Position Breakdown: Defensive Line

Michigan State hits the midway point with weekend. How has the Spartans performed along the defensive line? We break it down.

After going back and looking at the first five games of the season. How has Michigan State looked along the defensive line?

Here is how we see it.

After a slow start to the season, the Spartans defensive line poured it on against Ohio State as veteran Jerel Worthy showed his quick first step and Marcus Rush continued to improve.

Here is a look at the key members along the Spartans defensive line.

Jerel Worthy: The talk in the press box during the Spartans game against Ohio State was how much money Worthy was adding to his future NFL Draft status. While the Huber Heights (Ohio) native is quick to put off any such talk, his play on the field looks to be just heating up. On the year, Worthy has posted 10 tackles with four for loss and two sacks.

Marcus Rush: The redshirt freshman is fast becoming a fan favorite and for good reasons. With 18 total tackles (3.5 for loss – 1 sack) so far, Rush is showing he may be the Spartans best at forcing quarterbacks into hurry situations (6 QBH). The Cincinnati (Ohio) natives continued development will be huge for the Spartans as they get to the meat of their conference schedule.

William Gholston: From the early look of things; the game is starting to slow down for the super sophomore. Having already posted 17 total tackles and his first sack, Gholston should be looked upon to be a force the rest of the season.

Kevin Pickelman: The unsung man along the line is putting together a fine season with nine total tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss.

Anthony Rashad White: White has played in four of the Spartans five contest and has posted six tackles to go with a tackle for loss and a half a sack. A week off should have given White a chance to be fully healed from the thigh contusion that held him out of one contest a few games ago.

Tyler Hoover: Much was expected out of Hoover before the season. However, injuries have slowed all that promise as Hoover's only appeared in one game so far this season. Hope is that he'll be back for Michigan and add to the Spartans depth.

The Others

Several other members of the Spartans defensive line have played roles during the first five games. Each have added at least a tackle with Johnathan Strayhorn and Corey Freeman each posting half a sack.

Keys: There can be no slowing up as Big Ten play heats up. Worthy is the catalyst of the group and his energy and production are key to the overall success of the line and the Spartans linebackers.

Spartan Digest Grade: B+

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