Bullough - Nicholson Becoming New Faces Of D

Michigan State fans should not be surprised that the first jersey scrimmage of the spring saw the Spartans defense take center stage as Riley Bullough and Montae Nicholson step forward as the new faces of the defense.

In ten years of watching Mark Dantonio coached teams, I’m never surprised when defense takes center stage early in the spring.

Friday, true to form, defense stepped forward during a 121 play scrimmage that saw Riley Bullough and Montae Nicholson step forward as the new faces of the Spartans defense.

Bullough, who posted five total tackles on the day, said the following afterwards about the Spartans defensive effort.

"The biggest thing is intensity,” said Bullough. “We came out fast and played like we wanted to. For the most part, we play pretty good throughout the scrimmage.

"Montae Nicholson's football IQ has grown tremendously since last season. Montae had two pick sixes, so he was in the right position to make plays. He's playing with a lot more confidence this spring."

As for Nicholson, a player Spartan Digest was told early in the spring was ready to be a breakout star, confidence and feeling comfortable is helping him take his game to another level.

"I feel more comfortable with the defense as a whole,” said Nicholson. “I felt a lot of pressure to perform as a true freshman last year. My teammates trust me more and I'm free to make plays.

"On the first interception, Connor Cook stared down the receiver. On the second pick, I read the play and got a great break on the ball and it ended up in my hands. It was a nice feeling to see all the green grass in front of me on both interceptions."

The Spartans will return to the practice field on Tuesday as they continue working towards the annual Green-White game.

**Quotes provided to Spartan Digest by MSU Athletic Communications**

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