East Lansing, Mich—As Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker set out to resurrect the Spartan football program, one area he quickly noticed that didn’t need repair is the defensive line. Ron Burton has led the line for years, and he knew he needed only to stay out of his way.
Heading into 2020, Burton lost three of his four defensive line starters to the NFL, and it is time for the proverbial next man up. Losing great players is nothing new to Burton, and two Spartan brothers have his attention.
“Jacob Slade, who had 200-plus snaps last year, has really come on at the end of the season last year. We expect him to be a force inside,” Burton said. “(Zach Slade) He’s a defensive end. He’s about 250 pounds, and he has progressed (was out the entire 2019 season with a knee injury).”
But there are also some other young guns making a move for playing time on the depth chart. “Then young guys inside starting with Dashaun Mallory, who is a redshirt sophomore coming up this fall; very strong at the point of attack, expecting to see him on the field.
“Then the young man Jalen Hunt shows quickness and movement and destructive in the backfield. Those are the top four guys that we expect."
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