Michigan State Football: 5 players who could fill in for Ed Davis

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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

A name that hasn’t been mentioned much in the race but who I think could be a dark horse to win the job is redshirt freshman T.J. Harrell.

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Harrell came in as a safety out of Texas in 2014, but he has made the transition to ‘Star’ linebacker in which he’s the backup to senior Darien Harris.

Although he had some criticism for the young linebacker, coach Dantonio knows that he’s only tough on the guys who he believes have the talent to be something special. This is what Dantonio had to say about Harrell filling in for Davis, according to Mike Wilson:

"Asked about redshirt freshman T.J. Harrell, who is listed as a backup at the STAR spot, Dantonio said he had to get tougher."

There’s no doubt that the former three-star safety has the potential to be a star on the defense, but right now he may be on the outside looking in at the starting job for Davis. He may have to wait another year for Darien Harris to graduate in order to find himself on first string.

Keep an eye on Harrell in the linebacker race as he won’t go down without a fight.

Next: 1. Chris Frey