Spring Position Breakdown: Mike Linebacker

Last spring many wondered how the Spartans would fair after losing Greg Jones to graduation and the NFL. Looking back the Spartans did just fine at the Mike linebacker position.

Michigan State enters the spring with solid depth at the Mike linebacker position and should expect big things come this fall from the position.

As important was the play and leadership of Kirk Cousins to the Spartans offense, Mike linebacker Max Bullough provided the same on the defensive side of the ball. However, Bullough is not alone when you look at the spring depth chart.

Max Bullough

It is hard to believe this is Bullough's third spring as a Spartan and second as the starter at Mike linebacker. The Traverse City (MI) St. Francis standout has already played in 27 games during his career and is coming off a Second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches in the conference.

Bullough led the Spartans last season with 89 tackles having started all 14 games.

Not only did Bullough lead the team in the stat sheet he also was the man in charge in getting the Spartans in the right defensive fronts.

Spartan Digest Breakdown

There is no question going into the season Bullough is a team leader and a player teammates respect.

Continued development should be expected as Bullough should now feel totally comfortable in Pat Narduzzi's defense having three springs under his belt.

Steve Gardiner

The Dublin (OH) native has been a solid back-up for the Spartans the past two seasons and special team's player. If not having players like Greg Jones and Bullough in front of him, Gardiner might have found a spot as a starter during his career.

Spartan Digest Breakdown

The Spartans need Gardiner to keep pressing as he enters his final season at MSU. While Bullough has not shown any issues with injury, Gardiner being ready for spot duty is important to the team's success.

Tyquan Hammock

Much was expected out of Hammock coming out of Fort Wayne (IN) Bishop Luers High School. While Hammock has not been able to earn a fulltime starters role he has played in 26 career games and showed the willingness to be a team player during the 2010 season when he moved from linebacker to fullback after Josh Rouse suffered a season ending injury.

Spartan Digest Breakdown

Hammock has two seasons remaining and this spring will determine if he becomes more than a career special team's player. Back at his natural position for a second consecutive year, Hammock must push Gardiner for reps and look to pass up the fifth-year senior.

Depth Chart Names

Walk-on Ty Hamilton of Fenton (MI) High School saw some on field action last season appearing in two games. He will look to earn more time on special teams this spring and to give the Spartans a two-deep in the spring game.

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