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Freshmen lend depth to Michigan State's secondary

Jalen Watts-Jackson of Orchard Lake St. Mary's is among the group of talented young MSU defensive backs. Daniel Mears / Detroit News

While the Spartans must replace six starters on defense, there is a belief there will be little to no drop-off headed into this season. More

MSU's Mark Dantonio: We would have won national title with playoff last season

Mark Dantonio and Connor Cook hold the Rose Bowl trophy after MSU's win over Stanford. Dale G. Young / Detroit News

There is no doubt Michigan State was rolling. Its only loss came in the fourth week of the season at Notre Dame, and by the time the Spartans headed to the Rose Bowl, they had won nine straight games – all by double digits. More

Michigan State aims for winning them all in 2014

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, left, is working to keep his assistants until they leave for 'the right job.' Dale G. Young / Detroit News

As the Spartans enter this season, a marquee game highlights the nonconference schedule: a Week 2 trip to Oregon. And last year's loss at Notre Dame could serve as a reminder to Michigan State just how important a nonconference game is. More

Michigan State will use its status as Big Ten's 'second-best'

Mark Dantonio listens to a question during Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. Paul Beaty / Associated Press

At the Big Ten's Media Days at the Chicago Hilton, there was no question who the Big Ten champion was last season. The contingent from Michigan State proudly displayed its reward after last year's conference title and Rose Bowl victory. More

Spartans the 'hunted' but know sustained success can be elusive

MSU quarterback Connor Cook shows off his Rose Bowl ring at Big Ten Media Days on Monday. 'What better time to wear it?' he said. Matt Charboneau / The Detroit News

As coach Mark Dantonio continues to preach handling success to his team, he understands the nature of what he has built entering his eighth season at Michigan State. More

Five players to watch on Michigan State's offense

A hamstring injury slowed Aaron Burbridge in 2013. David Guralnick / Detroit News

It took the Michigan State offense a few weeks to get going last season, but once it did, it led the Spartans to a Big Ten championship and a victory in the Rose Bowl. Most of that core is back for 2014. More

Five players to watch on Michigan State's defense

Taiwan Jones is moving to middle linebacker, replacing Max Bullough. Dale G. Young / Detroit News

Michigan State's defense has been among the best in the nation for three years running and the Spartans will expect no less in 2014. Still, six starters are gone, so some guys will have to step up. More

Michigan State's class continues to grow with Josh Butler, Felton Davis

Josh Butler picked the Spartans over Notre Dame, Texas A&M, UCLA and many other top programs. Scout.com / Greg Powers

Michigan State's recruiting class of 2015 grew by two this week when Highland Springs (Virginia) wide receiver Felton Davis and West Mesquite (Texas) cornerback Josh Butler both committed to the Spartans. More

Michigan State's Adreian Payne signs rookie deal with Hawks

Adreian Payne was the No. 15 pick in the NBA draft. John Bazemore / Associated Press

Financial terms were not announced, but under the NBA's rookie pay scale, Payne will make about $1.5 million in his first season. More

Michigan State conditioning coach Ken Mannie keeps players strong for long run

Ken Mannie enters his 20th season as Michigan State's strength and conditioning coach. Matthew Mitchell / Special to Detroit News

As he enters his 20th season, Mannie has become a leader in his field and now runs an entire department, one that includes far more than a GA nobody could ever find. A staff of six work full time for Mannie, three on football. He also has a graduate assistant and two interns. More

Spartans snubbed on ESPN ranking of top defenses in college football

Ed Davis returns to a Spartan defense that allowed 13.2 points per game in 2013. John T. Greilick / Detroit News

Defensive efficiency is determined from a formula that includes three years of recruiting rankings, coaching tenure, returning starters, and defensive efficiency from previous years. More

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