July 11, 2012

Foundation 40: Profiling Scarpinato and more

EAST LANSING - The latest in our summer series profiling "The Foundation 40" on the Michigan State football roster:

First, we have to count down from No. 103 on the MSU roster to No. 85 in order to get to the actual Foundation 40.

For past profiles, click here:

96. Mark Scarpinato: The freshman is coming off a constructive spring, beginning to make up for lost practice time due to nagging injuries in the fall of 2011.

"Mark Scarpinato is still trying to come back and get healthy and be a guy there, but they are all showing improvement," said defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle from Milwaukee is likely to begin August camp as a fourth-string defensive tackle, behind the likes of Anthony Rashad White, Tyler Hoover, James Kittredge, Brandon Clemons, Micajah Reynolds and Damon Knox on the first three strings. That's a pretty good mess of talent ahead of Scarpinato, although half of them are still unproven.

Scarpinato had 13 snaps in the Green-White Game, all at the three technique. He had no "plus" plays, but also no errors or defeats. He gave ground versus a Fonoti-Kamm double-team during a gain of five, but that's no major failure for a rookie.

In two snaps versus Jack Allen during pass plays, Allen withstood a rip move and an inside counter.

August Outlook: Scarpinato needs a good, solid full year on the scout team, something he didn't get last year due to injuries.

95. Arjen Colquhoun: The rookie from Windsor, Ontario was the No. 5 or 6 cornerback in the program, coming out of spring practice. Colquhoun is still making the transition from Canadian football to the American game.

He had some struggles in the Green-White Game, getting beat deep twice. One went for a long gain to Johnny Adams, and the other fell as an incompletion intended for Kyle Kerrick.

After the long pass to Adams, a ticked off Colquhoun smacked DeAnthony Arnett on the very next play on a short out pass to the slot.

Colquhoun's confidence is a little bit shaken, but he has good size and speed for the position and just needs to keep learning and working technique. He has the frame to possibly move to safety in the future, if that's his best route to the playing group.

August Outlook: Colquhoun (6-1, 189, R-Fr.) will look good on the scout team this fall, adding some seasoning while helping the offense prepare for opponents. He'll be behind Adams, Darqueze Dennard, Mitchell White, Trae Waynes and Mylan Hicks on the depth chart.

94. Drew Stevens: The senior tight end has battled injuries throughout his career and hasn't been able to break into the two- or three-deep. We have Stevens listed as the lowest-ranked scholarship upper classman on the team, but ahead of redshirts such as Caesar, Lang, Scarpinato and Colquhoun due entirely to the fact that Stevens has gotten on the field on special teams. He saw action in nine games last year on special teams, with four tackles, including one or two loud hits.

Michigan State needs help at tight end in 2012, and Steven may have had a good opportunity to step into a role in the spring. However, Stevens (6-4, 242, Sr.) sat out the spring due to continued health complications and didn't seem to make much progress.

Stevens worked his way onto special teams as a redshirt freshman in 2009, and saw action in the first seven games before being lost for the year to a knee injury against Iowa. The injury also kept him off the field in 2010. He has given good effort to try to become a regular contributor, but it just hasn't come to fruition for him.

August Outlook: The fifth-year senior has bounced around from linebacker, to defensive end, to fullback to tight end. He has yet to catch a pass in his Spartan career so it's unlikely that any kind of breakthrough will come this year. We have no inside information to point to this, but it wouldn't be a shock if he elects to forego his fifth year in order to take a medical disqualification.

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