Freshmen LBs leaning on seniors early

Jones, Reschke adjusting to college game, facing expectations of playing early.

Linebackers Shane Jones and Jon Reschke were among the most prized recruits in the 2013 class for Michigan State.

Now, the pair is on campus and in their first fall camp, while facing expectations that they will contribute early in their careers.

After the first practice with pads Wednesday, though, the two freshmen were just happy to be able to hit again.

"Finally being able to take somebody to the ground is different than just being able to thud somebody," Jones said. "It was a different feeling to be able to take somebody to the ground after a while being off."

Reschke echoed Jones' sentiments, but said he hadn't really delivered a big hit – yet.

"Not yet, but I will soon," Reschke said. "It was nice being able to tackle. I had a couple nice tackles (Wednesday), but not a clean hit or big collision. It will happen."

While a big hit hasn't happened yet, Reschke did say he has gained a pretty solid understanding of the defense.

"I have a good amount down. I know everything in the base package. I am starting to pick up the pass set. The rest is just goal line, which is easy. The big one is the base one, and I pretty much know everything. I know all the blitzes, the coverages, my assignments, the defensive line assignments and adjustments."

Still, Reschke said he and Jones have had moments where they look at each other wondering what is going on.

"We have said, ‘Wait, what is going on? What are we supposed to do?'" Reschke said. "Then we turn to a senior or older guy and they help us immediately and they do a great job with that."

Thankfully they each have a senior to help them through fall camp, as Reschke is rooming with Max Bullough and Jones is with Denicos Allen.

"(Bullough) is a huge, enormous help," he said. "One of the nights, he woke me up – I was sleeping at like 11:30 – and he quizzed me on formations and made me memorize this, this and this. It was awesome."

Jones said that Allen is a big help to him, but the upperclassmen as a whole are helping out the freshmen.

"They are definitely teaching me the defense," Jones said. "I'm rooming with Denicos for camp and he's teaching me a lot. All the older guys are helping us younger guys get adjusted to the defense and adjusting to the new system."

Linebackers coach Mike Tressel said at MSU's Media Day on Monday that it will take time to see how much the Spartans can expect from the freshmen pair this season.

"It is going to have to play out a little bit and see how well they pick up the defense," Tressel said. "They are both swimming right now. In three practices we put in 90 percent of our defense. It will sink in over the next week, but right now, it's hard. It was hard for Max Bullough at this point as a freshman."

Head coach Mark Dantonio said that if redshirts are held off, they will certainly see more than special teams time.

"They could be candidates on special teams," Dantonio said, "but I think it's important that we don't just use them for a couple plays. If they're on all the special teams, then we're going to use them."

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