NCAA Football Big 10 FootballMichigan State Spartans

Is Michigan State’s Aaron Burbridge Ready to be Elite?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Burbridge came to Michigan State in 2012 with one main goal. He wanted to make an immediate impact on the Spartan offense. He was a highly-touted four-star prospect that highlighted the Spartans 2012 recruiting class.

The Spartans had one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten and the passing game was a big reason for such problems. Junior quarterback and first-year starter Andrew Maxwell struggled throughout the season with confidence, leadership and accuracy issues.

Maxwell completed around 50 percent of his passes while throwing for just over 2,600 yards and 13 touchdowns. These numbers were less than impressive for a team that had one of the most explosive offenses in the conference just one year earlier.

While Maxwell had a tough go in his first season behind center, he developed a favorite target as the season progressed.

Burbridge was that target that Maxwell sought out when his former favorite target in tight end Dion Sims suffered a nagging injury. The freshman wide out finished the season with 29 catches for 364 yards with two touchdowns. He became an integral part of the offense starting in week six at Indiana and showed flashes of brilliance throughout the year.

He has one of the more successful seasons of any freshman wide receiver under Mark Dantonio and with a solid freshman season, or half-season in this instance, he will likely be an important part of the offense once again in 2013.

Michigan State will need to utilize the young receiver’s talent and speed in order to have some success on the offensive side of the ball. If they do that, the passing game won’t suffer the same way it did in 2012.

Connor Muldowney is a College Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.