EbeneMagazine – US – Michigan State Football 2020 Preview: Defensive Backs


More than eight months after being introduced to the Michigan State fan base as the Spartans’ new head coach, Mel Tucker will lead his team onto the field for the first time on Saturday when Rutgers heads to East Lansing to open 2020 Big Ten football season

It was always going to be an intriguing year around MSU as Tucker put his fingerprints on the program after Mark Dantonio’s 13 years of racing that made him the most successful coach in the history of the School The unforeseen events of the past seven months, when the COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on America first tightened, only heightened curiosity surrounding Tucker and the Spartans

First, the season was over with Tucker solemnly breaking the news to his squad in the middle of a training camp on August 11 Then he was back on September 16 with the Big Ten announcing that he had obtained tests. daily and fast antigenics for football players which put the 14 conference presidents and chancellors at ease From there it was a rushed sprint to get back into a preseason mode similar to that of  » August before a nine-game season, only in conference

« I love the way our players buy into our system and our culture and the way we do things Also, I’m very happy with our coaching staff, who have come together relatively for the first time on the pitch consistently, and how we work with our players, as well as our strength team and all of our support staff I feel very confident about how we operate and our process We are very process oriented, and it is happening right in front of our eyes and we are working hard on it every day to consolidate our culture, keep moving our process forward But I see significant buy-in from our players on what we’re asking them to do, and that’s very, very positive

The season that at various times this summer seemed doomed has a new lease of life Tucker’s Spartans play football starting this Saturday With this we do position-by-position overviews of MSU’s roster Finally, the full-backs defensive:

The secondary was probably the weakest of the three levels on what was a good MSU defense last year Scott was solid, although it wasn’t the best season of his three-year college career He was picked up a bit by the bigger receivers, but he was still MSU’s best cover guy and good enough to start early and be selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft The other corner spot, occupied by Brown or Butler most of the time, was up and down throughout the season Safety play, especially against vertical passing play, has been spotty for much of the season. of the year

Outside of Henderson, it doesn’t feel like anyone at the back of the defense has a take on a Brown starting post is certainly a favorite to start at the corner, and it looks like Gervin could be the leader in the other place But there could be a significant rotation going on Safe, Person seems to be the favorite to play alongside Henderson Hallock and Dowell could fit in well as backups who see it as a decent amount of action

While details on MSU’s new defensive system are scarce, there are clues and breadcrumbs assuming it looks more like defensive system coordinator Scottie Hazelton ran last year at Kansas State, Spartans will play a ton of Cover 3 If so, that would be a great choice for Henderson, as it would allow him to play closer to the line of scrimmage instead of constantly running deep with the receivers It would also allow Hazelton to deploy him in the box as an additional man for race assistance. This program puts a lot of pressure on Free Safety to be an instinctive player with great covering skills, so this will be a position to watch no matter who is in there. Similar to the Dantonio defense, the turns will be put in a lot of individual situations on the perimeter There should be an opportunity for one of the DBs to emerge as the nickel wedge in a 4-2-5 look, which Hazelton has often done at K-State This could be a real corner cover to match a quick slot receiver, or it could be a larger hybrid type of safety / linebacker that can provide better running support by the making it look a bit more like a traditional 4-3

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3 – number of starting quarterbacks MSU will face for the second year in a row

Indiana’s Michael Penix threw for 286 yards against the Spartans, Justin Fields 206 of Ohio State and Sean Clifford 189 of Penn State These were the third, fifth and sixth highest passing results against MSU in the 2019 season, and they will face each other again this year MSU avoided a fight with Tanner Morgan of Minnesota when the schedule was rearranged, which is a plus Michigan and Iowa are making new starts under center, and the Spartans take on them early, while Northwestern, Maryland and Rutgers could also make an appearance

In my opinion, Barnett will ultimately be the best defensive back in MSU’s 2020 roster For now, it looks like he’s still getting back in shape after spending last season on wide receiver It was a move of desperation for a lack of juice offense, and he’s done an admirable job under less than ideal circumstances Now he’s back on the corner, where he has star potential The question is how fast he can start tapping that potential Brown and Gervin give MSU more experience at the start of the season, but I’d be surprised if Barnett isn’t on the rotation Maybe he can catch a few reps working as a nickel wedge, or maybe even as third safety in third and long There is room for a versatile and athletic playmaker in Hazelton’s defense, and Barnett’s background as a four-star prep rookie suggests he couldbe a nice mobile chess piece His longtime home is probably around the corner, but with a guy like Barnett you want to get as much out of it as possible

Cornerback coach Harlon Barnett on whether his current squad reminds him of previous MSU secondaries:

« It was maybe the early stages of this group that really got us going, » Barnett said on Oct 8 « You talk about these classes from 2009 to 2011, you know, Denicos Allen, Darqueze Dennard, Trae Waynes We’re 9, 10 and 11 This bunch of guys in their early days At the beginning, maybe at the 2009 stage, if I had to compare it Then you start to add pieces to it and take it from there « 

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Michigan State University, Michigan State Spartans football, Big Ten Conference, Rutgers Scarlet Knights football, American football, Mel Tucker

EbeneMagazine – United States – Michigan State football 2020 preview: Back defensive

SOURCE: https://www.ebenenews.com/news/ebenemagazine-us-michigan-state-football-2020-preview-defensive-backs/?remotepost=108681



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