Michigan State Football: Next man up at every position

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Sep 20, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive back Montae Nicholson (9) picks up a loose ball during the second quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one guy on this team who I would put money on to be the next big star of the defense, it would be Montae Nicholson. The true sophomore played in all 13 games as a freshman in 2014, impressing coaches, fans and fellow players with his maturity and confidence on and off the field.

Related: Montae Nicholson makes for an elite role model Proving to be a leader, Nicholson will likely be the top player in the defensive secondary this season as the safety will do his best not to squander the opportunity he was given by Coach D.

As a four-star high school recruit in the 2014 class, people knew that it was just a matter of time before he came in and starred at the collegiate level, but not many realized it would have to be this soon with the loss of Kurtis Drummond to the NFL this past season and Trae Waynes as well.

The ‘No Fly Zone’ is looking for a re-emergence and it will only get such with Nicholson playing his best football. I know I said I wouldn’t pick guys who are already starters, but Demetrious Cox and Nicholson as just too talented to leave off this list.

There is so much potential there to be the ‘next men up’ for the departing Waynes and Drummond that leaving them off this list would be criminal.

Next: 5 reasons Connor Cook will win the Heisman Trophy