Worthy will have a great year and truly become not only a great player, but also a great leader. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

 

2011 Spartan Nation Football Profile: #99 DT Jerel Worthy

Expectation:  Starter, All Big Ten, All American

Height:   6’3”

Weight:  309#

2011 Eligibility: True Junior

EXP:  2 letters

Status:  Starting DT

Strengths:  When he wants to be, Jerel Worthy is a game changer.  He has all of the tools to dominate at the line of scrimmage and create havoc.  Let’s look at the Notre Dame game last year.  In the 4th quarter at the Notre Dame 27 with 33 seconds left the Irish were in the shotgun.  Worthy anticipated the snap count, crushed the center, and forced a poor throw by the QB.  It was a great play and a super example of how Worthy can be a game changer.

Weakness:  I need to make this clear before I talk about the weaknesses.  I like Worthy.  In fact, I really like Worthy.  He is a good kid.  His weaknesses are two fold.  I asked an NFL scout to give me his thoughts on Worthy and he had something very interesting to say.  “Watch his tape and you can’t help but notice when he goes all out he is unstoppable.  I think he is better than the Lions 2010 first rounder Nick Fairley, but only when he goes all out.  He has to learn to give maximum effort all the time.”  Another AFC scout pointed out something that the above scout did also.  “When he makes plays he runs away from his teammates to celebrate.  It is a look at me type thing.  In fact, when they run at him (teammates), he runs away.  Don’t celebrate a tackle that is a routine part of the game.  You are supposed to do that, but when your teammates want to celebrate with you, let them.  Don’t hog the camera.”

Here is an example.  In the 2nd quarter of the Western Michigan game with 8:22 left, the Broncos had the ball at their own 33.  He made a great play for TFL (tackle for a loss) and as he celebrates his teammates come up to celebrate with him and he runs away.  It wasn’t the only time, but is a great example.

I don’t think Worthy is trying to show up his teammates, but that is seen.  I have told some people it is more immaturity then being selfish.  I know that his teammates and coaches have been frustrated with the celebrations and running from his teammates and now that he is on the national radar he is being watched closely.

Worthy this season has to step up.  I know for a fact that two teams that are on the Spartan schedule in 2011 have some of his Tweets posted in their locker room, weight room, or practice facility.  If his team wins and he plays great, then no harm or foul.  If they don’t, then it will hurt him.

He has to learn to lead from the front.  When the Spartans are struggling he tends to disappear from being a leader. When things are going well Jerel is a great encourager to his teammates.  But when the team struggled like in the Alabama game and at other times during the year, Jerel can go from an encourager to a discourager very quickly.  As the leader of this defense, now that Greg Jones is gone, he can learn from what Jones did and lead in every situation.  I look for Worthy to step up and have a great season, mature, and go to the NFL after the season.  I am rooting for him. 

Final Analysis:  Worthy is set to have a big year, to set his family up financially forever, and live his dreams.  To do that, the young man (like all young men) has to mature and learn to play every down.  There is no reason to doubt him.  I expect him to do it and be a one of two top fifteen picks for MSU in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Next up:  DT Rashad White