East Lansing — Michigan State wide receiver Donnie Corley was named to the BTN All-Big Ten Freshman Team on Wednesday.
The former Detroit King standout ranked second among Big Ten freshmen during the regular season with 33 receptions for 453 yards and was tied for first among Big Ten freshmen wide receivers in touchdown receptions with three.
His 453 receiving yards were the most by a true freshman in Michigan State history and his 33 catches were second most by a true freshman. B.J. Cunningham had 41 catches for 528 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2008 and Sedrick Irvin had 40 catches as a true freshman in 1996.
Late in the season, Corley began playing defense, as well, and finished with five tackles in four games.
The Spartans are hoping Corley’s success and ability to play on both sides of the ball will have an effect on his former high school teammate, Ambry Thomas. The receiver/defensive back just helped King to a Division 2 state championship and is considering attending Michigan State along with Michigan, Florida, Arizona and Penn State.
Many believe the decision is between Michigan State and Michigan and it won’t take long for Thomas to announce his decision as he plans to enroll in January.
If Thomas does decide on Michigan State, he’ll have a decent shot to see the same opportunities Corley did as a freshman. The breakout for Corley came in the win at Notre Dame on Sept. 17 as he hauled in four receptions for a season-high 88 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown. He also had four catches against No. 11 Wisconsin (84 yards) and Indiana (35 yards).
Five other Spartans were named to the honorable mention BTN All-Big Ten Freshman Team, including OT Cole Chewins, DE Josh King, CB Justin Layne, DT Mike Panasiuk and DT Raequan Williams.
Four Michigan State players earned All-Big Ten honors as the conference announced its offensive all-league selections on Wednesday.
For the second consecutive season, junior offensive guard Brian Allen earned second-team honors from the media, while senior tight end Josiah Price received third-team recognition from the coaches for the second year in a row. Allen was also a third-team pick by the coaches.
Senior wide receiver R.J. Shelton, an honorable mention choice a year ago, was named to the second team by the coaches. Sophomore running back LJ Scott garnered third-team honors from the media.
In addition, Price (media), Scott (coaches) and Shelton (media) were also recognized as honorable mention.