Spartans Personnel: Defense

An insider's look at Michigan State's defensive starters and key reserves for Saturday's contest in South Bend.

SpartanDigest.com managing publisher Dave Berk offers a detailed preview of Michigan State's defensive personnel.

Michigan State Defensive Personnel

DE: Marcus Rush – The 6-foot-3, 250-pound redshirt freshman from Cincinnati (OH) Moeller High School used a solid spring and preseason camp to earn him time as a starter. Solid player off the edge who has recorded two quarterback hurries to go with six tackles on the season.

DE: William Gholston – The 6-foot-7, 280-pound sophomore is in his first year as a starter and starting to show the talent that made him one of the top recruits two years ago. Has recorded two tackles for loss so far this season.

DT: Jerel Worthy – The 6-foot-3, 310-pound redshirt junior has one of the quickest first steps in the college game. Uses great strength, quickness and leverage to cause problems for interior offensive linemen. Considered one of the top NFL prospects for the 2012 draft. Has a quarterback sack to go with a hurry and three tackles on the season.

NT: Anthony Rashad White – The 6-foot-2, 316-pound junior is the perfect player to lineup next to Worthy. Strong run stopper who can shut down the middle run lanes or give Worthy time to pressure the quarterback. Has recorded five total tackles on the season.

Star LB: Chris Norman – The 6-foot-1, 227-pound junior is in his second season as a starter. Was limited during the spring but has come on strong since camped opened to fight off battles to remain the starter. Has posted eight tackles on the season.

MLB: Max Bullough – The 6-foot-3, 245-pound sophomore has done a great job of taking over for the departed Greg Jones. Big, physical and fast, Bullough has a high football IQ and the potential to be an All-American during his career. Team leader with 19 tackles in the first two games.

Sam LB: Denicos Allen – The 5-foot-10, 220-pound redshirt sophomore may not have the size some would look for at the Sam linebacker spot. However, Allen uses his speed and strength to cause problems for offensive linemen. Second on the team with nine tackles this season.

CB: Darqueze Dennard – The 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore is full of potential with the ability to cover and also provide strong run support. Has recorded eight total tackles on the season to go with a pass break-up.

CB: Johnny Adams – The 5-foot-11, 175-pound ball-hawking Adams has posted five interceptions during his career and is the Spartans top cover corner. Has posted two pass break-ups and seven tackles on the year.

S: Trenton Robinson – The 5-foot-10, 195-pound senior enters his third season as a starter for the Spartans. Known for making big plays when need most, Robinson is a strong tackler with the ability to cover any receiver. Name a team captain prior to the season.

S: Isaiah Lewis – At 5-foot-10, 195-pounds, the Indianapolis (IN) native is another of the top young players Mark Dantonio has recruited. First year as a starter who has already played in 14 career games. Has one interception to go with five tackles this season.

Key Backups:
Linebacker: Steve Gardiner, Tyquan Hammock, Taiwan Jones
Defensive Backs: Dana Dixon, Kurtis Drummond, Mitchell White
Defensive Line: Tyler Hoover, Denzel Drone, Corey Freeman, Kevin Pickelman, Johnathan Strayhorn.


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