Spartans Need Much More From Tight Ends

Spartans Need Much More From Tight Ends

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Spartans Need Much More From Tight Ends

Michigan State’s offensive problems over the course of the 2018 season cannot be pinpointed down to one issue. However, all of the issues are, in many ways, connected. One area that has to improve is the productivity of the tight ends. There is plenty of talent at the position and it needs to be maximized.

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Michigan State’s Matt Dotson is about to complete his sophomore season at tight end for the Spartans.

Dotson is 6’5″ and he weighs 250 pounds.

The guy is a beast in just about every way and he seems like the kind of guy who might be a lot of fun to eat some burgers and drink some root beer with.

We like Matt Dotson and think the Bishop Moeller product from Kenwood, Ohio can be more than just a guy who plays good football for Michigan State – we think this guy has the tools to be a long time player in the NFL after helping the Spartans win more Big Ten Championships.

I do not have my graduate degree in football scouting and I do not have a PhD. in NFL Draft analysis.

However, when I look at Matt Dotson as a football specimen, I see a guy who has all the potential to be as good of a football player as Garrett Celek, Josiah Price, Dion Sims, and Brian Linthicum.

Each of those former Spartans made major contributions to the successes of the Mark Dantonio Era and each of those former Spartans earned their way onto NFL rosters.

Dotson can be – should be? – yet another Michigan State tight end that is very difficult for opposing defenses to stymie.

He should be another Michigan State tight end that becomes a dangerous offensive weapon.

He should be another Michigan State tight end that is another bruising blocker that allows Mark Dantonio to stay true to the philosophy that has led to 3 Big Ten Championships in 12 years – a philosophy that believes in being able to succeed on 3rd and short situations by pounding the ball on the ground or by going with a possession-type of passing play that calls on the tight end to be reliable.

He should be another Michigan State tight end that earns a living as a professional football player in the NFL.

Having said all of that, Matt Dotson has some work to do and it’d be great if the work started right now.

Through two seasons as a Spartan, Dotson has 14 receptions for a total of 151 yards and 1 touchdown.

Against Purdue this season, Dotson showed a bit of the potential we’ve been talking about when he hauled in four receptions for 48 yards and had a key 21-yard reception – all while Rocky Lombardi was trying to the right the Spartan ship.

Maybe the ball just needs to be directed Dotson’s way more often.

Dotson had a chance to haul in a possible touchdown early against Nebraska.

That would have been a tough grab but the incomplete pass was made even more of a problem when Dotson was flagged for a personal foul due to some “extracurriculars” that took place at the end of the play.

That flag moved Michigan State back fifteen yards and Matt Coghlin missed a 41-yard attempt that would have been a 26-yarder if there wasn’t any 15-yard penalty after the incomplete pass.

We’re not trying to pick on Dotson – as we said above, we actually think this guy can become a major weapon for an offense that is in dire need of weapons of any kind.

Dotson has the size and the athleticism to both stretch the field and be a powerful possession receiver on 3rd down situations.

Perhaps we’ll see Dotson become more of a focal point in the Redbox Bowl against Oregon.

And, as this offense works to grow from a dismal 2018, perhaps Dotson will do all he can to set the offense right and be a valuable contributor to the essential improvements.

Matt Dotson isn’t the only tight end on this roster, by the way.

Matt Seybert is a 6’4″, 250 pounder who will be back for his senior season next Fall.

Trenton Gillison just finished his freshman regular season after coming in as a highly touted member of last year’s recruiting class.  Gillison is 6’4″ and 250 pounds and has all of the tools in the toolbox.

The broad point here is that Michigan State’s offense has been more than productive when the tight end has been a part of the strategic approach to winning Big Ten Championships.

Dotson, Seybert, Gillison, and anyone else who becomes a part of this unit can and should assert themselves in the offseason so that this part of the Spartan attack can be rediscovered.

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