Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cory Linsner

Projecting Michigan State football’s depth chart for the 2023 season

Fall camp is set to begin and the Michigan State Spartans are set to prepare for the 2023 season ahead. The 2023 season will be Mel Tucker’s fourth at the helm in East Lansing, and coming off of a 5-7 record in 2022, it is set to be a huge year for the trajectory of the program.

In this series, we are going to try and predict the starting depth chart for Michigan State in this upcoming season. With a decent amount of turnover, the Spartans have a plentiful amount of position battles going on in fall camp.

Buy Spartans Tickets

Check out Spartans Wire’s prediction for the MSU depth chart to start the 2023 season:


Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

1st team: Noah Kim (RS. Soph)

2nd team: Katin Houser (RS. FR)

3rd team: Sam Leavitt (FR)

Analysis: The QB battle between Noah Kim and Katin Houser is going to headline MSU’s fall camp, and rightfully so. I believe it is going to be a close battle from start to finish, but ultimately I think Kim comes out on top.

Also, don’t sleep on Sam Leavitt, while the true freshman may not start right away, he is someone whose name fans will hear sooner rather than later.

Running Back

1st team: Nathan Carter (RS Soph)

2nd team: Jalen Berger (RS JR)

3rd team: Jaren Mangham (RS SR) OR Jordon Simmons (SR)

Analysis: Another position group that has a lot of question marks, the running back room has a lot of experience vying for snaps. While this ultimately will be a running back by committee, I see UConn transfer Nathan Carter getting the lead role, with Jalen Berger being the lead spell and USF transfer Jaren Mangham taking over the short yardage roll.

Wide Receiver

1st team: Tre Mosley (RS SR), Montorie Foster (SR) and Alante Brown (SR)

2nd team: Christian Fitzpatrick (RS JR), Tyrell Henry (Soph), Jaron Glover (RS FR) and Antonio Gates Jr. (RS FR)

Analysis: The wide receiver position lost the most of any position group with the departures of Jayden Reed and Keon Coleman. Nebraska transfer Alante Brown should be able to fill some of the void as a steady slot, while Tre Mosley will continue to be the sure handed reliable veteran he has been before. Montorie Foster will most likely start the year in a starting role, but do not sleep on the young trio of Henry, Glover and Gates, all of which will be nipping at the heels for playing time.

Tight End

1st team: Tyneil Hopper (RS SR) and Maliq Carr (RS JR)

2nd team: Jaylen Franklin (RS SR), Jack Nickel (RS FR) and Ademola Faleye (RS Soph)

Analysis: Boise State transfer Tyneil Hopper is an underrated addition to MSU’s roster in my opinion. He is someone who is ready to step up and take the lead role in MSU’s tight end room. Maliq Carr is another year matured and is ready to take another step forward on the first team as well. Wisconsin transfer Jaylen Franklin, Norfolk State transfer Ademola Faleye and Jack Nickel are going to round out the second team depth options.

Offensive Line

LT: Brandon Baldwin (RS JR)

Backup: Ethan Boyd (RS Soph)

LG: JD Duplain (RS SR)

Backup: Kevin Wigenton (RS Soph)

C: Nick Samac (RS SR)

Backup: Dallas Fincher (RS JR)

RG: Geno VanDeMark (RS Soph)

Backup: Kevin Phillips (RS FR)

RT: Keyshawn Blackstock (JR)

Backup: Spencer Brown (RS SR)

Analysis: This position group is probably the most important if MSU is going to find success in 2023. The Spartans get trusty veterans JD Duplain and Nick Samac returning for a fifth and final season, with the time finally here for recruits in Coach Kapilovic’s first recruiting class to step up in Geno VanDeMark and Brandon Baldwin. I also expect incoming JUCO 4-star Keyshawn Blackstock to overthrow Spencer Brown for the right tackle spot.

Defensive Tackle

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

1st team: Simeon Barrow (RS JR) and Derrick Harmon (RS Soph)

2nd team: Jalen Sami (RS SR) and Maverick Hansen (RS SR)

3rd team: Dre Butler (RS SR), Jarrett Jackson (RS SR) and Alex VanSumeren (RS FR)

Analysis: By far the most experienced position group on the roster, MSU has a plethora of talent and depth at the defensive tackle position. Ironically, the younger members of the group should be the headliners with Barrow and Harmon being very talented. Colorado transfer Jalen Sami is a massive add to the group and will be an integral part of MSU’s run defense packages.

Defensive Ends

1st team: Khris Bogle (RS SR) and Tunmise Adeleye (RS Soph)

2nd team: Zion Young (Soph), Avery Dunn (RS JR) and Brandon Wright (RS SR)

3rd team: Ken Talley (RS FR) and James Schott (RS FR)

Honorary: Jacoby Windmon (RS SR) and Aaron Brule (RS SR)

Analysis: The edge spot is a pivotal spot to the success of a defense. MSU got bolstered in this position group with the addition of elite transfer Tunmise Adeleye. Zion Young was a key cog a year ago as a true freshman and could take a big leap next year to be a key depth piece. Jacoby Windmon and Aaron Brule are listed as linebackers, but I still believe they are going to be used as a swiss army knife, and will get some reps at the defensive end spot.


Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

1st team: Cal Haladay (RS JR), Darius Snow (RS JR) OR Jacoby Windmon (RS SR)

2nd team: Aaron Brule (RS SR), Ma’a Gaoteote (JR) OR Jordan Hall (FR)

3rd team: Aaron Alexander (RS FR) and Quavian Carter (RS FR)

Analysis: One position group on the team that probably has the least amount of question marks is the linebacker room. Cal Haladay, Darius Snow and Jacoby Windmon should be the headliners of the group with a good group of depth behind them.


CB: Charles Brantley (JR)

Backup: Chester Kimborough (RS SR) OR Marqui Lowery (RS Soph)

CB: Terry Roberts (RS SR)

Backup: Caleb Coley (RS FR) OR Semar Melvin (RS SR)

NB: Malik Spencer (RS FR)

Backup: Angelo Grose (SR) OR Justin White (RS SR)

Analysis: A position group that is wide open for the taking, all three starting spots are open for all competitors. The room was bolstered by the addition of Iowa transfer Terry Roberts and Wisconsin transfer Semar Melvin, who will provide experienced depth.


FS: Jaden Mangham (Soph)

Backup: Armorian Smith (RS Soph)

SS: Dillon Tatum (Soph)

Backup: Malcolm Jones (RS FR) OR Harold Joiner (RS SR)

Analysis: True sophomores and former 4-stars Dillon Tatum and Jaden Mangham headline the safety group and are on a strong upward trajectory. Cincinnati transfer Armorian Smith provides outstanding depth, while former running back turned safety Harold Joiner is a wild card that could be a major impact player this fall.

Special Teams

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

K: Jonathan Kim (RS SR)

Backup: Stephan Rusnak (RS Soph)

P: Michael O’Shaughnessy (RS SR)

Backup: Ryan Eckley (RS FR)

LS: Hank Pepper (JR)

Backup: Drew Wilson (JR)

KR/PR: Tyrell Henry (Soph)

Backup: Alante Brown (SR), Montorie Foster (SR) OR Jaelon Barbarin (FR)

Analysis: Special teams was a disaster last season for Michigan State, but the coaching staff took to the transfer portal to hopefully patch up the kicking woes, adding North Carolina transfer Jonathan Kim. Ohio State transfer Michael O’Shaughnessy is set to take over for Bryce Baringer in the punting role as well. I also expect Tyrell Henry to be the team’s main returner.

Contact/Follow us @The SpartansWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Michigan State news, notes, and opinion. You can also follow Cory Linsner on Twitter @Cory_Linsner.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.