SD Breakdown OL

Chris McDonald

If there is a weakness to the Michigan State offense at the start of the 2011 season it is along the offensive line. New offensive line coach Mark Staten will have to rally his guys and shuffle guys around to build the Spartans into a top level line if there are hopes to repeat as Big Ten Champions.

The Spartans spring depth chart looked promising until injuries popped up and sidelined a few players before the end of the Spartans 15 allotted days. As we have learned this week, left tackle David Barrent has decided to end his college athletic career with chronic back issues.

But while there are some concerns, there should also be hope as there are several talented players looking to make their mark.

The known is the guard play as Joel Foreman and Chris McDonald return.

Foreman missed the spring with injuries to his wrist and ankle. The senior enters the season with 36 career starts and should be looked upon as the anchor to the Spartans offensive line with his play and leadership.

McDonald has made 12 career starts and had a super first year as a starter not giving up any sacks.

After Foreman and McDonald you have a who's who of players fighting to get on the field with several being listed a multiple spots along the line.

Mark Dantonio saw the need for bodies prior to the start of spring practice and moved Blake Treadwell and Dan France over from the defensive line to provide some depth. Treadwell could see time this fall at either center or guard if needed.

The center spot is up for grabs with Ethan Ruhland, Treadwell, Travis Jackson and Nate Klatt all possibilities. One of the four should be able to man the position and play at a high level.

As stated the guard positions look to be solid if Foreman and McDonald can remain healthy and on the field. Behind them could be any numbers of linemen as John Deyo, Micajah Reynolds, and Zach Hueter along with Klatt and Treadwell could all man a spot.

Both tackle positions will be questions marks when the Spartans report for camp in August. Redshirt freshman Skyler Schofner was living up to the hype he received prior to arriving on campus and looked to be the leader at the right tackle spot. Spartan fans missed seeing Schofner who was held out of the Green & White Game after suffering a minor injury in the final week of practice.

Others to be considered at tackle for the season opener will be Jared McGaha, France, Michael Dennis and Henry Conway who has battled injuries the last couple of seasons. Also keep an eye on incoming Junior College transfer Fou Fonoti who many feel could play right away.

Spring Grade : B -

Future Outlook: Lots of questions between now and camp to ponder when looking at the type of success the Spartans could have in 2011. If a solid group of five can be built the Spartans have the makings for success in 2011. Overall, the Spartans did a solid job recruiting in the Class of 2011 with Fonoti, Donavon Clark and Jack Allen. They have also added two solid linemen in the Class of 2012 with Benny McGowan and Zach Higgins set to sign next February.

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