Michigan State football

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Michigan State football: Whose stock is on the rise after WMU win?

Whose stock is on the rise after Michigan State football’s 35-13 win over Western Michigan to start the year?

One game is in the books and Michigan State football has been the subject of criticism from rival fans and even some national analysts.

But that doesn’t mean the Spartans lacked positives.

The Michigan State football defense looked improved in some areas despite losing Xavier Henderson and Darius Snow and Simeon Barrow didn’t play the entire second half.

The offense also had its moments and put up 35 points and yet left 17-21 points on the field.

There’s room for growth, but there are a few guys whose stocks are on the rise.

Whose stock is skyrocketing after the season-opening win over WMU?

Jacoby Windmon, EDGE

If you haven’t already purchased stock in Jacoby Windmon, you may be too late. He had a monster opener, rivaling (but not really) Kenneth Walker III’s breakout in the first game of 2021. Windmon finished with four sacks and seven total tackles after moving over from linebacker to defensive end.

The Brandon Jordan Effect (trademark pending, hopefully) was in full swing and Windmon was the main beneficiary. He looked like the best player on the field all night long against WMU.

Keon Coleman, WR

If it were up to Keon Coleman, everyone would have already purchased his stock.

The sophomore led all receivers on Friday night with four catches for 84 yards and his first touchdown at Spartan Stadium. He just looked like a different player out there than a year ago — he’s built like a truck and he still has speed and athleticism to burn. Coleman was a matchup nightmare at receiver all night and probably should have put up even better numbers, but Payton Thorne was a little off.

Michigan State football may have found its post-Jayden Reed WR1.

Chester Kimbrough, DB

Are you as surprised to see this name on a list of players with rising stocks as I am? Probably, right?

Chester Kimbrough had his best game as a Spartan against Western Michigan on Friday, posting a career-best PFF rating and looking like the best defensive back on the field.

The second-year Spartan came in as a cornerback but moved to nickel and looks to be more confident this season. If the opener is a sign of what to expect moving forward, Kimbrough is going to be a very pleasant surprise in 2022.

Daniel Barker, TE

I wanted to see a lot more out of the tight ends against Western Michigan, but outside of Daniel Barker, the rest of the group was quiet. Barker, too, is capable of much more, but we saw him flash those strong mitts on a one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone for an early score. He can be that dude.

Jalen Berger, RB

Anyone who joined my Spartan Shadows watch party for the opener knows who I favor in the backfield. I’m driving the Jarek Broussard bandwagon and I still am despite him having a quiet game compared to Jalen Berger. But what we saw from the Wisconsin running back transfer was impressive. He finished with 120 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and it looks like he could be the workhorse.

Berger showcased good vision, strength, and some nice speed in the open field for more of a power back.

Michigan State’s backfield duo is going to be a problem for opponents.

Ben VanSumeren, LB

With Darius Snow going down, no one is going to mean more to the linebacking corps than Ben VanSumeren. Like Chester Kimbrough, VanSumeren wasn’t a name that was on my radar heading into the opener, but he shocked me by how great he looked against the Broncos.

VanSumeren led the team with 11 tackles and a tackle for loss and showcased his speed, strength, and IQ from the linebacker position. It looks like he’s going to be the surprise of the defense this season.

Germie Bernard, WR

It’s so early in Germie Bernard’s career, but I’m buying all the stock now. He had one reception for 44 yards and a touchdown against Western and the catch and run was impressive. Bernard reached up for a slightly high pass, slipped past his defender, and sprinted by everyone for the score.

This receiving corps is going to be scary this season.

Other Michigan State football players who I thought played well but didn’t necessarily make the cut were Khris Bogle and Barrow and already-proven stars like Bryce Baringer, Tre Mosley, and Jayden Reed looked good.

Michigan State football

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Michigan State Football: Jacoby Windmon is this year’s portal superstar

Kenneth Walker III was a revelation for Michigan State football last season and this year, it looks like the portal star is Jacoby Windmon.

The season opener in 2021 immediately showed who Michigan State football’s best player was.

Kenneth Walker III burst onto the scene and took over on the offensive side of the ball, rushing for 264 yards and four touchdowns. It was obvious that he was that dude and he was going to be for the entirety of his first season in the green and white.

One game into the 2022 season, we may already know who’s filling that role of transfer portal superstar: Jacoby Windmon.

Throughout the Western Michigan game, it was clear that Windmon just had that it factor. He dominated on the defensive line after moving to end from linebacker, picking up four sacks and making a living in the backfield all night long.

Windmon used what he learned from Brandon Jordan this offseason and had four sacks and seven total tackles and really made life difficult on the Western Michigan offensive line.

For the second straight year, the Spartans have found a superstar in the transfer portal.

Windmon impressed everyone with his dominant performance and was named the Walter Camp Player of the Week on the defensive side of the ball.

Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy loved what he saw from the UNLV transfer, posting a thread on Twitter with some of his best plays from the opening win over Western.

The senior edge rusher had four sacks, a forced fumble, and numerous pressures. His “ghost” move was nearly unblockable by the Broncos and he utilized his speed and athleticism to really blow by would-be blockers without getting touched. Windmon looks like a budding superstar on defense.

And Michigan State football is going to benefit from this massive breakout. On one end, there’s Khris Bogle, in the middle are Simeon Barrow and Jacob Slade, and on the other edge is Windmon. Michigan State’s starting defensive line is top-three in the Big Ten with ease.

Mel Tucker really dipped into the portal and landed the nation’s best running back and then one of the best pass rushers in back-to-back years. This man is a portal genius.

Buy all the stock in Windmon now before it’s too expensive.

Michigan State football

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Buy stock in these Michigan State football players ahead of 2022

Fresh off an 11-2 season, Michigan State football is looking to prove that 2021 wasn’t a fluke. In order to do that, the Spartans must rely on some role players from last season along with some incoming transfers to step up.

We saw Kenneth Walker III go from little-known transfer to Doak Walker Award winner last year while Payton Thorne broke school records and the duo of Jalen Nailor and Jayden Reed contributed to one of the Big Ten’s most explosive offenses. If only you bought stock in those guys before the year.

Don’t worry, I have you covered ahead of this season.

Time to buy stock in these guys.

Keon Coleman, WR, Sophomore

I don’t think it’s possible to be higher on someone, but Keon Coleman is just that good. The former four-star receiver from Louisiana is a freak athlete, standing 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds; he’s built like a truck, in the best way possible. He had a quiet freshman season but was extremely raw and now that he’s being thrown into the starting lineup, he should take a massive leap. If he plays even remotely close to his potential, he might just stumble his way into an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection this year.

Jacoby Windmon, LB, Senior

An All-Mountain West linebacker Jacoby Windmon broke out with UNLV in 2021 but now he’s joining a legit playoff contender in East Lansing. Going from the Group of Five to the Power Five is an adjustment, but Windmon has the look of a budding star. He had 119 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks as a junior with UNLV and while he may not put up video game-like numbers like that with the Spartans, he’s probably going to be a starter and he’s one of the most talented guys on that side of the ball.

Jarek Broussard, RB, Junior

How do you replace one of the best running backs in school history? You go to the same well (portal) that brought you said all-time rusher. That’s exactly what Mel Tucker did (twice) this offseason, landing Wisconsin transfer Jalen Berger and Colorado transfer Jarek Broussard. Both will be really good in this offense, but if I had to choose one who could be that next Kenneth Walker III, it would have to be Broussard. He’s a shifty runner with good vision and solid speed and he’s built to last in the Big Ten. The former Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year is going to make it two straight years with a 1,000-yard rusher.

These highlights should make you giddy:

Khris Bogle, DE, Senior

Three years ago, Khris Bogle was a top-100 recruit and he was being compared to Seattle Seahawks’ outside linebacker and former first-rounder Barkevious Mingo. Fast forward to 2022 and he has 30 games with the Florida Gators under his belt and just 67 career tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and seven sacks. The Florida transfer is capable of so much more and he’s placing his trust in Brandon Jordan — which is about to pay off in a big way. We’re going to see a massive uptick at defensive end this season with Bogle becoming a star.

Geno VanDeMark, OL, Freshman

Geno VanDeMark was one of the top signees in Michigan State’s 2021 recruiting class from New Jersey and he redshirted his freshman season. With a year of experience under his belt and a clear need along that offensive line, I can see VanDeMark being this year’s breakout star in the trenches. There are a few linemen to buy stock in, but VanDeMark has the tools and he can be a bully on the interior, paving the way for Broussard to run wild.

Spartan Nation, let’s ride.