Michigan State freshman linebacker Greg Jones is expected to take another big step next season. Jones committed to Michigan State shortly after Mark Dantonio was hired and immediately became a playmaker on MSUâ€™s defense. The freshman All-American routinely found himself in the opponentâ€™s backfield in his debut season. So what is in store for Jones next season?
Much of what Jones will be asked to do is get bigger and stronger. His playing weight last season was somewhere around 220 pounds. A two-hundred twenty-pound linebacker is considered light by Big Ten standards. Jones will need to â€œpack-onâ€ 15-20 pounds of lean muscle mass to become the dominant force MSU needs from his position. Is there a new position coming for Jones?
Throughout the course of this season, Jones began to excel in Narduzziâ€™s system. He played faster and eventually became one of MSUâ€™s most consistent playmakers. Jonesâ€™ knack for shedding blocks and running to the ball carrier showcased his football instincts. Football rich Cincinnati Moeller has produced numerous college football players. Jones is no exception. His linebacking skill set will get him a look this spring at middle linebacker.
MSUâ€™s 2008 recruiting class could directly influence much of Jonesâ€™ development at middle linebacker and position destination. Nick Perry is still on the board and it is likely that Perry would step in and start right away at one of MSUâ€™s vacant linebacking spots. With both Adams and Thornhill graduating, it will leave MSU an athletic body short this spring. One has to wonder if Misch will get a look at strong safety and whether Adam Decker can play his way consistently into the rotation.
MSU has not had a dominant MLB in a number of years. It is a position that MSU must upgrade this spring in order to become more consistent. A dominant middle linebacker can change an offensive coordinatorâ€™s game plan. Having a 235-pound Greg Jones roaming the middle next fall could be a huge upgrade for the Spartan defense. Now just imagine how good heâ€™d look with Perry on one side and Gordon on the other.