Men’s Football

Darqueze Dennard Inks $8-Million Deal with Bengals

The 2013 Jim Thorpe Award winning cornerback, Darqueze Dennard, hoped to be a top-10 pick in the draft this year. And in one of the best NFL Drafts for defensive backs, Dennard fell to the 24th pick, being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Dennard officially signed a four-year contract with Cincinnati last Thursday. The deal will net Dennard $8 million.

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Jacksonville State (Aug. 29)

Michigan State is coming into the 2014 season as the defending Big Ten Champions with a 10-game winning streak. They have not lost at home since November 2012. With a win in the 100th Rose Bowl and a preseason ranking in the top 10, the ceiling for MSU football is a National Championship, but where is the floor?

If the Spartans lose their first game, it will be the biggest disaster a Big Ten team has experienced in non-conference play since No. 5 Michigan lost to unranked Appalachian State in 2007.

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Breaking down the Class of 2014: Linebackers

After losing Max Bullough and Denicos Allen to graduation, the Spartans will get to see some fresh faces at the linebacker position this fall. Wrapping up the incoming freshman class on the defensive side of the ball, let’s take a look at the linebackers in the class of 2014.

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Breaking down MSU’s 2015 Commits

With a wide range of offensive and defensive threats arriving on campus this fall, Michigan State football hopes to continue bringing in talent and building its program. With the recent verbal commitment from Noah Listermann, the Spartans are building a solid recruiting class for 2015. Here is a look at who has committed thus far:

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The Pact – #34 – 6/9/14

This week marked a big show for The Pact with recent MSU football and basketball signings going down and with the seasons coming up faster than the panel expected.

Fino and Faith welcomed Dan Kilbridge of 247sports.com to discuss and debate the current signees of the 2015 football class (OG Kyonta Stallworth, OT Noah Listermann, CB Tyson Smith, QB Jayru Campbell and QB Brian Lewerke.). Read More…

Position Group Breakdown: Cornerbacks

Last week, Impact Sports released the first of an eight-part series, previewing Michigan State’s safety unit for the 2014 football season.

This week, the focus is on the other part of the “No Fly Zone,” the cornerbacks. Last season, this unit, along with the safeties, helped give the Spartans the third-best pass defense in the nation, allowing just over 165 yards per game.

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Spartan Red Zone – #15 – 6/8/14

Hosts Dan Tyler and Andre Sims talk everything — from the new College Football Playoff beginning this season to potential recruiting conspiracies and more.

How does the new playoff format affect a team’s mindsets this season? Are recruiting sites, like Rivals.com, changing player rankings depending on what school they commit to? Who are the top 10 players in the Big Ten this season?

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Breaking down the Class of 2014: Defensive Linemen

Michigan State turned their recruiting class of 2014 into one of the best with several big-name signees on the defensive line, and it was not an easy task to sign a few of them.

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Breaking down the Class of 2014: Offensive Linemen

Michigan State’s offensive line solidified themselves this past season, allowing Connor Cook and Jeremy Langford to remain protected on their way to an incredibly successful season. Returning are offensive tackles Jack Conklin, Donavon Clark and Kodi Kieler.

The offensive line will be led by senior and ‘YES’-chant man, Travis Jackson, at center. The Spartans will become even deeper with four incoming freshmen on the offensive line.

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Breaking down the Class of 2014: Defensive Backs

MSU hopes to continue setting the standard for the defense in the Big Ten by adding three freshman to the defensive backfield this fall. The “No Fly Zone” defense lost its Jim Thorpe Award-winning cornerback Darqueze Dennard, but still return a lot of talent. Here are the new faces joining the “No Fly Zone”:

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Breaking down the Class of 2014: Tight Ends

The Spartans now have a plethora of depth at the tight end position with Matt Sokol and Montez Sweat joining the team this fall.

Last year, Josiah Price and Andrew Gleichert provided a huge offensive lift for the Spartans. With both of them returning, along with redshirt sophomore Jamal Lyles and junior Paul Lang, Sokol and Sweat will have plenty of opportunities to learn whether they play or redshirt their first season on campus.

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Breaking down the Class of 2014: Running Backs

The 2013 season was a great year for recruiting on the offensive side for Michigan State.

Before the rise of Jeremy Langford, the running back position was a big question mark for the Spartans. This year, MSU is adding some depth in the offensive backfield with three incoming freshmen.

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Offensive Tackle Picks Spartans

Michigan State picked up their latest commitment of the 2015 class, as offensive tackle Noah Listermann chose the Spartans on Sunday over other offers which include Cincinnati, Louisville, and Wisconsin.

Listermann, a 6-foot-7 293-pounder, goes to Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rivals.com ranks Listermann as a three-star recruit, the 28th ranked recruit in the state of Ohio, and the 58th ranked offensive tackle in the nation. Read More…

Position Group Breakdown: Safeties

As the summer heats up and college football kicks off in just over three months, Impact Sports figured it is time to start getting hype for the 2014 season.

To help with that, we are starting a weekly position group breakdown, where we provide some names on the roster to look out for and give a preseason grade for each group.

This week, we start with the safeties, who account for half of the “No Fly Zone”.

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Football Distances from Notre Dame, Adds Arizona State in Schedule

Michigan State and Notre Dame Taking a Break

For the first time in over sixty years, Michigan State will go more than two consecutive seasons without playing Notre Dame in football. The rivalry took a year off in 1953, then the teams faced off 57 times, taking a break only during the 1995 and 1996 seasons. In what is usually an every year occurrence, the Battle for the Megaphone will be fewer and farther between than ever in upcoming years.

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No Spartans Selected in Draft after Dennard, Several Sign with teams as Undrafted Free Agents

The 2013 season was the most successful season Michigan State football has had in decades. The senior class is arguably the best in the team’s history. They won more games than any other senior class, including two Big Ten Championships, 3 three consecutive bowl games and were the 100th Rose Bowl Game champions. With all that talent and experience, several Spartan seniors hoped to hear their name called at the 2014 NFL draft.

Most of them did not get the call.
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Trae Waynes Looking to Fill Big Shoes This Season

Cornerbacks Darqueze Dennard and Trae Waynes both had very similar beginnings to their Spartan careers.

Both players were relatively undervalued coming out of high school, each earning a two-star rating from recruiting database Rivals.com. And they both emerged as talented players during their sophomore seasons, as they each earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

Now, just as Dennard had to do, Waynes will now be charged with replacing a star corner. Read More…

Dennard Drafted by Cincinnati Bengals with Pick No. 24

The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft Thursday night contained many surprises. And when there are surprises, some players are bound to drop later in a round than expected.

Among those surprise players was former Michigan State cornerback, Darqueze Dennard.

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Predictions: Where Will the Former Spartans Go in the NFL Draft?

Darqueze Dennard

Darqueze Dennard is the only Spartan projected to be drafted in the first round.

The first team you see with a need at cornerback is the Detroit Lions at pick No. 10. I have said many times that I think it will be a mistake for Detroit to pass up on Dennard, but it is a mistake they are likely going to make.

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Spartan Playbook: Three-Step Drop – Connor Cook

MSU quarterback Connor Cook teaches how to execute a three-step drop, when 300-pound lineman are rushing a QB. Learn in two minutes and fine-tune your game.

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Spartan Playbook connects sports fans to the most high-profile athletes at Michigan State University. In each episode of Spartan Playbook, the most strategic moves in each sport are explored.

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