Michigan State Spartans Spring Practice: 3 Things We Learned

    Mark Dantonio smiles with all of the frequency of full moons, though he has good reason to be crotchety these days. He’s coming off his worst season in East Lansing, 3-9, and his program is dealing with sexual assault allegations. Spring practice, sans media coverage, afforded players and staffers a chance to release some pent-up energy and emotions.

    April 6, 2017

    With Michigan State’s spring practice in the books, here’s what we know and what we learned about the Spartans as the offseason continues.


    Mark Dantonio smiles with all of the frequency of full moons, though he has good reason to be crotchety these days. He’s coming off his worst season in East Lansing, 3-9, and his program is dealing with sexual assault allegations. Spring practice, sans media coverage, afforded players and staffers a chance to release some pent-up energy and emotions.

    Michigan State Spring Game Redux

    1. Brian Lewerke Widened His Lead At Quarterback

    While Lewerke is not unbeatable, he is the one to beat behind center for the Spartans.

    Lewerke is healthy again after suffering a broken leg a year ago. He was clearly the team’s best performer during the spring, widening his lead on Damion Terry and Messiah deWeaver, who were saddled with their own injury issues in March. Lewerke showed off a good command of the offense, plus he’s athletic outside of the pocket. Although deWeaver was one of the gems of the 2016 recruiting class, it now looks as if it’ll take a quick growth spurt between now and the opener for him to ascend to the top of the depth chart.

    2. Trishton Jackson Emerging Into A Preferred Target

    The Spartan passing game is searching for a new No. 1 receiver now that R.J. Shelton has graduated. Jackson entered the mix of contenders with the way he performed last month.

    After catching only five passes in his first season out of West Bloomfield (Mich.) High School, Jackson is bucking for a starting gig in 2017. He’s long and lean at 6-1 and 183 pounds, with the smooth gait to get behind the secondary. In the spring game, the sophomore grabbed attention with eight receptions for 168 yards. More important, Jackson spent much of the 15 practices developing a rhythm and earning the confidence of Lewerke.

    3. First-Year CB Josiah Scott Set For Immediate Splash

    Scott, a three-star recruit from Ohio, didn’t just dismiss any notion that he might redshirt in his first season in East Lansing. He’s already making a concerted push for Darian Hicks’ old starting job.

    It’s early, just one full spring session, but Scott looks like the latest Michigan State DB poised to soar past Signing Day expectations. Dantonio made it clear that the rookie is positioned to challenge for the top of the depth chart. Scott impressed his new coaching staff with his physicality, ball skills and approach to the game. And with the next few months to add muscle and get a better grasp of the playbook, he’ll be in an even better position to win a job by August.

    MORE: Former Missouri QB Maty Mauk Seeking Redemption, NFL Shot

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