X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NCAA Football Big 10 FootballMichigan State Spartans

Michigan State Football: 5 Players With Biggest Shoes to Fill in 2014

1 of 11

5 Michigan State Players With Big Shoes to Fill

Taiwan Jones
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

It might not be too long before you start hearing that Michigan State won't be the same team because it lost so many defensive pieces from a Rose Bowl-winning squad. However, this list isn't just to show that Michigan State has some big shoes to fill, it's also to show that the Spartans are returning a ton of talent that they can plug into those shoes.

Let's take a look at five players that need to step up big time in 2014.

5. Tony Lippett, WR

Tony Lippett
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

5. Tony Lippett, WR

Tony Lippett
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Lippett was already a valuable contributor to the Spartans' offense in 2013, but with the departure of No. 1 wide out Bennie Fowler, Lippett will need to move into that top role and lead the team in receptions and yards in 2014. He did manage to have 44 catches for 613 yards and two scores last season. He has the frame to fare much better this season.

4. RJ Williamson, SS

RJ Williamson
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

4. RJ Williamson/Demetrious Cox, SS

RJ Williamson
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Losing Isaiah Lewis hurts the Spartans a bit, but knowing that they have two guys who can quickly fill his place is nothing short of comforting. Both RJ Williamson and Demetrious Cox have the potential to be just as productive -- if not more productive -- than Lewis was at the position for the past three years.

3. Ed Davis, OLB

Ed Davis
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

3. Ed Davis, OLB

Ed Davis
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Replacing Denicos Allen will not be an easy task. In fact, Davis has some huge shoes to fill as Allen was considered a top-three linebacker in the Big Ten. In very limited time during nine games in 2013, Davis recorded 17 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He is much bigger than Allen was and that might help him in terms of physicality.

2. Trae Waynes, CB

Trae Waynes
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2. Trae Waynes, CB

Trae Waynes
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It will be nearly impossible to replace Darqueze Dennard's production and leadership on the field, but Trae Waynes has been called Dennard 2.0 -- and he might very well be just as talented. Waynes played opposite of Dennard last season and recorded 50 tackles and three interceptions with five pass deflections.

1. Taiwan Jones, MLB

Taiwan Jones
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

1. Taiwan Jones, MLB

Taiwan Jones
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Taiwan Jones will be sliding over from the outside linebacker position to play middle linebacker in place of the team's captain, Max Bullough. This is going to be the hardest position to fill as Bullough was one of the school's best linebackers of all time. However, Jones has starting experience and he was solid in his time, recording 67 tackles in 2013.

Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.