Starting right at linebacker, Bullough knows there is plenty of talent to go around.
“All the guys have done a great job,” said Bullough about his fellow linebackers. “Chris Frey in particular. One thing you notice about Chris when he plays is he’s a fiery guy. A lot of people relate me and Chris together all the time. But he’s someone who is always constantly competing and trying to get better.
“The coaches see that and I think that is one of the main reasons why he’s been starting the last few weeks. But spring ball, we’re experimenting and putting guys in different positions to see where they can potentially play. It’s been good for us so far.”
Even with several keys losses on defense, Bullough feels this group has the tools to be special.
“We had a lot of great guys on our defense last year,” he said. “So it would be hard to compare to them. But going forward, we’ve got some young guys that have stepped up so far and done a tremendous job.
“I think in that last scrimmage, what we saw was a competitive group of guys, an intense group of guys, out there competing on every single snap trying to do the best that they can. So I think there is a lot of potential for this group and a lot of confidence in them. So we’re going to have a lot of confidence like we do now when we go into fall camp.”
Another player Bullough wants to continue to see expend his game is standout Malik McDowell. Bullough knows the better McDowell and the defensive front play, the better he’ll play.
“For a linebacker and in my spot specially what those defensive linemen do for me is keep the offensive line off of me on certain plays,” he explained. “They eat up two guys so they can’t reach up to me. So that allows me to make a play. Those are things NFL scouts are looking at and they notice. Sometimes it’s hard to see if you’re just someone watching the game. So little things like that are how he’s tremendously helped me out last year and even the year before when he played.”
Despite the Spartans defense stepping up with a solid win in the first scrimmage of the spring, Bullough likes what he’s seeing from all four scholarship quarterbacks so far.
“I’ve been really impressed with all of them to be honest,” he said. “I think Tyler (O’Connor) comes out as the biggest leader of the group as expected because he’s the oldest and has been here the longest.
“But then you’ve got guys like Damion (Terry). Extremely athletic, dual threat quarterback that is hard to stop. I can speak first-hand on that going against him in practice. Then Brian Lewerke has done a great job so far. He’s still learning but you can see the potential there as he makes some tremendous throws. Then Messiah (deWeaver), obviously it’s early for him, but you can see the potential in him as well.
“So I think they are going to keep competing which is going to be the best thing for them at this point. Whoever emerges, the team and myself, we have all the confidence in the world in them and we feel quarterback is going to be a strength for our team.”