It's never too early to look ahead to the 2012 football season, so I'm breaking down MSU position by position and handing out grades. Keep in mind, 2012 commitments are not factored in unless it's one of the juco December signees already on campus. Entertainment purposes only, no wagering or loud cursing allowed.
• Losses: Jamie Jones, Brandon Maye, Brandon Wilson
• Returning experience: Ferlando Bohanna (So.), Christian Holmes (So.), Chris Hughes (Jr.), Cam Lawrence (Sr.), Deontae Skinner (Jr.), Matt Wells (So.)
• Redshirts: Bernardrick McKinney
• Likely starters: Bohanna, Lawrence, Skinner
• Overall grade: B. The linebackers made some big strides under new unit coach Geoff Collins, who has a history of making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. But MSU's got some pretty good parts coming back. Lawrence led the team in tackles last season (123), and Skinner has the makings of being an All-SEC player. Bohanna will likely step in at middle linebacker.
• Depth grade: B-minus. The depth MSU has is decent, but right now there's just not a ton of it that's proven. The linebackers must remain healthy.