I will respectfully disagree with you in regards to Eli Apple. He may not have been a world beater, but I have to agree with Spielman on Apple being a future first round pick. By the end of last year he was certainly holding up his end of the bargain and made one of the biggest plays during the title game in the back of the endzone.
I also believe the coaches decision not to shadow Cooper with Grant speaks volumes about how good Apple was playing at the end of the year. A lot of people gave Grant all the love for holding Cooper in check, but In reality the coaches played their standard field and boundary corner alignment based on the ball placement rather than the opponents personnel. I believe if Apple is healthy for the MSU game we would have seen the same defense as usual.