In year 5 of Dan Mullen’s tenure we are now at the point where we have a team full of his players. Some fans strictly look at recruiting from a star gazing standpoint. While attending spring practices the last couple years the one thing that really jumps out at me about MSU’s roster is how much better the 2nd team is and how tough the competition is for 2nd team reps at many positions. Just for a quick tidbit, MSU redshirted 2 four star LB’s last year. How often does that happen?
If you will, think back to Mullen’s first few years we had many guys on the special teams who were starters or guys that really didn’t have business ever being on the field. The main special teams units that I stress are the coverage units. I don’t feel like a field goal or extra point attempt add that much to the fatigue of an offensive lineman but 5 kickoffs and 5 punts sure will to your starting LB or SS.
One thing that could really help this year is this depth I’m seeing helping these coverage units.
It’s big for a couple reasons. First and foremost it fatigues your starters and there is nothing worse than a fatigued defense on the field in the fourth quarter. I also have a theory that starters just don’t get that thrilled about special teams reps. Jonathon Banks was a great player but does anyone else remember his attempt to bring down Onterio McCaleb on his kickoff return he took to the house when Auburn was in Starkville? I think a guy who doesn’t yet start, but really wants to get on the field and make an impact is amped to go cover a kickoff or punt and that effort leads to better performance.
I could go on about this but I feel like giving you a list of guys who I’m assuming will not start and have a chance to get on these teams is more effective.
-TE Brandon Hill (6’2 235)
-TE Rufus Warren (6”5 250)
-LB Ferlando Bohanna (6’ 230)
-LB Chris Hughes (6’1 225)
-LB Richie Brown (6’2.5 233)
-LB Beni Brown (6’1 220)
-LB Zach Jackson (6’1 215)
-CB Jamerson Love (5’11 175)
-CB Taveze Calhoun (6’1 175)
-CB Cedric Jiles (5’10 180)
-S Dee Arrington (6’1 215)
-S Kendrick Market (5’10 185)
-S Quadry Antoine (5’9 210)
-S Deonte Evans (5’10 195)
-S Kivon Coman (6’1 200)
Now look at that list and think about it. That’s 15 guys that can run and hit who are really good players. All of them are great athletes. Keep in mind that some WR’s usually get on some coverage teams and I didn’t even include them. Also think about incoming freshman like Chris Jones who could be a monster on a coverage team as a freshman. All in all we’re talking about 20 guys battling for special teams reps who aren’t even starters. Think about how hungry these guys would be to get these reps. When you look at things like this it really puts Mullen’s recruiting in perspective and reminds us that overall he’s done a nice job.
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**I’ll be attending the football scrimmage today but due to a jammed schedule I probably won’t have time to write it up until later tonight (11pm ish)**