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Mailbag Questions 8/25/2021

A weekly mailbag of questions that Spartan fans are eager to learn.

I'm going to try something new. I asked on the Spartan Nation facebook page as well as my personal twitter account, what kind of questions they had for me and I will answer a few of them every week as long as it continues to get participation.

From Drew Kurtz: "Linebacker... Crouch and? Is Harvey fast enough to cover? Any other decent linebacker options?

Linebacker is probably going to be five deep going into the Northwestern game. Quavaris Crouch and Noah Harvey are the presumed starters, although Ben Vansumeren, Chase Kline, Cal Haladay, and Itayvion Brown are all involved in battle for playing time. Haladay has made improvement and sounds like will see some playing time at linebacker this season. Vansumeren who transferred from Michigan and is in his second season of playing linebacker again and Kline will be involved in the five deep rotation as well. I think we're a year away from seeing Brown and freshman Ma'a Gaoteote with significant playing time.

From Reid McBeth: "I really want to know how our back 7 of the defense has looked so far, have the defensive backs been winning their share of battles against the wide receivers?"

The defensive back group has remained one of the bigger question marks so far on the defense. Like I said in the question before I expect Crouch and Harvey to start at linebacker. The other linebacker I think will be Kline. Michael Dowell is slotted to start at nickelback with Angelo Grose at free safety. Ronald Williams and Kalon Gervin are my guesses at corner back, although Florida transfer Chester Kimbrough is making the decision hard as him and Gervin are in a tight battle for the other corner back spot. The defensive group hasn't looked as good as the offense but is learning a new scheme and has shown improvements in coverage the last few weeks.

From David Gregory: "Do we have enough talent and abilities on the offensive line to play a complete game all season?"

The offensive line has improved. New Offensive Line coach Chris Kapilovic has made a drastic change for the position already. Arkansas State transfer Jarrett Horst looks like the dominant offensive linemen and that's why I think he will be the starting left tackle next Friday. He will be joined by J.D. Duplain at left guard, Matt Allen at center, Kevin Jarvis at right guard, and AJ Arcuri at right tackle. The line looks better and I believe will be better this year. I think Horst is really good and will help tremendously a bad run game from 2020. If the line stays healthy, I believe it will be the biggest position turnaround from last season.