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August 16, 2008EAST LANSING - Those wondering if Greg Jones will have difficulty switching between MIKE and WILL linebacker spots this year didn't see the sophomore linebacker play in Saturday's scrimmage.
Jones was a handful for Spartan blockers as he blitzed from the outside linebacker position during Michigan State's second jersey scrimmage. Jones has played both inside and outside linebacker during training camp as Michigan State tries to find their top three linebackers.
"Outside or inside, it doesn't matter to me," said Jones of whether he plays at MIKE or WILL this fall. "As long as it is better for the team, I am willing to do it."
The top two candidates to start in the defensive midfield with Jones and red-shirt sophomore Eric Gordon were both in the starting line-up with Jones on Saturday as Gordon sat out of the scrimmage along with a number of other first-stringers that stood to benefit more from rest than from the pounding they would take in a 120-play controlled scrimmage.
Jones was impressed with the play of
Adam Decker during the scrimmage. He also liked what he saw from Ryan Allison. If Allison proves he is the No. 3 linebacker behind Jones and Gordon, Jones will move to the MIKE linebacker position. If Decker is the guy, Jones will move to the WILL linebacker spot.
"I saw Decker take charge out there today," said Jones. "He runs a great tempo. A MIKE linebacker has to. He is not the most vocal guy, but he is vocal enough to get everybody set and he made the right calls. I honestly think that Decker is a great fit for the defense."
Allison nearly had an interception and looked good playing in space. Jones also liked what he saw from Brandon Denson.
"Allison made some great plays getting his hand on some ball and Denson used his speed and athleticism to get in and get some TFL's," said Jones. "Those two, we have some great options."
NOTE: At the beginning of the video in this file, Jones is talking about accidentally tackling Brian Hoyer during a blitz late in the scrimmage. Jones tried to hold up at the last second but ended up bumping Hoyer to the ground kind of hard. Hoyer had no problem with it and congratulated Jones for good hustle.