Michigan State is coming off of a 10-3 season with a Holiday Bowl victory over Washington State. This season, the Spartans have bigger aspirations and the team to achieve those goals. For the Spartans to achieve those goals, they’ll need some players to step up. Here are three guys I believe will breakout in 2018.
LJ Scott is going to be the Spartans’ starting running back to begin the 2018 season, which makes sense. But, if you watched the Spartans at all last season, you know how much trouble he had holding onto the football. Don’t get me wrong, when he’s taking care of the football, he’s one of the best backs in the country. But, at times, he holds the ball too loose and gets it ripped out. That’s why Hewyard could play a big role for MSU this year. Heyward is a very versatile player, as he played running back, wide receiver and returned kicks last season. He had three rushes for 10 yards and four catches for 13 yards and a touchdown last year. With the departures of Madre London and Gerald Holmes, Heyward should receive much more playing time.
Allen will be one of the Spartans’ most important players this year. He is the front runner to replace his brother Brian at center for the Spartans this season. Brian was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL Draft last month. Allen is 6-foot-3, 296 pounds, which is good size for an offensive lineman. Really the only knock on Allen’s resume is his lack of experience. As a redshirt freshman, he played just 48 snaps in 11 games. The Spartans’ offensive line should improve after having a decent 2017 campaign, but Allen will have a lot to do with the units success.
Michigan State’s offense should be one of the best in the Big Ten this season, thanks in large part to the number of players they have returning. They have their starting quarterback, running back and top three receivers returning from last years team. Even though MSU returns its top three receivers, I think Chambers will breakout this year. He hasn’t seen the field much in his time at MSU, but he is a big bodied receiver with sure hands. He had five catches for 66 yards in 2017, but if he can stay healthy and remain in the rotation, I think he can catch around 35-40 passes for 300-400 yards.