FOOTBALL: Speedy Saint-Dic Competing for Time

At 250 pounds, Saint-Dic faces opponents that are often 15 percent to 20 percent larger than himself. Smaller linemen must rely on speed, superior technique and savvy field awareness to compensate for a lack of bulk.

Senior Jonal Saint-Dic is one in a stream of JUCO players John L. Smith brought in to provide a quick fix on defense. While many may frown at bringing in JUCOs, and even new head coach Mark Dantonio stresses the importance of getting players into Michigan State for their freshman year, the Spartans have had some JUCO successes—think Tony Banks and Julian Peterson.

Saint-Dic will look to continue that success as the Green and White rebuild their defensive line. The 6-1, 250 defensive end will be competing with Brandon Long for playing time opposite fellow JUCO transfer Ervin Baldwin.

Strengths
  1. Quickness:
    While Dantonio has expressed concerns about the former JUCO's size, he points to Saint-Dic's quickness and maneuverability as valuable qualities for the position.

  2. Playmaking ability:
    Describing his ability to make big plays, Dantonio pointed to Saint-Dic's "shock value" as an asset. He may be undersized, but rushing the passer is a job Saint-Dic does well.
Questions
  1. Will he get run over?
    At 250 pounds, Saint-Dic faces opponents that are often 15 percent to 20 percent larger than himself. Smaller linemen must rely on speed, superior technique and savvy field awareness to compensate for a lack of bulk.

  2. Can he be multidimensional?
    Great lineman posses many skills: pass rushing, stretching runs to the sidelines, interrupting pass lanes, crashing down in short yardage and more. Can Saint-Dic put it all together for his senior season?
Projection
The starting job opposite Baldwin—if it's decided—will be determined in August as the team prepares to begin the season. Even as a specialist, Saint-Dic could have a significant impact this season.

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