The defensive side of the ball wasn’t exactly stingy for Michigan State football in 2021. But these three guys could change that in 2022.
Michigan State football’s defense was lacking consistency last season but with guys like Xavier Henderson, Jacob Slade, Cal Haladay, and Darius Snow returning this season, there’s a good chance this group is going to improve drastically.
The secondary was the worst in college football a season ago, giving up over 320 yards per game through the air but they also saw an astounding number of attempts. The front-seven combined to have the 15th-best rushing defense in the country and the line got plenty of push on opposing quarterbacks. That could be a strength this season.
Which defenders could break out for the Spartans this season?
I was close to putting Simeon Barrow here because I believe he’s going to have a huge season for the Spartans on the interior next to Jacob Slade, but Brandon Wright doesn’t get enough love.
Scottie Hazelton spoke to the media on Thursday and raved about the progress Wright has made this offseason and if he plays anything like he did against Pitt for the entirety of the 2022 season, he’s going to be a stud.
As a senior, it’s tough to tab him a “breakout” candidate because he only has one year left, but I think he’ll be that good this season. He had eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks last season and he’s capable of so much more.
Wright began his career as a running back but moved to defense and he’s excelling off the edge. Expect him to become a legit pass-rushing threat in 2022.