The big safety must combine the nimbleness to turn and run down speedy receivers coming into their zone and the physical size to come up and take on linemen in run support.
Brian Urlacher pulled it off at New Mexico before switching to the middle linebacker position with the Chicago Bears, the great Ronnie Lott and to a lesser degree, Taylor Mays, both of Southern California played the role.
Recently Thomas Davis of Georgia made the switch to linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. Former Arizona State and Cincinnati Bengals star David Fulcher may have been the prototype of the big safety, but MSU hasn't had a player of this type in recent memory.
That could change when Mike Dorsey of Warren (OH) Harding makes his long-awaited decision on Monday. Dorsey has the kind of size and speed that could make him a feared player in the Big Ten.
Dorsey, at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds could potentially move between both positions or play either one at the next level.
[He] is a big kid who could potentially move to outside linebacker, but either way, he is comfortable playing up in the box. He is good in run support and plays fast and physical. If he stays at safety, speed would not be his strongest asset, but he has more than adequate burst and quickness for the linebacker spot," said Scout.com director of Midwest Scouting Allen Trieu.
"Dorsey can be downright nasty at times with his hitting and tackles through the ball carrier while wrapping up," said Recruiting Analyst Matt Alkire.
"He shows a good nose for the ball and takes good angles getting to it. Having a player that is an impact hitter is always a big plus for your defense. He can also blitz effectively. With Dorsey, you essentially have an extra linebacker on the field at all times."
With Michigan State losing starting strong safety Danny Fortener and four other contributors (Ashton Henderson, Kendell Davis-Clark, Jeremy Ware and Ross Weaver) to graduation, the Spartans can use some more talent in this recruiting class.
Dorsey is expected to pick between Michigan State and West Virginia on Monday.