(Editor's Note: This is the fifth installment of positional previews.
Big Man on Campus: Will Gholston
Gholston is one of the bigger faces on an MSU football team in some time -- and already is a national name. This highlight reel tells the tale of why:
Simply put: Gholston is a monster. At 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, the junior defensive end is a force when he rushes the quarterback and when he gets there -- he hits hard. Few players can be compared to the late Bubba Smith, but the size is similar and the beastly talent is there in Gholston.
The preseason honors have poured in for Gholston, who is on the Bednarik, Nagurski and Lombardi award watch lists, and the media voted him as the preseason Big Ten defensive player of the year. He also is a big reason why ESPN's Big Ten Blog ranks Michigan State's defensive line as the second best in the conference heading into the season.
Buckle up, Spartan Nation, this probably is the last season to watch Gholston play in the green and white.
The next best thing: Anthony Rashad White, Marcus Rush, Tyler Hoover
Gholston's defensive end partner, Rush, had a solid campaign in 2011 as a redshirt freshman. After racking up 58 tackles and four sacks, he was named a freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and The Sporting News, while ESPN.com named him the Big Ten freshman defensive MVP.
White, who stepped in for injured defensive tackles Kevin Pickleman and Jonathan Strayhorn in the Outback Bowl, made his presence felt with the game-winning field-goal block. The seven tackles and three tackles for the loss in the big win against Georgia weren't too shabby, either. White's big presence will be necessary this year up front for MSU, as he is the likely replacement for All-American Jerel Worthy.
Hoover is moving inside after spending his first four seasons as a defensive end. He has added 20 pounds of muscle to his 6-7 frame and now checks in at 310 pounds, making him a sizeable player to plug up the middle and take up multiple blockers. Like White, Hoover's presence will be important for MSU as it replaces its top three defensive tackles.
**More after the jump**