Michigan State freshman WR Cody White makes magic happen down the stretch against Indiana

cody white michigan state wr indiana

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State wide receiver Cody White didn’t have to go far to find his father and embrace him after the No. 18 Spartans’ 17-9 win against Indiana at Spartan Stadium.

Sheldon White works as Michigan State’s executive director of player personnel and recruiting, so he’s always around. His job is largely to interact with young prospects, but even he couldn’t find words for his son’s performance on Saturday.

“He was speechless,” the younger White said. “Just a big hug.”

White, a true freshman, had caught 5 balls coming into the game. In the last two games, he hadn’t put up any yards. But against the Hoosiers, he looked like a seasoned veteran.

Spartans coach Mark Dantonio had seen him utilized all over the field in high school and deployed his versatility by having him return punts. He caught three of them cleanly in his first experience doing so at the college level.

But he shone brightest on offense, exploding for 6 catches and 99 yards, surpassing his previous totals for the entire season. He spoke about his success in modest fashion:

“I felt like I played a good game,” White said. “There’s still a few things that we can fix as a team, but just keep going, keep moving and that’s what it is. I feel like we’re doing a great job.”

Michigan State co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner didn’t hesitate for a moment to put White in crucial situations. He’d been out there all game, so why bench him now? And that decision proved to be a good one in a game where little went right on offense.

Pushed backward by a sack, Michigan State faced third-and-19 down 9-3 in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Brian Lewerke hit White for 16 yards, setting up the Spartans for a fourth-down conversion and eventual game-winning touchdown.

And as Michigan State looked to salt away the game on its next drive, White caught a pass right at the marker on third-and-9, then turned around and proceeded to make it a 34-yard gain.

“I just hooked up, caught the ball and started rolling,” White said. “It was kind of magic, actually.”

These moments don’t seem to overwhelm Michigan State’s young receivers. Part of that might have to do with how White and fellow freshman Hunter Rison’s fathers both played in the NFL. Rison’s father, Andre, also starred at Michigan State in the late 1980s.

“They played phenomenal and stepped up when they needed to,” Lewerke said of the young receivers. “Obviously, I don’t think my accuracy on the ball was the greatest, but I think that they did a great job of snagging the catches.”

When the clock struck zero, White had accounted for more than half of Michigan State’s passing offense. All but 15 of those yards came in the second half when the Spartans desperately needed to find some offense.

Michigan State didn’t flip a switch on those final drives. The Spartans gradually wore down Indiana, and when they finally broke through, it was White who did the bulk of the damage. The staff trusted him in those situations, and he came through.

“It meant a whole lot,” White said of being called upon down the stretch. “It means that he’s got trust in me and knowing that I can do what I can do, and it just meant a whole lot to me. It just lets me know that we’re building his trust and he can put his faith in any of the receivers in that room.”

The post Michigan State freshman WR Cody White makes magic happen down the stretch against Indiana appeared first on Land of 10.

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