Michigan State wide receiver Macgarrett Kings, Jr., was arrested in late February on charges of drunken and disorderly conduct and obstructing, resisting, hindering or assaulting a police officer.
On Tuesday, Kings plead down his two misdemeanor charges to public littering according to the Associated Press. Quite the plea process.
Public littering is a civil, not criminal, infraction.
“We’re aware of the incident,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said at the time of Kings’ arrest. “All of our student-athletes are held to a high standard, and individuals will be held accountable for their actions. We will manage this situation internally.”
Kings missed spring ball a year ago for what turned out to be a DUI arrest. It seems unlikely to this reporter a similar punishment would be in line here, lest Kings become the first player to miss time for littering.
Kings caught 29 passes for 404 yards and one touchdown in 2014, making him the Spartans’ leading retuning pass-catcher.
Michigan State opened spring practices today, and two players that got caught up in some legal trouble this offseason were nowhere to be found.
Running back Delton Williams and wide receiver Macgarrett Kings were not listed on the spring roster as practice opened up. There was no comment from head coach Mark Dantonio, other than to say any player not appearing on the roster is in limbo.
Williams had previously been suspended indefinitely by the program after reportedly being arrested for allegedly brandishing a firearm in a road rage incident. Last season Williams finished the year with 316 rushing yards and five touchdowns for the Big Ten East contenders. Williams was expected to compete for a key role in the offense running the football following the departure of Jeremy Langford.
Kings was arrested and charged with drunken and disorderly conduct recently after allegedly kicking a parking enforcement truck and resisting arrest. For Kings, it was the second time in the past year. He also missed time last spring for an alcohol-related offense. If he does become available, he could compete for a role in the passing game, but his future for now is to be considered in some doubt until the legal process plays out.
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook may be losing a few key targets from last season, but the veteran starting quarterback is getting a jump on speaking highly of his new go-to receivers in 2015.
Cook enters this spring looking to build chemistry with some new starting wide receivers. Michigan State loses its top two receivers from 2014, Tony Lippett (1,198 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns) and Keith Mumphery (495 yards, 3 touchdowns). This is the nature of the college game, of course, with players only able to stick around for so long before moving on in one capacity or another. Cook, preparing for his third season as the starting quarterback for the Spartans, knows there will be others ready to compete for an opportunity to start and play a key role in the Michigan State offense in 2015.
“Obviously losing [Tony Lippett] and [Keith Mumphery] are big losses, but we have some other (rising) senior leaders who are stepping up in Macgarrett Kings, Aaron Burbridge and AJ Troup, and then younger guys like R.J. Shelton, Matt Macksood and Tres Barksdale,” Cook said, as transcribed by MLive.com.
Kings is Michigan State’s top returning receiver with 404 yards and a touchdown last season. Burbridge caught 29 passes for 358 yards and a touchdown. Troup added 113 yards and two touchdowns as a junior. Shelton had 173 yards and two touchdowns in his sophomore season.Barksdale appeared in seven games and contributed two catches for 16 yards. Macksood, awarded a scholarship last spring. He appeared in seven games for Michigan State last season but not record any stats.
Ohio State continues to be the team to beat in the Big Ten, but Michigan State is not likely to be out of the running even after losing defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to a head coaching job at Pittsburgh. With Cook in command of the offense, he will have solid protection from the offensive line. If the Spartans are to thrive and challenge Ohio State, Cook will have to get on track with his receivers and avoid shaky play as he experienced at times last season.