A season ago, the main concern surrounding Michigan State football was the passing defense. That hasn’t changed much in 2022 despite the Spartans holding both of their first two opponents under 200 passing yards.
But there have been some lapses in coverage and a lot of that has to do with Xavier Henderson being sidelined with a leg injury.
Two guys, however, have stepped up to the plate and have been delivering through the first two weeks: Charles Brantley and Chester Kimbrough. They haven’t been perfect but they look vastly improved from a season ago and both of them are near the top of the nation in an important statistical category.
After two weeks, those two rising Spartans rank in the top 15 nationally in terms of pass breakups.
It’s nice to see these two stepping up and playing really well while the rest of the secondary eases into life without Henderson. Kimbrough seems to be adjusting well at the nickel spot and Brantley has been playing well after missing the final month of his freshman year.
Michigan State football has benefitted from the rise of Chester Kimbrough and Charles Brantley
There have been a few players in the defensive backfield that have caught my eye through the first couple of weeks and outside of the obvious Kendell Brooks, it’s been Kimbrough and Brantley.
Kimbrough was the one who impressed me the most given how he struggled last year and I think he’s turned things around and has looked like the Spartans’ best cover guy. Brantley has four pass breakups and probably should have had a pick against Akron but it was controversially overturned.
If both of these guys can keep this pace, the Spartans’ defense will be in great shape when Henderson does return.