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March 28, 2011
SPRING FOOTBALL '11: Aiming for the Rose Bowl
EAST LANSING - Ten new names were listed on the first string today when Michigan State released the initial depth chart for 2011 spring football practice.
In addition to those 10, two others are manning first-string positions this spring while starters recover from injury.
Video by Gillian Van Stratt
Senior left guard Joel Foreman (wrist) and senior nose tackle Kevin Pickelman (neck) are out for at least the majority of the spring, but are expected to start in the fall.
"We will probably hold Pickelman out the majority of the spring," Dantonio said. "He may practice near the end. He had a neck injury, so we are holding him out. But he is an established player for us, an established starter."
As for the 10 new names on the first string, redshirt freshman right offense tackle Skyler Schofner and sophomore right defensive end Will Gholston are noteworthy as young stars on the rise.
"Schofner is a very, very talented young freshman," said head coach Mark Dantonio. "He had an outstanding freshman year. He is everything you want as an offensive tackle. He is 6-6, 310 pounds and he is very active. He has toughness, he has great feet and is athletic. So we are going to give him the oportunity right at the outset and we will build it from there."
Gholston saw action in 10 games last year as a back-up defensive end. He missed the last three with a shoulder injury.
"We took him off the field last year so that we could get him back for the spring," Dantonio said. "He will be functional throughout the spring. I would say he is probably going to be at full strength for the last three weeks of spring. Initially we need to be careful with him.
"He did go through winter conditioning, probably 80 percent of it. He is right where he needs to be and where we expect him to be at this point. He should be a dominant player for us."
New Kids on the Starting Block
Other new names on the first string:
Treadwell, the son of former MSU offensive coordinator Don Treadwell, offers one of the more interesting position change experiments of the spring.
"We will evaluate it as we go," Dantonio said. "He has been a starter for us (on defense). I would anticipate him being in the mix. If he is not in the mix, then he will probably play on the defensive side of the ball.
"He was an outstanding offensive lineman coming out of high school. We have to make sure we have guys that are athletic enough to play center and offensive guard and we want to give him the opportunity to get into the mix."
"They will like him over there," said defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. "I don't anticipate him coming back to defense."
In Foreman's absence at left guard, Michigan State listed junior John Deyo and sophomore Micajah Reynolds as co-starters. Reynolds was a second-string right guard last season and was impressive in a handful of games in a mop-up role.
In Pickelman's absence at nose tackle, the Spartans list junior Anthony Rashad White. White saw action as a second-string defensive tackle last year.
"He was a junior college transfer, so he was a first-year guy like a freshman in a lot of ways," Narduzzi said. "He could really take a big step this spring."
Hammock appears to be the most improved player coming out of winter conditioning. Hammock moved from inside linebacker to fullback last season. He was a star on special teams, especially kickoff coverage, and saw limited duty at fullback. But Hammock, a hard-hitter from Fort Wayne, Ind., lost close to 15 pounds during winter conditioning. With it came a new burst in speed.
"I saw him in winter conditioning and he looked slimmer and a lot faster and I said, 'We need to give him another look back on defense,'" Narduzzi said.
"He was 255 pounds (last fall)," Dantonio said. "He has his weight back down to around 230. He is moving very well. If you look at one guy who had a great winter conditioning program, I would say TyQuan Hammock did that.
"He is moving very effectively. He was an outstanding player on special teams. He shows the ability to strike people. We are looking forward to watching him this spring and see how he handles either of those two linebacker positions, because he is moving very, very effectively."