Michigan State Football: The 7 Best Offensive Players on the Squad

Connor Killoren@@Connor_KillorenSenior Analyst IJuly 4, 2011

Michigan State Football: The 7 Best Offensive Players on the Squad

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    Heading into the 2011 season, Michigan State figures to be in the mix for a berth in the first annual Big Ten Championship Game.

    It will be the Spartan offense that may carry them to Lucas Oil Stadium on December 3rd.

    Mark Dantonio's squad returns a bevy of starters on the offensive side of the ball from last year's Co-Big Ten Champion team.

    Which players are the key parts to engine that makes the Spartan offense rumble?

    Let's find out as we count down the seven best offensive players on the squad.

7. OG Joel Foreman

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    Joel Foreman, a redshirt senior, will anchor the Michigan State offensive line in 2011.

    Playing at guard, he must lead the way for the team's high-powered rushing attack.

    According to Rivals.com, Joel Foreman was only a 2-Star recruit out of Milford High School in Highland, Michigan.

    Looks as if those star ratings don't mean much because he has been one of the Big Ten's best linemen in recent years. 

6. TE Garrett Celek

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    Another 2-Star recruit out of high school, Garrett Celek will play a crucial role in this season's offense.

    Michigan State's attack is run-heavy, thus utilizing a number of two tight end sets.

    Garrett Celek will be counted upon to be a do-it-all tight end.

    He hasn't produced big numbers in the previous three seasons as he has a total of only 11 receptions for 100 yards the last three seasons.

    However, many believe this will be a breakout season for Garrett Celek.

5. RB Le'Veon Bell

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    Because Michigan State is a run-first team, it utilizes a two-back system.

    Le'Veon Bell is the second half of the two headed monster at the running back position behind Edwin Baker. 

    Le'Veon Bell carried the football 107 times for 605 yards and eight touchdowns a season ago.

    The scariest part about those figures is that the coaching staff doesn't believe he has reached his full potential yet.

4. WR Keshawn Martin

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    One of quarterback Kirk Cousins' main targets, Keshawn Martin is primed to have breakout season this fall.

    Keshawn Martin reeled in 32 receptions for 394 yards and one score last season.

    With Mark Dell having graduated, it is Keshawn Martin's responsibility to step up and fill those shoes.

    It is a firm belief among Michigan State fans that he will surprise this season.

3. WR B.J. Cunningham

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    Redshirt senior B.J. Cunningham will be the lead receiver in the Spartan offense this season.

    He's coming off a tremendous 2010 season that saw him haul in 50 receptions for 611 yards to go along with nine touchdowns.

    With Kirk Cousins returning at quarterback, B.J. Cunningham has the capability to have a record-breaking season in East Lansing.

    Don't be surprised if he finishes the season as the Big Ten's top receiver.

2. RB Edwin Baker

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    A workhorse back, Edwin Baker was one of the nation's best running backs a season ago.

    He finished 2010 with 1,201 yards on 207 carries. He also added 13 touchdowns.

    It's a shame that his name hasn't even been mentioned in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

    If Edwin Baker can use that as motivation in 2011, opposing defenses better watch out.

    He'll be a man on a mission.

1. QB Kirk Cousins

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    Kirk Cousins holds the keys to the Spartan offense. It's that simple.

    The Spartans go as Kirk Cousins goes.

    He may not put up huge numbers like other high-profile quarterbacks, but he gets the job done and is a tremendous leader.

    Perhaps the part about Kirk Cousins is that he makes very few mistakes.

    That fact is evidenced by his numbers from 2010: 226-338, 2,825 yards, 20 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions.

    If he can improve on those figures this season the Spartan offense will be rolling.

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