2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile: LB Adam Decker #55

Hondo S. Carpenter

2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile:Â LB Adam Decker #55

Height: 6’2”

Weight:Â 247

2009 Eligibility:Â Senior

EXP:Â 2 Letters

Status:Â Backup LB

 

Strengths: I feel badly for Decker. He has made some great plays and picked up significant playing time, but with the incredible upgrade of talent at LB since Mark Dantonio arrived he is not getting the publicity you would expect from a player of his stature. Decker will play, but with him being a true MLB and all-world Greg Jones moving to that position, his playing time has just taken a significant hit.

 

We all can look at his aggressive play that sealed a win against Iowa last season as the best play that illustrates his strengths. In fact, I think it was the best defensive play in the Big Ten last season.  I, however, want to take you to the OSU game for what I think is a textbook play that had the Buckeyes not had a penalty on the play, it would have gotten more appreciation.

 

It was the first quarter and the Buckeyes had a first and goal. Decker stepped into the hole and made a textbook tackle on the OSU RB at his feet to avoid the touchdown. He did a great job of putting his nose right into the play and when Decker is playing with complete concentration he is a very talented LB.

 

Weakness: Once again let’s go back to the OSU game. Again it was the first quarter and it was a first and 15. Beanie Wells was in the backfield and Decker over pursued and attempted to arm tackle Wells. You can’t arm tackle Wells and he had a 20-yard gain on a first and fifteen no doubt. 

 

When Decker is playing heads up and under control he is a very good LB. You saw that with the best play in the season against Iowa and the textbook tackle against OSU. The play in which he over-pursued and tried to tackle Beanie Wells up high with his arms was his weakness.

 

LBs like James Laurinaitis and Greg Jones can get away with not always being the most sound technically because they have such a deep reservoir of natural athletic ability. Decker has to be sound to be great and that is why Jones was moved to the most important defensive position: MLB.

 

Final Analysis: If there is a finer young man on the Spartan roster than Decker I haven’t met him. Adam is a workhorse and even when he does struggle it isn’t for a lack of effort or taking off a play. It is simply staying sound with technique all of the time.

 

Decker could and would start at several other Big Ten schools, but with the influx of new talent and moving Greg Jones to the center he will see his reps drop. I still look at Decker as a more than solid backup and look for him to make a significant impact even if it isn’t as a starter.

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