Position-by-position breakdown of the Spartans entering preseason camp.
Following a season full of injuries in 2015, the Spartans return 12 letterwinners to the defensive backfield with plenty of game experience.
Spartans hold third spring practice on Tuesday.
Jalen Watts-Jackson’s Game-Winning Touchdown at Michigan Named ESPN Sport Science “Most Improbable” Newton Award Winner
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: Fourth-year player and two-year letterwinner will complete for playing time at safety . . . has eight tackles in 16 career games.
2016 SEASON (SOPHOMORE): Played in the first nine games of the season before missing the last three due to injury . . . primarily played on special teams . . . played 24 snaps at safety, including a season-high 13 vs. Wisconsin . . . tallied three tackles . . . had one tackle each vs. Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois . . . returned a blocked punt 13 yards vs. Northwestern . . . returned to the field in spring practice after missing the final seven games of the 2015 season with a fractured hip.
2015 SEASON (REDSHIRT FRESHMAN): Appeared in seven games, primarily on special teams, to earn his first letter . . . totaled five tackles on special teams, including two each vs. Air Force and Purdue . . . scored his first career touchdown on a 38-yard fumble return as time expired to give No. 7 Michigan State a 27-23 victory at No. 12 Michigan on Oct. 17; scooped up the mishandled snap by U-M punter Blake O'Neill and broke several tackles en route to the end zone . . . the unforgettable touchdown was named the No. 1 play in college football history in a story published on NFL.com on Oct. 19, 2015 . . . it also was named the No. 1 play of the 2015 season at the ESPN College Football Awards Show in Atlanta on Dec. 10, and ESPN Sport Science named it the Newton Award winner for "Most Improbable" Play of the Year in 2015 . . . the touchdown was a finalist for ESPY for "Play of the Year" . . . unfortunately, he suffered a dislocated and fractured hip on the play and missed the final seven games of the season . . . was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for his game-winning touchdown against the Wolverines . . . MSU head coach Mark Dantonio named Watts-Jackson's game-winning play "Rangers: Mission 4:10" . . . also named Spartan Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Purdue.
2014 SEASON: Redshirted . . . selected Scout Team Defensive Player of the Week vs. Indiana.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Played defensive back in the inaugural Border Classic as Team Michigan defeated Team Ohio, 27-14, on June 14 in Findlay, Ohio . . . ranked among the top cornerbacks in the nation by ESPN.com (No. 33), Scout.com (No. 70) and 247Sports (No. 81) . . . listed as one of the top seniors in the state by The Detroit News (No. 10), Detroit Free Press (No. 10), ESPN.com (No. 14), Lansing State Journal (No. 14), Rivals.com (No. 15), 247Sports (No. 18) and National Underclassmen (No. 18) . . . named one of the top prospects in the Midwest by ESPN.com (No. 91) . . . named to PrepStar's All-Midwest Team . . . three-year starter for Coach George Porritt at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep High School . . . earned first-team all-state honors from the Detroit Free Press (Division 3), The Detroit News (Division 3-4) and The Associated Press (Division 3-4) . . . first-team All-Catholic League selection . . . recorded 39 solo tackles and had six interceptions, including two returns for touchdowns . . . as a wide receiver, had 27 receptions for 369 yards and three touchdowns . . . also returned punts, averaging 16.9 yards on 17 returns, including three scores . . . also played basketball . . . son of Rick and Terra Watts . . . born Dec. 13, 1995 . . . advertising major.