David Defever

Way-Too-Early Predictions: Eastern Michigan (Sept. 20) and Wyoming (Sept. 27)

The Spartans face off against Eastern Michigan after a bye week and will then take on Wyoming during homecoming week. These games will wrap up the non-conference season for MSU, as Mark Dantonio hopes to earn two victories while the team builds up momentum heading into the Big Ten season.

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Mike Sadler Named Preseason First-Team All-American

Mike Sadler was one of the best punters in the nation last season, pinning a nation-leading 24 punts within the opponent’s 10-yard-line. Despite his impressive numbers and knack for converting fake punts in clutch situations, he was not named a finalist for the Ray Guy Award last season, given each year to the nation’s top punter.

Going into 2014, however, Athlon Sports projects that Sadler is a front runner for the Award, naming him as their preseason First-Team All-American.

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Way-Too-Early Prediction: Oregon (Sept. 6)

In what is arguably the biggest non-conference game in Michigan State football history, the Spartans will travel across the country to face Oregon in a game between two top 10 teams that has playoff implications.

A victory in a game of this magnitude and national exposure could solidify MSU as an elite football program. The Spartans open as a 13-point underdog.

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Position Group Breakdown: Linebackers

Over the last two weeks,  Impact Sports previewed 2014’s “No Fly Zone,” comprising of the cornerback and safety units.

This week, the focus is on the linebackers — one of the most impressive units of the 2013 season that will feature some new faces next season after the departure of a few key players.

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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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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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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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Middle Man

He was once a two-sport, star athlete at Lansing Sexton High School.

Drew Valentine set school records, garnered all-state acclaim and received top-notch offers from the most storied programs across the country (Florida State and Michigan State to name a few).

But little did Drew imagine that injuries would put him on the hardcourt sideline with his brother, Denzel, five years later.

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The Pact – #30 – 5/12/14

The 2014 NFL Draft is over and the panelists had the weekend to digest the seven rounds of choices. Fino, Faith and Lou discuss the Lions’ controversial top choice of tight end Eric Ebron as well as their overall feelings for Detroit’s eight draft choices.

The panel also discusses the outcome of the NFL Draft for the Spartans who partook.

This week’s show finishes with a debate about the current series in the NHL Playoffs.

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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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