Monty Madaris Primed for Big Senior Season
This article originally appeared on SpartanAvenue.com.
Michigan State football fans anxiously sweating the state of the Spartans receiving corps heading into the 2016 season were able to rest a bit easier after Friday night’s win over Furman. While MSU’s leading returning receiver, R.J. Shelton, missed the majority of the game due to a minor injury, the MSU passing attack did not stall out. In fact, the Spartans moved the ball pretty well through the air, mostly thanks to a superb performance by Monty Madaris.
The oft-injured former four-star recruit is finally healthy and at the top of the depth chart at the Z receiver position and did not disappoint in his first significant full-time game action.
Madaris was a constant threat against the Paladins, consistently moving the sticks as both a runner and receiver with 85 receiving yards on five catches and one rush for another 12 yards. Given the lack of a second established threat in Shelton, the performance was very inspiring.
While it would be premature to say that Madaris will match the production of Aaron Burbridge, who led Michigan State with 85 receptions and 1,258 receiving yards last season, the fifth-year senior looks primed to fill the shoes of the departed Big Ten Receiver of the Year.
If Madaris can handle this role, the MSU passing attack may be even better than it was a season ago; granted Shelton stays healthy and lives up to expectations.
With sophomore Felton Davis III and freshman Donnie Corley providing extra depth and senior tight ends Josiah Price and Jamal Lyles serving as reliable red zone targets, QB Tyler O’Connor has a variety of weapons at his disposal.
MSU’s opening win over Furman was certainly not the performance Spartan fans were hoping to see, but Madaris’ performance erases some doubt that Michigan State football will have trouble finding offensive balance in 2016.