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Friday, January 4, 2013

Michigan State not Rebuilding, rather Retooling for 2013

Le'Veon Bell Declared for the draft on Thursday.
         After a disappointing 6-6 finish, the Michigan State Spartans beat TCU to end the 2012 season. Optimism filled the air in East Lansing, in hopes of their top three Juniors coming back to lead the Spartans to their first Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance in more than twenty years. Thursday those hopes were dealt a blow as all three Spartans declared themselves eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft. Le'Veon Bell told Dantonio of his intentions to enter the draft early Thursday morning, after rushing for 1,793 yards 12 touchdowns and leading the Spartans to their 17-16 bowl victory. Bell was later followed by TE Dions Sims and DE William Gholston, as all three are projected to go in rounds 2-4 of the draft. As MSU prepares to move on without these young men, here is a look at the potential replacements for the 2013 season.

         Nick Tompkins, RB, R-FR- I fell in love with Tompkins from the moment I seen him on the Spartans recruiting radar in 2010. Standing 5'10 185 lbs, Tompkins has very low center of gravity and explodes through his cuts. He ran a 4.4 40 yard dash with a great initial burst, accelerates through the hole, and drops his pad level to finish runs. Had offers from Boston College, California, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt among others. Was rated a 3-star (Scout) out of Brookwood HS in Georgia, and ranked as the 11th All-Purpose Back in the country. The Running Back race could come down to Tompkins, Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford, moving back into RB, as a three headed attack out of fall camp. Tompkins has what it takes to pull away late in the season as the go-to back for the Spartans.

         Shilique Calhoun, DE, R-FR- A 3-star recruit out of Middletown North HS, in New Jersey, Calhoun was among the top of Dantonio's wish list for the 2011 recruiting class. Calhoun had offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia among others. Standing 6'5 225 lbs, Calhoun has tremendous burst off the line and finishes with power. Played in all 13 games for the Spartans, tallying 6 TKL, 2 TKL for loss and 1 Sack. That sack, versus TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl, came late in the fourth quarter which stalled TCU's drive and led to an eventual Spartan field goal to seal the victory. His great initial burst off the line made Calhoun a situational pass rusher for the Spartans in 2012, and with a little work in the weight room, will lead to a better rounded DE next season. As I said in my previous article, the Spartans physical style, led by the defense, will carry them in 2013 and beyond.

         Paul Lang, TE, R-FR- Listed second on the the Spartans Depth Chart in 2012, Lang had 3 receptions for 8 yards and a touchdown on the season. Lang had only two division one offers coming out of HS but decided on MSU early in the process. Standing 6'5 255 lbs, Lang provides a big bodied TE with soft hands for the Spartans moving forward. A 2-star recruit out of Mount Lebanon HS in Pittsburgh, Lang will work on his route running over the off-season to polish himself as a receiving target for Spartans Quarterbacks next season.


  1. Floppy - you have an RSS for your blog comments, but no RSS feed for blog posts. Let me know when you get that fixed. I am building a library of Spartan Headlines via RSS feed at the bottom of the page at my blog.

  2. OK - Your feed now appears at Thanks!