Michigan State Football: 5 players who will become household names in 2015

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Oct 12, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Ed Davis (43) looks over Indiana Hoosiers offense during the second half in a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 42-28. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Starting 12 out of 13 games last season, Ed Davis really put a charge into the defense that seemed lifeless at times. When the defense needed a big play, it felt like Davis was there to provide it.

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Davis is entering his second season as the starter at the Sam linebacker and he’s hoping to see a jump in numbers from last year.

Oct 26, 2013; Champaign, IL, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Ed Davis (43) during the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. Michigan State won 42-3. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Many consider him the most underrated defender on the team, while I think there is one player who is more under-appreciated, and that distinction is definitely warranted based on his performance for the past couple of years.

During limited playing time in 2013, Davis finished with 17 total tackles and four sacks, looking more like an elite blitzing linebacker than anyone the Spartans had.

The 2014 season was even more impressive, however, as the junior linebacker recorded 58 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He didn’t really come out and prove he was an elite linebacker, but he showed he was on the right track.

Being named to some award watch lists to begin the 2015 season, it’s assumed Davis will finally break out and become a superstar in the middle of the defense. That’s a safe assumption.

This is the year of Ed Davis on the defensive side of the ball and he will play himself right into a draft pick with his relentless blitzing style of play.

Next: 3. Jake Hartbarger, P