MSU D-line preview: Calhoun’s return huge for Spartans

The 2015 Michigan State football team is scheduled to report for preseason camp Aug. 7, exactly four weeks before the Sept. 4 season opener at Western Michigan. This is the seventh in a series of breakdowns of each position group before camp begins for an expected preseason top-10 team.

Today: defensive line.

Last season: MSU’s defensive superstar may not have quite had the season he was hoping for, but the Spartans were excellent up front overall for a defense that finished first nationally in rush defense (88.5 yards per game) and collected 42 sacks. Defensive end Shilique Calhoun had eight of those, a half-sack more than he had as a sophomore, but he didn’t make as many game-changing plays. Underrated, though, was his toughness against the run. Senior end Marcus Rush had 71/2 sacks on the other side, giving MSU one of the best pairs in the nation. Lawrence Thomas broke through as a junior tackle, with quality help from Joel Heath and gifted freshman Malik McDowell. – Read more at

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