In the first two games of his Michigan State football career, Jacoby Windmon looked like a superstar. He picked up 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles to go along with his 12 total tackles and it just felt like he was this year’s Kenneth Walker III (portal sensation).
But the hype quickly faded as the rest of the defensive line around him was bitten by the injury bug and that forced opposing offensive lines to focus on him.
In the team’s four-game losing skid, Windmon had 14 total tackles and one forced fumble. He was still productive on the edge, but nowhere near the dominance he showcased in the first two weeks. It was a combination of getting focused and playing tougher opponents but it just felt like a change needed to be made in order to squeeze the most production out of him.
That happened against Wisconsin as the coaching staff decided to put him back at his natural position of linebacker.
And it paid major dividends.
Michigan State football showed it could make adjustments
Scottie Hazelton had been criticized for weeks for not making adjustments to his defense. Swapping Windmon back to linebacker from defensive end was a breath of fresh air and may have actually won some people over.
Against Wisconsin, Windmon had a team-high 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, and an interception. For the third time this season (most in school history), he was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
After the game, he tweeted that he was “back home” at linebacker. It was clear.
Windmon needs to stay there for the rest of the year because he gives this defense its best look in the middle and it’s nice to see that Hazelton can, in fact, make the necessary adjustments to make sure this defense is effective.