SD Breakdown DL

The past four seasons Michigan State fans have enjoyed great play from the linebacker position, now the tide has turned and it looks as if the Spartans defensive front is ready to make their splash as Mark Dantonio continues to build a solid program.

When you start talking Michigan State Football, all talk starts on the defensive side of the ball. Mark Dantonio and Pat Narduzzi are the masterminds behind the Spartans defense and this fall things look great up front as the Spartans will have not one but two major threats up the middle in Jerel Worthy and Anthony Rashad White.

There is a lot of buzz around Spartan junior defender Jerel Worthy following spring practice. While Worthy has two years left in the Green & White, he name is starting to make the rounds of Mock NFL Drafts and for good reasons.

As the leader of the Spartans defensive line, Worthy continues to build upon a resume that started after a Freshman All-American year two seasons ago. Heading into camp the Huber Heights, Ohio native has started 24 games and recorded 77 career tackles with 17 resulting in losses including 8.5 sacks.

But Worthy is not alone as Anthony Rashad White showed well in his first season for the Spartans. The junior from Battle Creek, Michigan is poised to have an even bigger year following his strong spring performance.

While White and Worthy are at the top of their game, behind them there are a few questions to be asked. Johnathan Strayhorn has experience and we will not know until camp opens the status of Antonio Jeremiah.

Not only are the Spartans strong up the middle, they also have some players on the edge capable of making things happen.

Last season found Williams Gholston learning about playing at the college level. Now, a full year into the program the 6-foot-7, 265-pound edge player is set for his breakout year. He will be joined by junior Tyler Hoover and Denzel Drone.

Redshirt freshman Marcus Rush is expected to be ready to contribute when camp opens. However, there will be questions in regards to the availability of Corey Freeman who was suspended from the spring game after he received a ticket for driving with a suspended license and not disclosing he was carrying a concealed weapon.

Spring Grade : B +

Future Outlook: The Spartans continued to build depth on the defensive side of the ball in the Class of 2011 with the signing of Brandon Clemons, Matt Ramondo, Damon Knox, Mark Scarpinato, and Joel Heath.

One question yet to be answered is where Scout.com 5-star defensive end Lawrence Thomas will line up. Is he a stud defensive end or will he lineup at middle linebacker. The odds are Spartan fans will see Thomas on the field in some capacity and should not be surprised if he lines up on the edge.


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