Big Ten Football Top 150 Players: No. 120: DeAnthony Arnett, WR, Michigan State
No. 120: DeAnthony Arnett, #5, WR, Michigan State
2011 Stats: 24 catches, 242 yards, 1 TD (Tennessee, transferred)
As pure electric athleticism goes, there are few wide receivers in the entire Big Ten that can match up to DeAnthony Arnett. The Saginaw speedster was an Army All-American out of high school and broke into Tennessee's lineup immediately, and his open-field skills are a clear testament why. As parallels to former Michigan State wideouts go, he's closest to Keshawn Martin in this respect, and Spartan fans should be happy about that.
Even though Arnett plays bigger than he is, the fact remains that he's just 5'11" and 170 at this point, and he's probably not going to add a ton of weight. So while he can maneuver and adjust to jump balls against sprinting defensive backs, he's going to have trouble adjusting to press coverage, and the only catches he'll be making over the middle are probably going to be drag routes.
Michigan State has a complete overhaul of its passing game personnel in front of it as its top five receivers (three wideouts and two tight ends) have all graduated. The Spartans have a lot of intriguing players waiting in the wings--Arnett being one--but the race for playing time is wide open.
It doesn't help that this is Arnett's third team and third offense in three years. It's certainly nice that the NCAA made the right call in allowing Arnett to play immediately, but he's got more adjustment to make than the receivers he'll be battling for playing time. He's athletic enough to do exactly that, though, and we could see upwards of 40 receptions for the talented sophomore in his first season in green and white.
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