Breaking Down The Defense

So what was really good on Saturday in Spartan Stadium? We break it down looking at the defense.

Mark Dantonio makes it no secret that he's a defensive first coach. The former defensive coordinator has always worked to build a solid defense and takes pride in their performance. With defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi you expect to find players that fly to the ball and attack. Saturday showed the Spartans should be better in 2010 than last season and for good reason. There is a lot of talent.

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Denicos Allen – Making the move from safety to outside linebacker helped the Hamilton, Ohio native take the next steps in his development. Always known for his speed and hitting ability, Allen showed it during the spring game posting 7 total tackles with 2 sacks. He also showed great burst of the edge and the toughness to be a player who gets a lot of playing time in the fall.

Steve Gardiner – Saturday showed why the Spartans went after the Dublin, Ohio native so hard during the recruiting process. With 7 total tackles and a sack, Gardiner continues to show improvement. The question has never been about talent, it's always been about staying healthy enough to show it.

Chris L. Rucker – While everyone talks about Greg Jones as an NFL guy next year, Rucker has all the talent and ability to also be drafted and drafted high. Saturday's 5 tackle (2-TFL) should be just the start Rucker needs to take his game to another level in 2010.

Trenton Robinson – The junior continues to improve his game and knows he can take his game to another level. Saturday he posted 5 total tackles and showed his burst on several plays.

Max Bullough – A star is in the making in Bullough who should have been at prom instead of battling grown men on Saturday. Spartan fans should be excited about what they saw on Saturday as Bullough posted 4 tackles and had a pass breakup.

Dan France – With several guys out France looked to raise his level of play. With great size France can become a force in the middle of the Spartans defense and will give the team depth and the chance to rotate time between several players.

Patrick White – Enjoyed a very good spring and posted 6 tackles on the day. White still has things to improve upon but is making great strides to be a consistent player the Spartans will be able to go to in crunch time.

Jon Misch – The depth at linebacker is so strong a guy like Misch can get overlooked. But Saturday the senior showed why he'll be right there fighting to stay on the field with 6 tackles.

Johnny Adams – Another guy who has such a bright future. Saturday he posted 4 tackles with 2 sacks. The only thing he did really poor on Saturday was picking up the fumble and losing yards. Look for a big time season this fall out of Adams.

Greg Jones – What else can you say about a guy who shows up every day and does all the things that need to be done. While he didn't lead the team in tackles on Saturday, he did show up with a sack and showed the leadership ability the staff is looking for him to take.

Chris Norman – With all the talent in the world Norman will be looked upon to take his game to another level by the start of camp. The talent is there and on Saturday Norman posted 4 tackles.


Dantonio and his staff are building a solid foundation on the defensive side of the football. Considering the number of guys not on the field Saturday (TyQuan Hammock, Kevin Pickelman, Colin Neely, Jerel Worthy) the Spartans will be stronger and will surprise many people they face with the depth and talent on the field.

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