Michigan State Football: 5 under the radar players

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Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker T.J. Harrell (31) reacts after the game against the Baylor Bears in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dipping into SEC territory to snag one of the top three-star linebacker recruits in the nation, Mark Dantonio found himself a gem in redshirt freshman T.J. Harrell, an outside linebacker from Tampa.

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Michigan State has produced a ton of talented linebackers over the years. Max Bullough, Denicos Allen, Greg Jones, Chris Norman, Taiwan Jones and others have given the Spartans a solid name on the defensive side of the ball.

Harrell, just a second-year player, has already moved his way up the depth chart and has been receiving praise.

Mike Wilson of 247Sports had a chance to get a nice quote from Mark Dantonio about Harrell back during spring practice and he had nothing but good things to say.

"“He starting to play faster,” Dantonio said. “He’s still learning, but he’s playing faster and you see some good things. He’s got to be more consistent, but you see some things and say, ‘Ooh, that’s pretty good.’”"

Wilson also talked to senior linebacker Ed Davis who had this to say:

"“I am seeing him grow up,” Davis said. “I am seeing him get the defense down pat and really start to use his athleticism to make plays and things he wasn’t doing when he didn’t know the defense. He’s all coming together as a good player.”"

Right now, Harrell is second on the depth chart behind Darien Harris at the Star linebacker position and he’s likely going to get some solid playing time this season.

Keep an eye on him as he might be the next great MSU linebacker who no one is talking about.

Next: 4. Montez Sweat, DE