September 12, 2012

Burbridge, Kings add to big-play potential of Spartan offense

EAST LANSING - An injury during either of Michigan State's final two non-conference games against Notre Dame (Sept. 15) or Eastern Michigan (Sept. 22) could potentially preserve the respective redshirt of Aaron Burbridge or MacGarrett Kings Jr.

But Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio expects both freshmen wide receivers to remain in the active playing group after getting a taste of playing time at Central Michigan last weekend.

"You don't want to play your freshmen unless they are going to continue to play," said Dantonio following his team's 41-7 victory over the CMU. "I talked with them on the sideline and we practiced them all week. They have great skills. I think when they get the ball in their hands they can make things happen. They just have to get in the rhythm of the whole offense. They can be big-play players for us. They want to play, they knew the situation. We've played them, now we will use them and we will get them more involved possibly."

When he signed with Michigan State as the headliner of a four-man wide receiver class ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten, Burbridge looked like a good bet for playing time as a rookie until suffering a knee injury on the first day of training camp.

"It was real frustrating," said Burbridge of the injury that prevented him from practicing the entire month of August. "But when my opportunity came, I grabbed it."

The former Farmington Hills Harrison star caught two passes for 14 yards in his Michigan State debut against Central Michigan.

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