DeAnthony Arnett aims to prove himself among Spartans receivers

EAST LANSING (WXYZ) - DeAnthony Arnett calls himself a quiet guy but he's giving the Spartans a lot to talk about during fall camp.

Arnett, who played limited time during the 2013 season, had nearly 200 receiving yards in Michigan State's scrimmage last Saturday.

"DeAnthony went bananas," said quarterback Connor Cook.

Arnett said his impressive numbers in the scrimmage were simply a result of him putting in work and doing what's expected of him.

"I just had a good day," he said. "I just was running my routes, being where the quarterback needed me to be and just made plays on the ball."

Although Arnett had a strong performance in the scrimmage, earning more playing time is not going to be easy. Arnett is competing with seniors Keith Mumphrey and Tony Lippett, juniors Aaron Burbridge and Macgarret Kings, Jr. and sophomore RJ Shelton.

Head Coach Mark Dantonio said Arnett's play in Saturday's scrimmage caught his attention.

"(Arnett) had big plays Saturday, played very consistently, caught the ball very consistently, and he's played as well as he's played, so again the thing here has to be who's gonna be consistent in the wide receiver area?" Dantonio said. "We've got some guys back, but he's in the picture, no question, especially after the scrimmage. He's definitely in the picture."

Cook said Lippett is the No. 1 receiver in his mind, but praised Arnett's ability to slide past the defense.

"DeAnthony is just a great player. He's slippery in the open space. Guys can't really tackle him. He's got good juke moves, and he's comfortable," said Cook.

Arnett's comfort level at Michigan State hasn't always been high. Originally from Saginaw, Arnett signed with the University of Tennessee, finishing the 2011 season with 24 catches for 242 yards.

After his freshman season, he made the decision to transfer to Michigan State to be closer to his ailing father, who was waiting for a kidney transplant and on dialysis at the time.

Obviously, Arnett had to adapt to new surroundings and a new style of play once he transferred to Coach Dantonio's squad.

Arnett said he feels "very comfortable" working with Cook and has also spent time working with sophomore Tyler O'Connor, who is competing with redshirt freshman Damien Terry for the role of backup quarterback.

Arnett has gained almost 20 pounds to help improve his play at Michigan State.

"When he came in, he was just thinking a lot, and you could see that. You saw this past spring he was more comfortable - not thinking and just going out there and playing," Cook said.

Arnett hopes his new approach will propel him to the top of the group of receivers. Until then, he said he's going to remain patient and optimistic.

"I'm just ready for my opportunity whenever it presents itself."

Alex Tekip is an intern in the 7 Sports department. Follow her on Twitter at @alex_teacup

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