But there were quite a few things that he did that did not show up on the box score. Last year, he caught both deep and short passes, but also drew three pass interferences calls on defenders in his limited action.

Activist Malcolm X is famous for the phrase “by any means necessary” and while he was talking about the rights and advancements of African Americans, I’m sure deep down in the recesses of his brain, he was also thinking about getting a fresh set of downs and moving the ball on offense.

Gates Jr. will be one to keep your eye on during the spring practice this coming Saturday.