Merriman: 5 stars from MSU's spring football game

The defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl champion Michigan State took the field on Saturday afternoon in the annual Green-White spring football game at Spartan Stadium. There were plenty of stars on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Connor Cook, who hooked up with tight end Josiah Price for a game-winning touchdown pass with 27 seconds left to lead the White team to a 20-13 win over the Green Team.

Here’s a look at five players who stood out in today’s MSU spring football game.

[ MORE: Dienhart: My take from MSU’s spring game ]

1. Darian Hicks, CB, White Team

One of the top questions heading into this fall is who will take over for All-American Darqueze Dennard? Many believe it will be sophomore-to-be Darian Hicks, who backed up that belief with a huge performance in Saturday’s spring game. Hicks recorded a game-high six tackles, an interception and a pass breakup, while leading his White team to a victory. With Hicks and Trae Waynes in the defensive backfield, this secondary should be outstanding once again in 2014.

2. Tony Lippett, WR, Green Team

Lippett led the Spartans with 44 receptions last season and he picked up right where he left off on Saturday. The 6-3 Lippett caught a game-high seven passes for 96 yards in the spring game. Even though he didn’t get into the end zone, Lippett was still far-and-away the most impressive receiver out on the field for the Spartans.

3. Josiah Price, TE, White Team

Price should be a huge part of the Spartans’ offense this year after closing out the second half of last season on a high note. The 6-4, 245 pound sophomore was a force in the passing game today, hauling in five passes for 81 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Last season was the first since 2006 where the Spartans didn’t have a tight end eclipse the 300-yard receiving mark. That should change this season with a much-improved Price playing a bigger role in the passing game.

4. Connor Cook, QB, White Team

Cook led the White team to a victory, completing 11-of-21 passes for 159 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He completed passes to five different players, but Price was his go-to-target on Saturday afternoon. It’s funny to think that at this time last season, the Spartans had no idea who would be starting at quarterback in the fall. Now, there is no doubt that Cook is not only the top quarterback on this team, but one of the best signal callers in the entire conference.

5. Demetrius Cooper, DE, White

There has been a lot of hype surrounding Cooper’s name heading into this spring, and rightfully so. This guy has the size and skill-set to be an exceptional defensive end, which is scary to think about given that the Spartans already have two exceptional ends in Shilique Calhoun and Marcus Rush. Cooper only totaled two tackles today, but one was a sack, and he added another quarterback hurry. This guy is a star in the making.

About Sean Merriman BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman covers football and men’s basketball and provides original content for BTN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @BTNSean.

Originally from Farmington Hills, MI, I have worked at the Big Ten Network since 2012 and took over my role as web editor and blogger in August, 2013. Follow me on twitter for constant Big Ten updates @srmerriman. Thanks and enjoy!!

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Mark on 4/27/2014 @ 1:31pm EST Said:

BTN gave a star rating for a scrimmage?