Freshman All American Jerel Worthy returns with two other starters Oren Wilson and Colin Neely while Blake Treadwell provides solid depth. Tyler Hoover came on late, but pressuring the quarterback is where MSU needs to improve to helps its secondary. Can they get that from Gholston, Hoover, Sims or even Corey Freeman?
LINEBACKERS: This group is in solid shape, unless junior Greg Jones makes the leap to the NFL where he could be a first round draft pick. If he does, then two starters would have to be replaced. Brandon Denson will get an NFL special teams look after graduating as will underrated Adam Decker.
Eric Gordon will be a welcome sight back at the SAM position. Freshman Chris Norman will likely inherit the WILL. Freshman Tyquan Hammock will likely join the playing group while Denzel Drone, Jeremy Gainer and Denico Allen all try to see where they fit in. Incoming freshman Max Bullough will likely be redshirted to give him four full years on the playing field.
SECONDARY: Already under the gun for their performance in 2009, three starters, Kendell Davis-Clark, Danny Fortener and Jeremy Ware all depart. Also graduating are backup Ashton Henderson and Ross Weaver. It is unknown whether former starter Chris L. Rucker will be allowed to return.
One things almost for sure, Trenton Robinson will start at free safety. Mitchell White, a high school quarterback, made a brief appearance in the Alamo Bowl game. Johnny Adams will likely get a shot to step in and perhaps start after being out much of 2009 with an injury.
Don't be surprised if true freshman Mylan Hicks, who may be the most talented player MSU has recruited at this position starts right out of high school. Hicks is small, but a true lockdown corner. Isaiah Lewis from Indianapolis, IN., could also get into the playing group as a true freshman at safety and don't count out Kurtis Drummond from Hubbard, OH., in a group that needs an infusion of talent.
SPECIAL TEAMS: You never know what you've got 'til it's gone and that's the case with senior kicker Brett Swenson who will be kicking on Sunday's next year.
Thank goodness junior punter and holder Aaron Bates has one more year to help settle a freshman kicker as does long snapper Alex Shackleton. Keshawn Martin could continue as the team's kick returner, but the sure-handed Fowler could get a shot there. Johnnie Adams might get a look as punt returner.
ANALYSIS: Thirteen players from the class of 2009; Baker, Caper, White, Fowler, Sims, Barrent, Conway, Treadwell, Klatt, Freeman, Norman, Hammock and Muma and three from the class of 2010 Gholston, Hicks and Lewis will give MSU a real infusion of young talent.
How quickly can the coaches coach 'em up and get them ready to be solid contributors? Can they get a working group in the secondary and what will happen with Greg Jones? Those are the questions, 2010 will provide the answers.