We continue our countdown of the 52 Michigan State Spartans to watch during the 2016 season.

To remember one of the best Michigan State squads, Spartan Digest brings you our Spartan 52 for 2016. Why “52”? to remember the 1952 team coach by Clarence Lester “Biggie” Munn that went 9-0 winning a National Championship by being voted No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls. Munn was also named AFCA Coach of the Year.

#2 Riley Bullough

It is no secret that Bullough is the heart and soul of the Spartans defense and in his final season he’ll have a chance to leave a huge mark as he’s been named to a handful of preseason watch lists that include the Bednarik, Butkus, Lott and Nagurski.

2015

Earned second-team All-Big Ten by the conference coaches while leading the Spartans with a career-high 106 tackles.  Became the first Spartan to record 100 tackles in a single season since 2012 and earned the Biggie Munn Award (Most Inspirational Player Defense) team award.  Part of one of the biggest plays of 2015 when his hit on Iowa tight end George Kittle led to an interception in the end zone in the second quarter of the Spartans win over the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game.

WHY HE MADE THE COUNTDOWN

Bullough will set the tone of the Spartans defense and should be the overall stat leader when the season ends.  If Bullough misses time due to injury or his play falls short of what is expected, the Spartans could struggle as the strength of this year’s team is the defense.


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