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Athlon: Michigan State Boasts No. 4 Linebacker Unit in College Football

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“With the Spartans retooling up front, coach Mark Dantonio may lean more on his linebackers to set the tone for the defense in 2016.”

Oregon v Michigan State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Michigan State Spartans have one of the top linebacker units in all of college football, according to Athlon Sports.

The site ranked the top LB groups in the country, placing MSU at No. 4 overall with the following comments:

With the Spartans retooling up front, coach Mark Dantonio may lean more on his linebackers to set the tone for the defense in 2016. That shouldn’t be a problem for this unit, as Riley Bullough (106 tackles last year) and Jon Reschke are back as returning starters. Ed Davis (seven sacks in 2014) is expected to receive an additional year of year of eligibility after missing all of 2015 due to injury. Chris Frey and Andrew Dowell are two other promising options expected to see plenty of snaps in 2016.

Athlon says factors included in its rankings include depth, overall talent, production, level of competition and projected output in 2016.

Alabama took the top spot, followed by Louisville and Wisconsin, with Tennessee rounding out the top five. Ohio State came in at No. 6 and the other Big Ten teams on the list were Northwestern (14), Penn State (17), Nebraska (31), Michigan (36) and Indiana (49).