MSU places three linebackers in Big Ten’s top 10

The Big Ten Network continued its lists of top 10 players by position, and Michigan State continued to be well-represented.

On the latest list, the linebackers, Michigan State placed all three starters in the top 10.

The first of the trio was Denicos Allen, who was a sack machine in 2011 with 11 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. He checked in at No. 5.

“He is back to start for a second year on the strong side after earning second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2011. Allen arrived in East Lansing as a safety before switching to linebacker as a freshman. He hasn’t looked back, using his speed and athletic ability to make plays from sideline to sideline. Allen notched 83 tackles in 2011 with 11 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. He was second in the Big Ten in sacks (.79) and fourth in tackles for loss (1.32),” said BTN’s Ton Dienhart.

Max Bullough followed Allen in the sixth-spot.

“He bleeds MSU Green, as Bullough is a third-generation Spartan with grandfather Hank and father Shane also playing for Michigan State. Two uncles (Chuck Bullough and Bobby Morse) also were Spartans. Bullough made an instant impact the moment he arrived on campus, making 23 tackles in 2010. He moved into the starting lineup at middle linebacker last year and hasn’t looked back, making a team-high 89 tackles in 2011 en route to earning All-Big Ten second-team accolades,” Dienhart said.

Finally, Chris Norman rounded out both the MSU linebackers and the list itself at No. 10.

“He makes it three Spartan linebackers on this list. Yes, impressive. Norman will start for a third season this fall at the weak-side spot, where he uses his speed and athletic ability to be a tackling dynamo. Last season, he netted honorable mention All-Big Ten honors by ranking fourth on the squad in tackles with a career-high 76. Norman is a quiet leader who sets a good example. MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi loves the guy,” Dienhart said.