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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! One of my favorite subjects next to discussing the kicking game, the defensive line.
Not that this is the be all end all, but I fully expect MSU's defensive front to receive mention in multiple preseason magazines "Top Ten Units." Last year they didn't receive any mention, even with though Worthy did receive some preseason recognition, but coming of the Outback Bowl performance Gholston, White, and Rush form a strong neucleus that warrants mention.
Three of the starting four are pretty much set, but finding that fourth member to help accentuate this group will be interesting. Who will it be? Hoover? Kittredge? Drone? One of the RS freshman? Who ever it is won't be saddled with having to be "The Man," all that will be required is that they provide a solid, consistent, level of play. If they do end up having a Worthy/Gholston/Rush like impact all the better.
Depth is going to be interesting because of, and in my best Joe Pesci imitation from the movie My Cousin Vinnie, "Yoots." MSU's two deep unit will be made up primarily of redshirt freshman. There are a two players, Calero and Freeman who have been in the program longer, but Calero has no experience and Freeman seems to have been passed by many of the underclassmen so his contribution may be limited.
This will be a year where all of the underclassmen have an opportunity to make some noise and gain a measure of separation from the others. Of the nine who will potentially be seeing their first action as a Spartan (Calero, Calhoun, Clemons, Fennel, Heath, Knox, Kittredge, Ramando, Scarpinato) Calhoun appears to have received the most notice by the coaches, followed by Heath (pre back injury), Kittredge, Heath, Clemons and Ramando. I am not counting Scarpinato this year since he sat out last year recovering from surgery. If two or more of the eight can exhibit a level of performance comparable to what Worthy and Rush achieved as redshirt freshmen MSU should be in good shape. Worthy showed flashes as redshirt freshman but was nowhere near the level he performed at last season. Rush had an exceptional year, but like Worthy, still has room to improve going forward. Solid, incremental, displays of improvement over the course of the season will be greatly appreciated.
Allow Fennel and Lyles a year to develop, and hopefully land four strong defensive line recruits and the program will sustain success going forward.
Tressel wants Lyles at linebacker.
We have a number of proven playrers: White (very good) Gholston (OMG), Rush (very good) . Hoover (has played well and started at this level), Drone (played inside and outside), Reynolds (has played on both sides of the ball), Kittredge has started for an SEC team (albeit is as as an OT) and you add the redshirt depth.
All linebackers and most of the Defensive Backfield returning. Plus promising new recruits
I don't know, kid was an Under Armor All American . . .
Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.
Really? hmm. I don't remember that, thanks for letting me know. I know that he was passed up by most of the SEC and B1G schools.
Rocky, do you think that it is safe to say Kittredge will start right off of the bat? Assuming that he has a solid spring and summer.
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