2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile: DE Colin Neely #89

Hondo S. Carpenter

2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile:Â DE Colin Neely #89

Height: 6’1”

Weight:Â 251

2009 Eligibility:Â Junior

EXP: 1 Letter

Status:Â Starting DE


Strengths: When Colin keeps his mind in the game, he is a very good DE. In fact, the EMU game shows us his best and his worst moments. Let’s take a look at that game.


In the first quarter, EMU had a first and goal at the MSU three-yard line. Neely showed TREMENDOUS technique and he bull rushed the LT and forced him backwards. The play was a sweep left and Neely’s penetration and forcing of the LT so far into the backfield, caused the RB to have to go around the two (Neely and the LT) and in a sweep play he is supposed to hit the corner fast. The roadblock known as Neely then threw the LT off of him and tackled the RB for no gain on the goal line. That was one of the best pure plays on the DL all season and it showed the strength and talent of Neely.


Weakness: Against EMU in the first quarter, EMU had a 2nd and ten at their own 20. The LT manhandled Neely. In fact, Neely didn’t keep his pads low and the LT turned his hips and eliminated Neely from the play. The RB turned the corner for a 40-yard gain. Neely allowed himself to lose technique and that allowed a huge play on the corner.


Neely isn’t a gifted physical specimen who can afford to lose technique occasionally (like Greg Jones), but in his defense how many are? Neely will make incredible plays followed up with ones that he has a mental lapse and gives up the play. He has two big years left and learning to overcome mental lapses is a maturity issue. I am not implying immaturity from a mental standpoint. I am saying that it is part of the natural learning curve from a young football player to a mature football player. It is just a learning curve of football.


Final Analysis: With the more reps Neely gets, he gets better. He is a good football player. He also will get every chance to win that starter job. Coming out of the spring he was the projected starter but he is going to be pushed hard as the team continues its infusion of new talent under the recruiting genius that is Mark Dantonio. If he can continue his maturation process (which wouldn’t surprise me) Neely will continue to gain more experience and playing time.

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