Indispensable Spartan #9

Indispensable Spartan #9

Spartan Digest is back with our annual look at the most important Spartans for the upcoming season. Each year we come up with a different theme and this year we'll look at the 30 most indispensable Spartans in 2013.

Michigan State saw George Perles take the field as head coach 30-years ago. Spartan Digest recognizes Perles with this seasons 30 Most Indispensable Spartans with a look at those members of the football team we feel will have major roles if the Spartans are to have success on the field.

Two Spartans share the No. 9 spot this preseason.

Here is #9

Isaiah Lewis

HT: 5-10 WT: 208

Position: Strong Safety

Experience: Three-time letter winner

R.J. Williamson

HT: 6-0 WT: 212

Position: Strong Safety

Experience: One-time letter winner

2012 Season: Lewis posted a career-high 80 tackles last season on his way to earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. Not only was Indianapolis native strong on defense, he also played a key role on the Spartans special teams with six tackles on kick return coverage.

Williamson played in 11 games collecting 27 tackles and six passes defended with two interceptions and four pass break-ups. He'll continue to push Lewis for time on the field and should be a heavy favorite to be a starter in 2014.

Strengths: Lewis has the ability to be one of the best tacklers in the country while also being able to cover from the safety position. Another big season and NFL teams will be looking to take him high in the next draft.

Williamson has the physical size and willingness to be one of the toughest players in the Big Ten. The more time he's on the field the better player he will become.

Weaknesses: At times looks to deliver the big hit instead of the sure tackle. Must stay within himself to be the player the Spartans will count on this fall.

Williamson has all the tools to be a good one and only lacks experience on the field. While he'll be hard pressed to by-pass Lewis this fall, his time is coming if he can continue working hard.

Overall: These two players show the great depth Mark Dantonio and his staff have build on defense over the past few years. While both players may not have seen the high recruiting interest of others at their position across the Big Ten, many programs in the conference would love to have one of them on their roster this fall.

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