http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/...ns-defense?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE And the 285-pound Pickelman - bigger than he ever thought he could be, healthier than he's been in his five-year career - is one of the driving forces of the defense that is navigating the way for the Spartans. His journey from afterthought recruit to key player sort of makes him the Kirk Cousins of the MSU defense. It's just that Pickelman is mean. "He's one of the toughest guys physically, (and) mentally, that maybe I've been around as a college coach," MSU coach Mark Dantonio said. "It's not that he's not nicked up. He gets dinged up but he goes back in and he fights through the pain. He's a guy ... he's a foxhole guy. He's a guy that you want with you."