MSU Defense Feature
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and Indiana head coach Tom Allen and players discuss MSU-Indiana game.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and players discuss MSU-Iowa game.
Position-by-position breakdown of the Spartans entering preseason camp.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio likes his team's resilience. Now it's time to develop a knockout punch. Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes and Nick Hill ran for two scores Saturday, but No. 8 Michigan State still needed a late interception return for a touchdown to hold on 45-31 at Purdue
CAREER NOTES: Fifth-year senior and three-year letterwinner has 78 career tackles in 49 games (20 starts), including 19.0 for losses, 10.0 sacks and three forced fumbles . . . the 19.0 TFLs and 10.0 sacks are tops among active players, while the three forced fumbles is tied for the most . . . graduated with his bachelor’s degree in communication in August . . . currently pursuing a second degree in advertising management.
2017 SEASON (SENIOR): Has played in all 11 games, including all eight starts in Big Ten play . . . has 23 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks . . . has posted five or more stops in two of the last four games . . . recorded five tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss on Senior Day against Maryland, logging 21 production points, to lead the defensive line and rank second overall on defense . . . posted three tackles with career-high tying 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sack against No. 7 Penn State . . . logged career-high six tackles at Northwestern, most tackles in a game since five during sophomore season . . . tallied two tackles including 0.5 tackle for loss with one QB hurry against Indiana . . . logged two stops against No. 7 Michigan . . . made first start of season in Iowa game, logging three tackles, including one sack and one forced fumble, adding two QB hurries . . . notched two tackles and one QB hurry in Western Michigan game . . . posted one QB hurry against Bowling Green.
2016 SEASON (JUNIOR): Started 11 games and played in all 12 games at defensive end . . . tallied a career-best 23 tackles . . . led team with 2.5 sacks (16 yards) . . . third on team with six tackles for loss (29 yards) and tied for fourth on the team with five QB hurries . . . had two tackles, including an 8-yard sack, at No. 8 Penn State . . . registered a season-high four tackles and had a 5-yard sack vs. No. 2 Ohio State . . . recorded two tackles against No. 2 Michigan, including a 2-yard tackle for loss . . . notched two QB hurries vs. BYU . . . posted three tackles at Indiana . . . registered one tackle with half a sack and one QB hurry vs. No. 11 Wisconsin . . . named Spartan "Unsung Hero" after his performance at No. 18 Notre Dame, where he started at defensive end and posted two tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and added one QB hurry . . . logged three tackles, including one for loss of eight yards, vs. Furman.
2015 SEASON (SOPHOMORE): Ranked among the team leaders in sacks (second with 5.0 for 14 yards) and tackles for loss (fifth with 6.5 for 16 yards) . . . had 22 tackles in 13 games of action . . . ranked ninth on the team with 65 production points during the regular season . . . had three QB hurries, two forced fumbles and one blocked field goal . . . had a 2-yard sack and two tackles overall against No. 2 Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl . . . had two tackles, including a 4-yard sack and a forced fumble on the last series of the game, in the win over No. 4 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game . . . compiled 17 production points vs. Maryland; forced and recovered a fumble, and also had three tackles . . . recorded a half sack at Michigan . . . had two stops, including a 2-yard loss, at Rutgers . . . named Spartan Defensive Attack Force Co-Player of the Week after recording a career-high five tackles, including a 2-yard sack, against Central Michigan in his first career start; had 18 production points vs. CMU and also blocked a field goal . . . had four tackles, including a half sack (2 yards), in the win over No. 7 Oregon; also had 10 production points vs. the Ducks . . . recorded two tackles, including a 2-yard sack, in the season opener at Western Michigan; named Spartan Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week.
2014 SEASON (REDSHIRT FRESHMAN): Earned his first letter after seeing action in all 13 games . . . had 10 tackles, including two for losses (14 yards) . . . tied for second on the team with five quarterback hurries . . . credited with a quarterback hurry in the Cotton Bowl Classic vs. No. 4 Baylor . . . recorded two tackles and a pass break-up vs. Rutgers . . . tallied eight production points at Indiana; recovered a fumble and had a tackle against Hoosiers in the fourth quarter . . . had seven production points, tied for most among defensive lineman, vs. Wyoming . . . recorded a 5-yard tackle for loss and two QB hurries against Eastern Michigan . . . in his collegiate debut, recorded three tackles, including a 9-yard sack, in the season opener vs. Jacksonville State.
2013 SEASON: Redshirted . . . named Scout Team Defensive Player of the Week vs. Western Michigan.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Ranked among the nation's top defensive ends by Scout.com (No. 58) and ESPN.com (No. 83) . . . rated among the country's top weakside defensive ends by 247Sports.com (No. 22) and Rivals.com (No. 28) . . . listed among the Midwest's top prospects by ESPN.com (No. 143) . . . ranked among the state's top seniors by 247Sports.com (No. 12), Rivals.com (No. 14) and ESPN.com (No 29) . . . played his entire prep career for Coach Jason Richardson, both at Percy L. Julian and Morgan Park High Schools . . . recorded 14 tackles, including two sacks, and scored on a 3-yard reception vs. Hales Franciscan in his only appearance of the 2012 season . . . named Defensive Line MVP at National Underclassmen Five-Star Central Showcase in April 2012 . . . transferred from Morgan Park to Julian prior to his senior year . . . sat out his entire junior season with a knee injury . . . posted 89 tackles as a sophomore, with nearly half of his tackles resulting in losses . . . registered 40 tackles for loss in 2010, including 18 sacks . . . produced eight tackles, including three sacks, vs. Providence Catholic in the season opener at Soldier Field . . . also lettered in basketball . . . son of Diana Cooper and Steven Taylor Sr. . . . born Feb. 23, 1995 . . . scheduled to graduate with his bachelor's degree in communication in August . . . currently pursuing a second degree in advertising management.