Michigan State Football Recruiting Needs: Defense and Special Teams

(NOTE: an edit has been made to the article on the offense's recruiting needs, as I forgot to list Jeremy Langford at running back.)

The recruiting needs for the offense were covered here, and now the defense gets the same treatment.

DEFENSIVE END

Seniors:  Colin Neely

Juniors:  Johnathan Strayhorn, Todd Anderson

Sophomores: Corey Freeman,  Cameron Jude, Tyler Hoover

Freshmen: Denzel Drone (R), Taylor Calero, William Gholston, Marcus Rush

2011 Recruits: None

NEED: ONE - BUT MORE WOULD BE NICE (DUH)

The reason the "more would be nice' is in there because Gholston may eventually move to outside linebacker, and, as you've heard repeatedly, you can never have too many good defensive linemen.  If MSU only takes one defensive end in this class however, don't fret - there's no shortage of bodies.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Seniors: None

Juniors: Kevin Pickelman

Sophomores: Anthony White (JUCO), Blake Treadwell, Jerel Worthy

Freshmen: Micajah Reynolds (R), Dan France (R)

2011 Recruits: None

NEED: TWO

This position's young, so there's time to pick up a few defensive tackles.  The lack of true depth here is a little frightening, as Reynolds was originally recruited for the offensive line and Treadwell had to break his redshirt last year.  The good news? Freshman All-American Jerel Worthy hasone of the starting spots on lockdown until he leaves.

LINEBACKER

Seniors: Greg Jones, Jon Misch, Eric Gordon

Juniors: None

Sophomores: Chris Norman, Steve Gardiner

Freshmen: Denicos Allen (R), Max Bullough, Jeremy Gainer (R), TyQuan Hammock (R), Justin Wilson

2011 Recruits: Lawrence Thomas, Taiwan Jones depending on how big he gets

NEED: ONE OR TWO (Inside or Outside, it doesn't matter),  DEPENDING ON TAIWAN JONES' DEVELOPMENT

I decided not to differentiate between outside and inside linebackers, as they're moved around the depth chart as circumstances dictate.  The linebacker need could change depending on how often a 3-4 base is used in the future.  If that defense is heavily used, another recruit will be needed on top of the one or two needed now.  This unit is going to be young but talented in 2011 with Norman, Bullough, Thomas, and Gholston if he moves to outside linebacker.

CORNERBACK

Seniors: Chris L. Rucker

Juniors: Chase Parker

Sophomores: Johnny Adams, Mitchell White

Freshmen: Dana Dixon (R), Darqueze Dennard, Mylan Hicks

2011 Recruits: Andre Sims Jr.

NEED: TWO

The depth is deceptive here - Parker and White are both walk-ons who were pressed into action due to the fallout from the Rather Hall Brawl.  Andre Sims Jr. has already committed for 2011 and assuming Dennard or Hicks (most likely Hicks) will most likely see playing time this season, two more corners would allow the coaching staff to hopefully redshirt one or two of the 2011 recruits and solidify the position in the future.

SAFETY

Seniors: Marcus Hyde, Jesse Johnson

Juniors: Trenton Robinson

Sophomores: None

Freshmen: Patrick White (R), Jairus Jones (R), Isaiah Lewis, Kurtis Drummond

2011 Recruits: Taiwan Jones (if he doesn't move to linebacker)

NEED: TWO, THREE IF TAIWAN JONES MOVES TO LB

What I said about the corners can be repeated here - taking two safeties in 2011 (three if Taiwan Jones changes positions) would give the depth needed to redshirt players at this position.  Depending on their camp performances and injuries, it's very possible that Lewis and Drummond see playing time this season, breaking their potential redshirts.

KICKERS AND PUNTERS

Seniors: Aaron Bates (P)

Juniors: None

Sophomores: Dan Conroy (K)

Freshmen: Kevin Muma (K - Redshirt), Mike Sadler (P)

2011 Recruits: None

NEED: NAH, WE'RE GOOD

State's all set at the kicking spots for a couple years, at least until the 2013 class when a kicker might be taken so he can redshirt for Muma's senior year.

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