Chris Frey Left A Void - A Collection Of Spartans Will Fill It

Chris Frey Left A Void - A Collection Of Spartans Will Fill It

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Chris Frey Left A Void - A Collection Of Spartans Will Fill It

With Chris Frey no longer around to battle and lead, the void he’s left will need to filled by a group of tough veterans.  They’re ready to fill it.

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Michigan State will miss – and probably already is missing – four-year contributor, senior-year captain, and relentless warrior, Chris Frey.

The work Chris Frey did in his final season as a Spartan should be recognized as some of the most important work in the Dantonio Era.

However, it’s fair to suggest that the most important and most productive work Frey did was not even on the field.

Frey was a hard-working, fearless battler on the field and he made plays that often went unnoticed in terms of being key to a game – like the way he stepped into the gap and stood JT Barrett upright on Ohio State’s first possession of the Geiger Windmill game and how that immediately made it clear that Michigan State was not going to be overpowered by the Buckeyes on that afternoon.

But the real legacy that Frey leaves is one of a leader who took the program’s spirit and commitment by the lapels and shook the program out of its funk after the disaster of 2016.

Frey and Brian Allen might go down as the most impactful and important captains for a Michigan State football team of the last generation.

But Frey’s presence on the field – with regard to actual speed, four-quarter juice and battery power, sideline-to-sideline gears, and drop-back coverage ability in 3rd down situations – won’t be as missed as much as his leadership around the hallways and the in locker room.

Still, Frey’s spot needs to be filled.

Fortunately for the Spartans, the linebacker unit in East Lansing is stocked.

Mark Dantonio said this when he was asked about filling the void left by Frey, “That’s just going to work itself out; we’ve got guys that can play. We can go three deep, three or four deep, at that position. So it’s been a positive.”

With Joe Bachie manning the middle – and providing leadership that would make Frey and every other Spartan linebacker that has come before him proud – there isn’t a ton of concern when you also consider that Andrew Dowell will continue to fill the role of the weak side linebacker position.

The “money” spot – the strong side backer in the Spartan defense – might be filled by a roving, rotating group of guys ready to do the damage that’s necessary.

Tyriq Thompson, Brandon Randle (who has spent most of his time at defensive end but can stand up and play at the “money” spot naturally) and Byron Bullough all have the experience and the talent to step in and produce.

Each of these veterans brings their own strengths and, as a package, they provide Michigan State with reason for optimism at the position.

And Jon Reschke’s return provides a potentially unforeseen shot in the arm to entire team, let alone the spot vacated by Frey’s departure.

When it comes to the Thompson, Randle, Bullough trifecta, defensive coordinator Mike Tressel and Spartan fans know what they’re getting.

With the 2018 version of Reschke, there are question marks.

Dantonio and LJ Scott, in particular, hit the potential third-rail issue head on at Big Ten Media Days when they spoke of how the entire team welcomed Reschke back – unanimously.

But what about Reschke’s ability to contribute to the team in the way the 2015 and 2016, injury-free versions of Reschke did?

For all of the drama surrounding the reasons why Reschke was dismissed from the team after the 2016 season, let’s not forget that he had a killer 2015 season – as a redshirt sophomore, he started all 14 games, racked up 75 tackles including 5.5 for loss, collected two sacks, and helped get the Spartans to the College Football Playoff after winning the Big Ten Championship.

Yes – that was a full two years ago and Reschke has missed a lot of football since then.

But Dantonio says Reschke is healthy and that he’s getting work at all three linebacker spots.

Joe Bachie seems to be bullish on Reschke – “He’s getting better every day.  He’s still quick, still explosive.”

My, how things have changed for these Spartans in one year.

Maybe Jon Reschke is as good of an example as anything else.

A year ago, Reschke was persona non grata – and rightfully so.

Right now, he’s been welcomed back to the team with open arms and he might just help make the Spartan defense even deeper and better than it already was.

Between Tyriq Thompson, Brandon Randle, Byron Bullough, and a rejuvenated Jon Reschke, it appears as though Chris Frey’s shoes will be filled in more ways than one.

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