Jonathan Smith mentions three Spartans performing well this spring

Michigan State v Penn State
Michigan State v Penn State / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Michigan State football is in the midst of its spring practice schedule and, by all accounts, it's going extremely well. The team is getting acclimated to new head coach Jonathan Smith and the scheme him and his coaching staff are bringing in. Many individual players are standing out as well, and three in particular got the attention of Jonathan Smith.

Smith spoke with the media after the team's seventh spring practice on Tuesday and highlighted three guys that have stood out to him so far.

The obvious thing that stands out to me from this comment from Smith is that all three of these players are wide receivers. One thing missing in East Lansing the past few seasons is an explosive offense, but this tells me that we might once again be ready to witness a high-powered offense in Spartan Stadium.

I love that Alante Brown and Montorie Foster Jr. are standing out to Smith as they are both upperclassmen and leaders of not just the wide receiver room, but the entire team. Foster is the receiver with the most experience returning this season, so hearing that he is doing well is huge. He's coming off a season where he led the team in receptions (43) and receiving yards (576). He started all 12 games last year for Michigan State and caught three touchdowns as well.

Brown is entering his second and final season with Michigan State and is coming off an OK season last year. He struggled to record eye-popping stats like Foster, but he still made an impact all over the field. On offense, he recored three catches and 10 carries, showing that he has a lot of versatility that can be used to MSU's advantage. Brown was also active on special teams with three kick returns and a pass for 42 yards as well. Aidan Chiles and Brown seem to be getting acclimated with each other as well as they connected for a beautiful pitch and catch during practice today in the corner of the end zone.

However, it was Antonio Gates Jr. who got the biggest shoutout from Smith on Tuesday. Gates has the least experience of the three players mentioned and will be entering his redshirt sophomore season this year. He played in all 12 games last year, but failed to see much time on the field. Gates did, however, record five receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown, so the potential is there for Gates.

Now that he's gaining more confidence and experience at the collegiate level as well as potentially having more opportunities on the field this year, we could be in for a breakout season from Gates.

The fall might still be awhile from now, but the vibes surrounding this year's team seem better than previous years. Especially after the disaster of a season last year was, it feels good to once again have faith in a coaching staff, and these highlights from practice as well as the interviews with the media are quickly restoring trust in the program.