24. Michigan State Spartans
’18 Record: 7-6 (5-4)
Top Returning Player: Kenny Willekes — DE
Key Loss: Justin Layne — CB
Key Addition: Devontae Dobbs — OG
Projected to be the fourth-best team in the Big Ten East, the Spartans aren’t likely to make a run at the conference crown. Still, there is plenty to be excited about in East Lansing. Coach Dantonio should once again have an elite defense. After an injury delayed Kenny Willekes’ NFL plans, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year opted to return to school. Willekes and defensive tackles Mike Panasiuk and Raequan Williams will be a force all year long.
The offense is more of a question mark. Quarterback Brian Lewerke is back at full health and has a solid group of receivers to work with, but the Spartans lack a true No. 1 running back. Whoever wins the job will have an experienced line to run behind — seven linemen return — but as of now, nobody has grabbed hold of the job. If the offense comes through, nobody will look forward to playing Sparty.
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