Senior linebacker Mylan Hicks had impressed through fall camp after moving up from safety last spring. Now, he has moved into a co-starter spot on the Michigan State depth chart heading into Friday’s season-opener with Jacksonville State.
The fifth-year senior and junior Darien Harris are listed with an “OR” next to their names at the STAR linebacker spot – the lone OR on the defense.
Coach Mark Dantonio said on Tuesday a big reason for Hicks being listed as a starter is the fact the Spartans will see many different offenses this season, including that brought to the table by Jacksonville State.
”Jacksonville State is an offense that has a lot of wide receiver sets and things of that nature,” he said. “It really depends on what they come out in initially, what type of personnel group they come out in.
”I said it the other day, we have ones and one and a halves. He’s stuck in between those two.”
He continued to say the 5-11, 197-pound Hicks had earned his opportunity to be on the field this fall.
”He’s a guy that plays with a lot of toughness,” Dantonio said. “He’s extremely quick and powerful. He’s going to play reckless and he’s not going to be intimidated by any situation. I’m looking forward to him playing on Friday night.”
Shelton and Madaris at cornerback?
Perhaps the most startling name on the Michigan State depth chart was R.J. Shelton listed as the No. 3 boundary corner – in addition to being the No. 1 F-receiver.
The sophomore broke into the rotation on offense last season and is expected to be a big contributor on that side of the ball. Dantonio pointed to a need for depth at corner as why Shelton is now a “dual guy.”
”We will see how he transitions to that position as we move forward,” he said. “He is an outstanding football player, could have been playing corner all along. He has the skills. He is extremely confident and I guess I would say energized at game time.
”My thought process is the guy has got to play more than 20 plays a game for us because he is too good of a football player.”
He said Shelton began working at cornerback since camp broke last Thursday. As for the sophomore Madaris, Dantonio said he also was moved for depth.
”Monty Madaris has been given that opportunity, but I think he is a little farther behind in that regard,” he said.
Kings fully available
Junior receiver MacGarrett Kings was suspended for spring football for a violation of team rules. As it turns out, Kings was arrested for a DUI in April, the Detroit Free Press reported last week.
That raised questions of if King would face more punishment. When asked if Kings is fully available for Friday night, Dantonio simply said, “Yes.”
Kings is listed as the No. 2 F-receiver behind Shelton and is the No. 1 punt returner.