SpartanDigest Mailbag: October 3

Answering your questions about Michigan State football, basketball and recruiting!

R.J. Williamson is fighting for his starting position life right now, it would seem. Is Taiwan Jones doing the same or is he still way ahead of Jon Reschke?

I think both Jones and Reschke are playing very well. I also do not think Jones has done anything to put his job in jeopardy. Frankly, he is playing better at the MIKE spot than I expect going into the season. He probably is more physically gifted than Max Bullough was, so he is doing well in that spot. I do think Reschke is going to be a great player in the future.

Ameer Abdullah has had good success against MSU and Nebraska has done very well as a team record wise. Can you foresee any major changes to the strategy in terms of trying to slow down Abdullah?

How do u think they will plan to take on Randy Gregory also?

Tight ends. Lots of tight end and fullback attention. The way Nebraska uses Gregory is to get him mismatched. Michigan State will certainly be paying attention to where he lines up and will probably load up the blocking on that side of the field.

I don’t see any major changes, no. Michigan State runs its defense the way it runs its defense and sticks to it because, well, it works more often than not. If players are assignment sound, Michigan State never expects to give up many yards and that is the way they will probably head into Saturday against Nebraska and Abdullah.

How much review and protocol regarding concussions has been discussed at MSU to avoid anything near what happened at UM last weekend?

I don’t think too much. Mark Dantonio explained Michigan State’s procedures in depth Tuesday, including names of doctors and everything – pretty clearly was prepared to talk about it. I think Michigan State has had things pretty established there for a little while, or so it seems.

I see that Ricky DeBerry has MSU scheduled for his fifth and final official visit in November. Did this surprise you considering MSU was left out of his final eight and where do you think the Spartans stand with him?

It’s not too surprising as Michigan State always seemed a contender. It was more surprising to me when the Spartans weren’t in his top eight. Certainly, snagging an official visit means the Spartans are doing pretty well with him, especially since it will be the final visit he takes.

Would you say that all of our four tailbacks who have played, including Gerald Holmes, should be considered totally healthy?

I think Jeremy Langford is 100 percent again after seeing how he ran last week. He had said previously he was, but last week was the first time I really saw it and believed it. Delton Williams and Nick Hill seem healthy, but obviously the focus is on Holmes. The fact he did not play last week after leaving the Eastern Michigan game hurt says to me he probably is not 100 percent right now.

Who are some of the key visitors for the game?

Certainly the big two coming in are official visits Cassius Peat and Drayton Carlberg. Those are a pair of high-profile recruits with national offers that are considering MSU highly.

Given only a few open scholarships open for next season, which positions do you see filling these openings?

Wide receiver is and has been the most important position in this class to me, since the Spartans have very little underclassmen depth at the position. Another wide receiver or two is very important. After that, players on either line and a linebacker should be the ideal way to finish out the class. In the case of the linebacker, I think it has to be a player Michigan State wants a lot.

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