April 4, 2012

Barnett says free safety competition will last into fall camp

EAST LANSING - At this time last year Harlon Barnett predicted his secondary would be better in 2011 that it had been in 2010 despite replacing a pair of All-Big Ten performers in Marcus Hyde and corner Chris L. Rucker, who was selected in the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

Michigan State returns more starters in the secondary in 2012 than 2011. But Michigan State's sixth-year defensive backs coach is not prepared to make a similar prediction just yet.

"This defensive backfield can be good, but we do have to replace a key spot in No. 39, Trenton," Barnett said. "Once we get comfortable with that, we can be pretty good."

Robinson or not, Barnett is still preaching perfection to his defensive backs.

"You always want to get better in everything," said Barnett. "We want to eliminate more of the big pass plays, plays of 20 yards or more. We want to knock those down, we want to knock down touchdown passes, all of those types of things. You want to be perfect, so you are playing for zero 20-yard passes, zero touchdown passes."

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