It’s been happening since sometime last season – the constant praise for the depth Michigan State has at linebacker.
The three starters – Chris Norman, Max Bullough and Denicos Allen — were pretty darned good last season, but the attention they receive from those following the team was almost as much as that of the crop of freshmen that arrived last season.
Taiwan Jones was the only one not to be redshirted, but most of his time was on special teams. Then, this spring, Darien Harris gained all of the attention of the “second-teamers.”
Enter a new name on the list of highly touted guys who have yet to truly make an impact in games – Ed Davis.
His name has come up several times this month, and when Pat Narduzzi last week likened him to former Spartans standout Greg Jones, it seemed like a bit of a stretch from a fired up defensive coordinator. On Monday, however, it was Mark Dantonio saying essentially the same thing about the former Detroit Southeastern star.
“He’s all over the place,” he said. “He reminds you of Greg Jones.”
It’s a tough spot to be in for the three youngsters since any significant playing time will likely only come in the form of an injury to one of the starters. Add senior Steve Gardiner and junior Kyler Elsworth, and it’s a crowded position.
But if you keep hearing “Greg Jones” and “Ed Davis” in the same sentence, odds are Davis could jump right into any rotation the Spartans might be working on.
Some other interesting notes from media availability today:
– Redshirt freshman defensive end Lawrence Thomas said he did not play in the final scrimmage because of a concussion. However, he was cleared to resume practice on Monday. Thomas also said he is working at nose tackle on the second “Delta” unit, Michigan State’s nickel package.
– Dantonio said freshman long-snapper Taybor Pepper has had best times since he’s been at MSU. It seems there is little doubt the undersized first-year player will be the guy once the season begins.
– Don’t worry about junior running back Le’Veon Bell. He didn’t play in Saturday’s scrimmage, either, but he said it was just to rest. The Spartans have been very careful with their No. 1 back, who saw limited time in the spring game as well.
– Junior tight end Dion Sims was the star of the scrimmage on Saturday with 10 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. It was just a glimpse of how good Sims can be and quarterback Andrew Maxwell came away impressed and expecting more of the same when the season kicks off. Sims, however, said he thinks he can do more.
– Sophomore running back Nick Hill continues to be the main kick and punt returner, but he’s also confident he will get a shot to carry the ball as well. He thinks he’s the perfect change-of-pace runner to compliment the bruising style of Bell and senior Larry Caper.