Michigan State Football: Projecting defensive depth chart for 2020

Antjuan Simmons, Michigan State football (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Antjuan Simmons, Michigan State football (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football
Shakur Brown and Xavier Henderson, Michigan State football (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /


Starting cornerbacks: Julian Barnett, Kalon Gervin
Backups: Shakur Brown, Davion Williams OR Chris Jackson

I’m going with potential here at the two starting cornerback spots. Julian Barnett is the most gifted talent at the position and he’s making the permanent move to the defensive side of the ball after playing some receiver last year. The former top-100 athlete should win a starting job if the defense is going to have its highest ceiling.

Joining him will be Kalon Gervin who has waited for his opportunity and with Josiah Scott and Josh Butler gone, this is it. This kid has the potential to be a lockdown corner and star for this defense.

I like Shakur Brown to see extended snaps and potentially swipe a starting spot, but the veteran will be subbing in quite a bit in different packages. He has enough talent to be a threat, but he needs to avoid the silly mistakes. I couldn’t decide between Davion Williams and Chris Jackson, so the sophomores will get that ‘OR’ distinction. Both are incredibly talented.

Starting safeties: Xavier Henderson, Tre Person
Backups: Michael Dowell, Dominique Long

Xavier Henderson is a guy who could end up leading the team in total tackles and it’s not because the front-seven is lacking, but he’s just that good. He’ll be back to lead that defensive backfield from the safety spot as a junior.

Tre Person is the veteran who is likely to join him as a starter, but he has a lot to prove this season.

This is an interesting position group because it’s deeper than people think. Person may be in a fight for his starting job with Michael Dowell and Dominique Long by the end of the season and even those two won’t be the only ones pushing for snaps. Darius Snow and Emmanuel Flowers will have a shot to play by the end of the year.

MSU football: Game-by-game predictions for 2020. dark. Next