FOOTBALL: Warrick Pounds Opponents

FOOTBALL: Warrick Pounds Opponents

Aggressiveness will be emphasized in the new defensive system. Will Warwick (and others) be able to play under control as a team, or will over-pursuit leave the Spartans vulnerable?

Senior Nehemiah Warrick came to Michigan State out of junior college turning down SEC suitors such as Arkansas and Tennessee. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder will use his final year as a Spartan to prove he made the correct decision.

Known as a hitter, Warrick is relatively new to the position he holds down. A year before he enrolled at Michigan State, the strong safety had never played defense before. Taking the reins in the spring of last season, Warrick now roams the field with confidence—and an attitude.

Strengths
  1. Toughness:
    With head coach Mark Dantonio and staff emphasizing toughness, Warrick brings exactly what the doctor ordered for the rebuilding Spartans. Dantonio has lauded Warrick's work ethic, and for the Spartans to improve, the seniors will need to be the hardest working players.
  2. Athleticism:
    In junior college, Warrick manned the kickoff return duties. With a 40-yard dash time at 4.5 or below, Warrick combines a hard-nosed, punishing field presence with fleet-footed speed.
Questions
  1. Experience:
    Although Warrick has met every challenge while wearing the Green and White, the fact remains that this season will present him with the third coaching staff he has had in three years. He will need to continue his ability to adapt to new schemes if the Spartans are to succeed.
  2. Control:
    Aggressiveness will be emphasized in the new defensive system. Will Warwick (and others) be able to play under control as a team, or will over-pursuit leave the Spartans vulnerable?
Projection

Last season, Warrick shared time with Travis Key in a strong safety-by-committee situation. This season, Warrick's athleticism should be a valuable asset in the new zone-blitzing 4-3 defense. Expect Warrick to improve on his 3.5 tackles for loss. His hard-hitting style could produce important turnovers, whether it's tackling running backs downfield or blindsiding unsuspecting quarterbacks.

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