Five Questions: Spartans Pre Spring Defense

While Michigan State has done a great job of securing talent on the defensive side of the ball over the past few years there are still a few questions that need answered going into spring practice.

The loss of a couple of key players on the defensive side of the ball creates a few questions for Michigan State as they get ready to start spring practice.

Here are five questions that need answered this spring for Spartan fans to have a high level of excitement come the start of the 2013 season.

Does the departure of Will Gholston hurt the Michigan State defense more than some think?

While many felt Gholston didn’t have a year that was super-star quality, keep in mind teams were able to go after the tall defensive end in a different manner last season.  The Spartans have done a good job of recruiting talented defensive ends and a couple of players will battle for the starting spot.  However, Gholston’s emotional approach to the game will be missed.

Who will step into the spot left by cornerback Johnny Adams?

Spartan fans know Adams was picked on by some teams late in the season as the talented corner battled a nagging injury keeping him from being 100-percent.  Adams will be missed and the Spartans got a early look at life without the Ohio native during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.  Look for Trae Waynes to enter spring with the early advantage but he’ll be pushed throughout spring to stay at the top spot.

Can the Spartans interior line improve with the loss of Anthony Rashad White?

Last season the Spartans didn’t get the production many hoped for out of the interior line with the departure of Jerel Worthy.  Many hoped White was ready to breakout with a monster season but production was average at best despite the Spartans being one of the best defensive units in the country.  Getting Tyler Hoover back for a sixth year of eligibility will help as will James Kittredge coming into the spring with another year under his belt.  All eyes will be on the highly recruited Lawrence Thomas who was up to 295-pounds by the time the Spartans reach the end of last season

Can Pat Narduzzi put the Spartans defensive puzzle together in the spring to be ready for another top-notch defensive unit?

With many returning veteran players Narduzzi will have a chance to tinker a little more and get younger players more reps at key positions.  We already mentioned Thomas but guys like Joel Heath, Shilique Calhoun, Demetrious Cox and Damon Knox are just a few of the younger players Narduzzi will push to take their game to another level.

Where is the strength of the Spartans defense going to come from in 2013?

That question should be answered during the spring and right now the strength looks to be again at linebacker with senior’s Max Bullough and Denicos Allen returning and young standout Taiwan Jones ready to step up and take his game to another level.


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