Spartans defense aiming to be "the hardest working dudes in the world"

MSU DC Scottie Hazelton
Posted at 4:55 PM, Aug 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 18:42:08-04

It’s early on in camp, but so far third year defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton is pleased with the intensity and effort of his defense. Coming off last year, the expectations are high but he says everybody plays their best football with a chip on their shoulder.

"We want to be the hardest working dudes in the world," Hazelton said.

As a 26-year coaching veteran ranging from the college to the NFL, Hazelton knows a thing or two of what it takes to be a high caliber defense. And he explains it with passion.

"Someone else is playing so hard, then you don't give up twelve," Hazelton explained. "That's a huge difference when it comes down to those yards and those inches that you steal. If they continue to buy in to that and they continue stressing and stacking up days. I think you'll see a team where you're like 'wow, these guys are running, they're flying, they're going, all the time.'"

MSU finished last year’s 11-win season with a Peach Bowl victory. That victory no sweeter to anyone than red-shirt sophomore linebacker Cal Haladay . He says this pick-six will be hard to top, but the Spartans' mindset is to acknowledge the success they had and but move on to better things.

"We're looking at the losses and stuff and we need to fix our mistakes and look where we can get better for sure," said Haladay. "That's going to be a big thing for us, just be better than we were last year."

So, striving to be the hardest working defense in the world is the goal and that goal is a part of the relentless culture branded at Michigan State. Something that brought linebacker transfer Jacoby Windmon to East Lansing from UNLV.

"What it means to be a 'Spartan Dawg' is just to be a ball hawk, grind it out, strain, be that guy, be the first person to the ball," said Windmon. "Even if you're not the first person to the ball, still run to the ball, get that rep in."