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

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Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas (8) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Baylor Bears in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when I said there was one player on the defense who was more underrated than linebacker Ed Davis? Well, Lawrence Thomas is that guy. Not many collegiate athletes can match up with his size and intensity in the trenches, and that’s quite alright with him.

Must Read: MSU Recruiting: Top 2016 remaining football targets

Everyone expected Thomas to come in an dominate the linebacker position, becoming one go the Spartan greats like Josh Thornhill, Julian Peterson or Greg Jones, but instead, he battled weight issues after redshirting his freshman season.

Thomas put on the pounds, albeit all muscle, and he became too big for the inside linebacker position. His range wasn’t the same with his weight gain, so a new position was forthcoming.

After making a short-term move to the offensive side of the ball as a fullback, Thomas returned to the defense full-time for his junior season in 2014. Lawrence became a defensive tackle and played well in 13 starts, recording 30 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.

This year, he will be making the move yet again, but this time to defensive end — opposite of Shilique Calhoun.

It will be interesting to see how he handles the change, but with his background of linebacking, I think he will do just fine.

Expect him to have a breakout campaign and become the second-most dominant player on the defensive line. I wouldn’t be shocked if he was mentioned in the first-round discussion for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Next: 1. Montae Nicholson, SS