EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Macgarrett Kings and Delton Williams were not on Michigan State's football roster at the start of spring practice.
Coach Mark Dantonio wouldn't comment much on their status when he spoke Tuesday on the first day of spring practice for the Spartans. Kings, a wide receiver, and Williams, a running back, have been facing legal issues over the last month.
''I'm going to talk about the guys on our depth chart, and anybody not on the depth chart, is sort of in limbo,'' Dantonio said. ''That's the best way to say it right now. And we're day to day on a lot of guys.''
Williams was arraigned last week on a charge of brandishing a firearm in public. He was suspended from all team-related activities. Kings was arrested Feb. 28 on charges that included being drunk and disorderly and interfering with police.
Although next season is still several months away, their status could be crucial to a Michigan State team that returns quarterback Connor Cook but must replace key offensive players.
Running backs Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill were both seniors last season, meaning Williams was in line to be the team's leading returning rusher. He averaged 5.9 yards a carry as a sophomore in 2014.
With Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphery also having used up their eligibility, Kings was the top receiver among those expected back. He caught 29 passes for 404 yards last season.
Although Dantonio would not address the outlook for Kings and Williams, he did say kicker Michael Geiger will miss the spring after having surgery.
''He had sort of a hip flexor deal,'' Dantonio said.
With Cook and defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun returning after considering an NFL jump, the Spartans hope to be in the mix for a Big Ten title. They won the conference in 2013 and fell a game short in their division last season, losing to eventual national champion Ohio State.
''We sort of start at ground zero every year, that's why we take our time to get in spring ball. We want to start at ground zero, see how they're doing, weight, and strength, critique what we've done, find out, are we really playing the best players, based on the season before?'' Dantonio said. ''We've done some very, very good things. I think we're approaching some very high standards here.''
With Ohio State coming off a national title and rival Michigan making waves after hiring Jim Harbaugh as coach, the Spartans are in a familiar position - talented but somewhat overlooked, at least during this offseason.
''We try to be built for the long haul here,'' Dantonio said. ''You have to have some type of mindset where you're going to be challenged, and I understand we're going to be challenged.''