(Editor's Note: This is the fourth installment of positional previews.
Big Man on Campus: Chris McDonald
One sack. That is all McDonald allowed last season.
This big man on campus is a little more true than the rest of them -- at 6-foot-5, 299 pound, McDonald will anchor the MSU offensive line this season. Entering his third season as a starter at right guard, McDonald is on the Outland Award watch list -- given to the best offensive lineman in the nation.
ESPN's Big Ten Blog ranks him as the fourth-best offensive lineman in the conference.
McDonald has started 17 games in a row and 26 overall at right guard.
The next best thing: Travis Jackson, Fou Fonoti, Blake Treadwell and Dan France
After a 2011 season with plenty of upheaval and inconsistenc on the offensive line, having returning players is a thing of beauty.
The other four starters on the offensive line all return with starting exprience. Treadwell began last season as the starting center, but went down with an injury and Jackson took over and established himself well.
Fonoti and France form a solid pair of tackles -- both upperclassmen and the returning tackles from last season.
The strength of this line is the ability to get downfield blocking -- Jackson and Fonoti both do a good job on trick plays and pitches at getting down the field.
**More after the jump**
The rest: Donovan Clark, Skyler Burkland
These are probably the two best offensive line recruits currently on the MSU roster. Clark had offers from USC and Tennessee, and Burkland (then Skyler Schofner) was a four-star recruit.
Burkland started at right tackle last season, until an injury against Notre Dame sidelined him for the season. Clark, a redshirt freshman, is a guard who is expected to make an impact once he gets on the field -- and likely will take over a right guard for McDonald in 2013.
Incoming: Benny McGowan, Zach Higgins, Kodi Kieler and Jack Conklin
The Spartans pulled in four offensive lineman in the 2012 class after the late addition of Conklin.
McGowan likely is the best of the four -- at this time. He played guard in high school but could project to right tackle, according to Ohio scouting guru Duane Long. He fits the MSU blocking scheme well, as he gets to the second and third levels well.
Higgins, another Ohio prospect, was a long, athletic tackle in high school but probably will be a guard in college. His 6-5, 305-pound frame is similar to McGowan, who checks in at 6-4, 290.
Kieler shows good back-pedalling ability in his highlights, but often plays high and needs to get lower in his blocks at the next level. At 6-6, 305 pounds, Kieler already has the height to be a tackle.
Conklin, added to the class in May, also is a tackle who moves well and has great athleticism for someone of his size.
Storyline: Is this offensive line going to live up to the billing?
The Big Ten Network ranks the Michigan State offensive line as the best in the conference -- and it very well could be true. The Spartans return an entire line with starting experience, and four of five starters from last season. ESPN's Big Ten Blog added a sentiment shared by many: "This could be the best offensive line Mark Dantonio has had in East Lansing."
With a new starting quarterback in Andrew Maxwell, good blocking will be essential both in getting him comfortable and in helping establish the running game with Le'Veon Bell.
McDonald will be the leader of the group, and Jackson is a stud at center, so the present looks good for MSU on the line -- now all it has to do is live up to the hype.