Michigan State enters 2012 minus its top three wide receivers from 2011 plus the quarterback who was throwing them passes the past three seasons, Kirk Cousins.
Michigan State’s trio of receivers combined for 172 catches last season and their departures (along with Cousins) left a huge void for the Spartans to try and fill in 2012.
Good news, help is on the way.
The Spartans received word from the NCAA on Thursday that wide receiver, DeAnthony Arnett, was cleared to play this fall and won’t have to sit out a year after transferring to MSU from Tennessee.
Arnett had applied to the NCAA for a residence waiver so he could be close to his ailing farther who has suffered two heart attacks and is in need of a kidney transplant.
No one usually knows what to expect from the NCAA in these types of situations, but it appears like they used a little bit of common sense in this situation and got one right.
It didn’t come easy, however.
Arnett and his family repeatedly had to supply information from his father’s doctors and the process continued to draw out leaving Arnett and Michigan State in limbo until the decision came down on Thursday.
“Coach D’s call (regarding the NCAA’s decision) put a big smile on my face,” Arnett said. “From the beginning, my father told me not to worry and to put the waiver request in the good Lord’s hands. I’m glad everything is taken care of, so I can concentrate on preparing to have an impact on the team this fall.”
Given Michigan State’s inexperience at the receiver position, Arnett could provide a huge boost for a passing offense that will gladly take any boost it can get.
Scout.com ranked Arnett as the eight best wide receiver in the country coming out of high school in Saginaw, Michigan as part of the 2011 recruiting class. As a freshman for the Volunteers, he finished with 24 catches for 242 yards which included a season high eight catches in Tennessee’s 33-23 loss to Florida.
Michigan State’s most experienced returning receiver is sophomore Tony Lippett who started five games at cornerback last season while also seeing spot duty at wide receiver finishing with a grand total of four catches on the year.
Michigan State opens the season on Friday night, August 31 in what should be one of the best nonconference games of the season when the host Boise State in East Lansing.