Monday, May 20, 2024

MSU football Spring Showcase displayed huge potential for upcoming season

April 21, 2024
Senior wide receiver Montorie Foster Jr. (3) celebrates after securing a first down for his team during MSU football’s 2024 Spring Showcase on April 20, 2024.
Senior wide receiver Montorie Foster Jr. (3) celebrates after securing a first down for his team during MSU football’s 2024 Spring Showcase on April 20, 2024.

On April 20, students and fans packed Spartan Stadium to witness the 2024 MSU football Spring Showcase, marking head coach Jonathan Smith's first at Michigan State. Aside from the veterans, the newly transferred and incoming freshmen played – such as quarterback Aidan Chiles, tight end Jack Velling and Nick Marsh, a top-10 wide receiver in the nation.

The most anticipated player to watch was Chiles, primarily because he played for Smith last year at Oregon State. As a freshman, he showed flashes as a backup, and this year Chiles will look to be a starter and help the Spartans get back into contention for the Big Ten championship.

Chiles showed off his arm and passing ability, as he went 7-14 in passes and tallied up 105 yards and a touchdown. He also showed his speed and ability to run, something Michigan State fans haven't seen out of a quarterback recently.

"He looked comfortable, and guys made plays for him in the pass game which was great to see," Smith said after the showcase.

The running backs played consistently well throughout the showcase: Nathan Carter scored a 48-yard rushing touchdown on his first carry, as well as catching a 17-yard touchdown pass from Chiles. Freshman Brandon Tullis also looked good on the ground game and was physical on offense.

The real showstopper was Marsh. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder ran with the second-team offense and put on a show with three receptions for 105 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the second half. He might not be starting at the beginning of the season, but Marsh will be hard to keep off the field as the season goes on.

Coach Jonathan Smith said that Marsh was "making some plays" that helped the team and can tell he's "getting more comfortable" with the team.

As for the defense, there is still plenty of work to do. The offense did have seven total explosive runs – which are 10 or more yards – as well as four explosive passes, which are 20 or more yards. The defensive line played well, however, as D’Quan Douse and Khary Crump made impressive plays throughout the showcase.

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