MSU football releases depth chart ahead of Bowling Green
Young faces shined bright on MSU football’s first official depth chart for the upcoming season.
Fourteen true freshmen and nine redshirt freshmen highlight a depth chart stocked with youth.
“They've come in here. They've come in earlier a little bit,” Dantonio said of the youth on the depth chart during his weekly press conference on Tuesday. “We've had an opportunity to meet with them in the summer, which last year was the first year we had an opportunity to do that. So they're a little bit farther ahead. We've had three guys come in at midyear: Hunter Rison, Josiah Scott and Jack Camper. They're a little bit farther ahead, so I think they're ready to play.”
At the running back position, the trio of LJ Scott, Madre London and Gerald Holmes are all listed as starters as they continue to battle for the bulk of carries.
Senior defensive end Demetrius Cooper, who endured a troublesome offseason, is not listed as a starter, as sophomore Kenny Willekes took over the reigns at defensive end.
“You know, it's all performance based,” Dantonio said of Cooper not listed as a starter. “We've gone slowly with Coop as we've gone through this, but it's been performance based. He'll play. We anticipate him playing. And really when you look at the depth chart right now, it's a starting point for us. We've got some guys that obviously have played a lot of football for us, that are solidified.”
Freshman cornerback Josiah Scott, who had an impressive spring game in April as an early enrollee but missed some practice time due to an injury, is not a starter and will play behind sophomore Josh Butler.
“Josh Butler has had an outstanding summer camp,” Dantonio said. “He was a highly recruited guy out of Dallas, Texas. And he's playing very, very well. He's been one of the guys you point to in camp and he's been solid. Pass break ups, interceptions, those kind of things. He's tackling well."
“Josiah Scott had an outstanding spring. We got nicked up, we held him back a little bit. He's back now, in the last week or so he's been become. Both of those guys are going to play. Who starts really will define itself probably this weekend, because we still have practice this week probably, today is a big day. But they're both good players. We expect them both to play.”
At quarterback, Damion Terry will be Brian Lewerke’s backup, beating Messiah deWeaver and Rocky Lombardi in the battle to secure the backup position.
Dantonio said on Tuesday redshirt freshman kicker Matt Coghlin won the kicking battle and will be the team’s placekicker, while senior Brett Scanlon will do kickoffs.
“Matt Coghlin has won the kicking position,” Dantonio said. “He'll kick for us. And he's done a great job really all summer long, did very well in the spring, as well. He's a guy that we offer — he's a guy we did not sign coming in last year, but promised him a scholarship midyear and delivered on that. We brought in Cole Hahn to provide added opportunities, added competition, but Coghlin responded.”
Wideout Darrell Stewart Jr. will be the team’s return man, and Brandon Sowards, who was going to be on the team’s special teams unit as a returner, suffered an ACL injury and will be out for the season.