Following a season full of injuries in 2015, the Spartans return 12 letterwinners to the defensive backfield with plenty of game experience.
Fifth-year senior Arjen Colquhoun and junior Darian Hicks plan to have an immediate impact after red-shirt freshman Vayante Copeland suffered a season-ending neck injury against Oregon in Week 2.
Position-by-position breakdown of the Spartans entering preseason camp.
Quotes from players and coaches.
Michigan State rolled to a 38-0 halftime lead en route to a 45-7 victory over Jacksonville State in Friday night's 2014 season and home opener.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio likes his team's resilience.
Now it's time to develop a knockout punch.
Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes and Nick Hill ran for two scores Saturday, but No. 8 Michigan State still needed a late interception return for a touchdown to hold on 45-31 at Purdue
CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner enters spring practice as the starting field cornerback . . . has 63 tackles, two interceptions and six pass break-ups in 38 career games, including 16 starts.
2015 SEASON (JUNIOR): Produced a career-best 33 tackles and three pass break-ups in 11 games of action, including six starts (Purdue, Rutgers, Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Alabama) . . . had three stops in the College Football Playoff Semifinal vs. No. 2 Alabama . . . recorded a career-high nine tackles and was named Spartan Co-Defensive Player of the Week vs. Penn State in the regular-season finale . . . returned to the starting lineup in Week 11 at Ohio State . . . returned to action vs. Maryland in Week 10 for the first time since Week 6 at Rutgers and recorded four tackles and a pass break-up against the Terrapins . . . missed three games due to injury (Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska) . . . suffered an injury at Rutgers in Week 6 and had to leave the game . . . played in a reserve role the first four games before returning to the starting lineup in Week 5 vs. Purdue; tallied four tackles and had a pass break-up against the Boilermakers . . . was limited during preseason camp and the first portion of the season due to mononucleosis.
2014 SEASON (SOPHOMORE): Saw action in all 13 games . . . started the first 10 games at field corner . . . collected 28 tackles (19 solos, 9 assists) . . . had two interceptions and three pass break-ups . . . posted two stops in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic vs. No. 5 Baylor . . . had two tackles and picked off a pass to end the first half at Maryland . . . collected a career-high eight tackles vs. No. 14 Ohio State . . . recorded a career-best two pass break-ups in the win over Michigan . . . had two tackles at Indiana, including a 3-yard loss . . . collected four tackles at Purdue . . . posted two stops in win over No. 19 Nebraska . . . tallied three tackles at No. 3 Oregon . . . recorded an interception, pass break-up and one tackle in his first career start vs. Jacksonville State in the season opener.
2013 SEASON (RED-SHIRT FRESHMAN): Appeared in all 14 games as a true freshman, primarily on special teams, to earn his first letter . . . recorded tackles against Michigan and Minnesota.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Ranked among the nation's top cornerbacks by Rivals.com (No. 68), ESPN.com (No. 71) and Scout.com (No. 74) . . . rated among the Midwest's top prospects by ESPN.com (No. 117) . . . named to PrepStar's All-Midwest Team . . . listed among Ohio's top seniors by Rivals.com (No 48) and ESPN.com (No. 54) . . . three-year starter for Coach Jim McQuaide at Solon (Ohio) High School . . . helped the Comets to a combined record of 27-8 (.771) . . . two-time first-team All-Northeast Ohio Conference selection (2011-12) . . . had 33 receptions for 542 yards (16.4 avg.) and eight touchdowns as a senior . . . returned 11 kickoffs for 219 yards (19.9 avg.) in 2012 . . . also returned 12 punts for 200 yards (16.7 avg.) and one score as a senior . . . recorded 15 tackles (9 solos, 6 assists) and a team-leading four interceptions in 2012 . . . caught a career-best eight passes for 82 yards and intercepted two passes vs. Brunswick . . . had six receptions for 109 yards and two TDs (32 and 34 yards) and his 40-yard punt return set up another score vs. Twinsburg . . . scored on a 78-yard punt return vs. Buchtel . . . had six catches for a career-best 120 yards and two TDs (38 and 46 yards) in the 2012 season opener vs. Shaker Heights . . . his 46-yard TD grab with 19 seconds left gave the Comets a 24-21 win over Shaker Heights . . . earned second-team all-district honors as a junior . . . caught 25 passes for 275 yards (11.0 avg.) and two scores in 2011 . . . accounted for six total touchdowns as a junior, with four coming on returns . . . returned 12 kickoffs for 530 yards (44.2 avg.) in 2011, including a career-long 92-yard runback for a TD . . . registered a career-best 41 tackles (23 solos, 15 assists), including three for losses, and two interceptions in 2011 . . . credited with 31 tackles (18 solos, 13 assists), including one for a loss, as a sophomore . . . led the team with six interceptions in 2010, including a 67-yard return for a TD vs. Mentor . . . also competed in track and field . . . posted personal bests of 5-9 in the high jump and 23-0 in the long jump . . . former high school teammate of current Spartan wide receiver Edward Barksdale III . . . son of Arthur and Melanice Hicks . . . born Aug. 21, 1995 . . . communication major.