MSU Football Blog
By Omar Thabet
Last updated: 3 hours ago
The Spartans seem to have a fair schedule in 2013, as they avoid playing Ohio State and Wisconsin and also are at home against Michigan.
The MSU football team will kick off the 2013 season against Western Michigan for its only Friday night game at Spartan Stadium.
The first road game for the Spartans will come in week four when they play against 2012 Bowl Championship Series, or BCS, runner-up and long-time rival Notre Dame. The following week will be a bye week for the Spartans before they head into their first Big Ten game, which will be against the Iowa Hawkeyes in week six.
Mark your calendars for Nov. 2, as the Spartans will be host to in-state rivals the Michigan Wolverines. The Spartans hope to avenge a 2012 loss versus the Wolverines that ended with a game-winning kick by Michigan’s kicker Brendan Gibbons in the final seconds of the game. The following week will be the Spartans’ second bye week of the season.
Following the bye, the Spartans will travel to Lincoln, Neb., where they will play the 2012 Legends Division winner Nebraska Cornhuskers in the infamous Memorial Stadium.
The Spartans will close out the 2013 year at home against the Minnesota Gophers.
Something to take note of is that the Spartans will be playing seven out of their 12 games at home in the 2013 season. They also will not be playing the Wisconsin Badgers in 2013, ending a minirivalry that was brewing between the two teams as of late.
The schedule this year seems to favor the Spartans, as their nonconference games are easier than their 2012 nonconference schedule. The Spartans also don’t have to play Ohio State, who finished the season undefeated last year under new head coach Urban Meyer. ESPN preseason rankings have the Buckeyes at the top seed to start the year.
MSU has two bye weeks in the 2013 schedule that are separated throughout the year, one at week five and the other at week 11. They will be well rested to have a chance to return to the Big Ten championship, which will be held on Dec. 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
By Omari Sankofa II
Last updated: 05/14/13 9:10pm
Maybe MSU should avoid signing wide receivers with the last name Harris.
Months after five-star wide receiver Drake Harris de-committed from MSU to sign with Michigan, three-star recruit Jay Harris decided to take his talents elsewhere.
Not to another school, but to the studio. Jay Harris is an aspiring rapper named Jay DatBull, and his debut video currently has more than 50,000 views on YouTube.
Harris, from Pennsylvania’s Downington East High, signed to MSU in February and was set to arrive this summer as one of 18 players in the 2013 recruiting class.
I’m far from a statistician, but I’m guessing the odds of becoming an NFL player are substantially higher than the odds of making it as a star rapper.
I watched the video with anticipation. Perhaps this kid was on to something. There’s no way he would throw away a football scholarship to a Big Ten school unless he was an amazing rapper, or so I thought.
I was wrong. The first scene of Jay DatBull’s video is him lighting up a blunt in what appears to be either an attic or a treehouse. Second’s after and DatBull is badly lip-synching the lyrics with an entourage of teenagers behind him dancing and throwing their hands up. Later, DatBull is sparking another blunt with a guy in a car.
The video wasn’t likably awful similar 2 Chainz, or catchily awful like Future. It was just plain bad, with your average run-of-the-mill boastings of getting money, stealing girlfriends and smoking weed.
I may eat my words one day. In an era where Chief Keef can rule the airwaves, I’m not counting out any rapper from landing a record deal.
But I listen to underground rap often, and I can comfortably say that there are much better unsigned rappers than DatBull.
I wish the best to Harris. Maybe one day he’ll throw money in the air and stick his middle finger up to me (one of his “haters.”) I won’t say a word.
But opportunities to play professional sports are rare, and he’s throwing away something that people would do anything to acquire.
By Zach Smith
Last updated: 04/20/13 2:32pm
The MSU football team added another player to the program’s list of recruits for the 2014 season.
Brian Allen, the younger brother of sophomore offensive lineman Jack Allen, verbally committed to MSU on Saturday.
The three-star center from Hinsdale, Ill., also had offers from Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Iowa, among others.
At 6-foot-2, 275 pounds, Brian Allen is ranked as the No. 2 center in the nation by scout.com, and won a state championship in wrestling his senior year.
His commitment brings the Spartans’ 2014 recruiting class to five.
By Zach Smith
Last updated: 04/14/13 8:49pm
Drake Harris finally has a home.
The five star wide receiver, who was originally committed to MSU, announced Sunday via Twitter his intentions to play football for the Wolverines.
He was scheduled to attend MSU’s spring football game on April 20, but decided Ann Arbor would be his home.
After his de-commitment from MSU on March 11, Harris was wooed by Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
According to rivals.com, the 6-foot-4,180-pound wideout is the No. 5 wide receiver in the country, and the No. 56 overall player.
Dantonio and the Spartans will hold their spring game on at 2:30 p.m. April 20 at Spartan Stadium..
By Stephen Brooks
Last updated: 04/13/13 7:18pm
The MSU offense won the team’s second scrimmage of spring practice 28-26 against the defense on Saturday in another last-minute finish.
It was junior running back Nick HIll who ran it seven yards for a touchdown with more than a minute remaining to put the offense ahead, according to a release from MSU. Hill’s score finished off a 10-play, 75-yard drive led by senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell.
In the Spartans’ first scrimmage of the year, the defense won by blocking a field goal in the last few seconds.
Again it was Maxwell with the best day passing of the three quarterbacks competing — this includes sophomore Connor Cook and redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor. Maxwell went 14-for-18 passing for 130 yards and one touchdown — a 12-yard pass to sophomore A.J. Troup.
Cook threw for 66 yards on 4-of-11 passing and O’Connor went 3-for-9 for 29 yards while also running three times for 15 yards.
“Andre Maxwell was sharp, and he took some hits,” head coach Mark Dantonio said in the press release. “I sort of hold my breath a little bit because by keeping the quarterbacks live, they have to create (plays). … That was about as game-like a situation as one could make it.”
Head coach Mark Dantonio’s latest experiment at running back, Riley Bullough, a redshirt freshman linebacker, paced MSU in the scrimmage with 43 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Hill gained 33 yards on 12 carries and junior Jeremy Langford ran it six times for 28 yards.
Sophomore defensive end Joel Heath had an impressive day with six tackles including a sack and hurried the quarterback once. His performance earned high praise from Dantonio.
“Joel Heath is a very good player for us,” He said. “He’s a lot like Will Gholston in terms of his size and motor. So he’s going to have an opportunity to show those types of things next season.”
A team-high seven tackles was shared by junior safety Kurtis Drummond, sophomore safety R.J. Williamson and senior Jairus Jones, formerly a safety, who now is working at linebacker. Linebackers Taiwan Jones, a junior, had six stops and senior Kyler Elsworth had five.
Senior wide receiver Bennie Fowler led the group with 67 yards on four catches. Troup caught three balls for 31 yards and a touchdown while juniors DeAnthony Arnett and Tony Lippett each caught three passes for 29 and 30 yards, respectively.
By Stephen Brooks
Last updated: 04/07/13 5:30pm
In the first jersey scrimmage of the spring football season on Friday, the MSU defense narrowly defeated the offense 25-23 using a modified scoring system.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Cronin missed a 47-yard field goal in an attempt to win it for the offense in the final seconds, according to a release from the athletics department.
The Spartans aired it out on offense, with all three quarterbacks combing for 55 passes and 401 yards. Senior Andrew Maxwell had the best game going 17-for-27 passing for 187 yards and three touchdowns — two to junior Keith Mumphery and one to sophomore A.J. Troup.
Connor Cook, a sophomore working as the No. 2 man on the depth chart, went 11-for-18 for 78 yards and was intercepted once. Redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor completed 6-of-10 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown — 131 of which came on two long strikes to Troup and redshirt freshman Monty Madaris.
Sophomore cornerback Trae Waynes, the early favorite to fill the void left by Johnny Adams, had a team-high nine tackles as well as a pass breakup. Senior linebacker Kyler Elsworth notched six tackles, junior safety Kurtis Drummond had five and senior linebacker Max Bullough recorded four stops.
Defensive end Shilique Calhoun, a sophomore poised to take over William Gholston’s old spot, had two tackles for loss and sacked.
As for the wide receivers, Troup caught three balls for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while junior Tony Lippett, Mumphery and senior Bennie Fowler all had five catches for 74, 55 and 50 yards respectively.
The release notes that running backs Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford, both juniors, as well as redshirt freshman Nick Tompkins rushed 23 times in the scrimmage but doesn’t specify how many yards the trio managed as a group of individually.
“The quarterbacks were live, so we tried to create as many game-like situations as possible,” head coach Mark Dantonio said in the release. “Offensively, we’ve got to run the ball more effectively. Our defense is a little bit ahead (of the offense) in some ways. We pressured the quarterback and did a lot of really good things, but towards the end, the offense did some good things and hit some big plays in 2-minute situations.
“Overall, it was a good scrimmage. I don’t know how we do it, but every time we scrimmage, it seems to come down to the last play, so that makes it exciting. I was pleased with the energy and intensity on both sides of the ball. The defense played well early and the offense played well down the stretch. The guys played hard and continued to compete during the 102-play scrimmage.
By Stephen Brooks
Last updated: 04/01/13 5:18pm
Head coach Mark Dantonio and the MSU football program got its fourth commitment for the 2014 recruiting class in Illinois offensive lineman Chase Gianacakos.
Gianacakos, listed at 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds, is rated as a three-star prospect by scouting website Rivals.com.
The St. Charles North High product had double-digit offers that came mostly from schools in the Midwest, including Big Ten rivals Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana.
He joins three-star linebacker Byron Bullough (Traverse City, Mich.), four-star linebacker Deon Drake (Detroit) and recently committed three-star quarterback Chris Durkin (Youngstown, Ohio) in MSU’s class of 2014. Dantonio and his staff only signed one offensive line prospect in the 2013 class, Dennis Finley from Detroit’s Cass Tech High.
By Zach Smith
Last updated: 02/06/13 9:06pm
In today’s day and age, Twitter has become yet another tool in the recruiting process, and MSU football head coach Mark Dantonio said he’s not afraid to use it.
At his National Signing Day press conference, Dantonio said he embraces the social media site and revealed that he is the one behind his newly-opened account.
“I’m going to do my own (tweeting), nobody will do it for me,” he said. “We’ll go from there. We’ll hope to be positive. Obviously there’s some information that you can gather from there, and I think it’s a way that you can get your message out.”
By Josh Mansour
Last updated: 01/31/13 5:32pm
The newest member of the MSU football team’s recruiting class will be coming from outside the country, a transfer from just north of the border.
Multiple reports have University of Toronto defensive tackle James Bodanis transferring to MSU next season, bringing the Spartans’ 2013 recruiting class to 18 total players.
As part of NCAA transfer guidelines, Bodanis will be required to sit out next season, and then will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
The Spartans already have one Canadian on the roster in redshirt freshman cornerback Arjen Colquhoun, a Windsor, Ontario native.
Bodanis features the type of height the MSU coaching staff has sought for its defensive linemen in recent years, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 300 pounds.
After totalling 18 tackles, four sacks and two fumble recoveries in eight games last season, Bodanis drew interest from Oklahoma, Miami (Fla.), Florida, Nebraska and Purdue, as well as a scholarship offer from N.C. State, according to Rivals.com, before ultimately settling on the offer from the Spartans
By Zach Smith
Last updated: 01/17/13 6:35pm
Former MSU wide receiver Devin Thomas has a job again after signing with the Detroit Lions today.
Thomas didn’t play during the 2012 season after announcing his retirement on Twitter while still in training camp with the Chicago Bears.
Since his first season in the NFL in 2008, Thomas caught a total of 43 passes for 482 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown in his rookie year, and won the Super Bowl with the New York Giants in 2011.
His two years at MSU were highlighted by the 2007 season where he caught 79 passes for 1260 yards and 8 touchdowns.
“I walked away from the game to see how much it really meant to me,” Thomas said in the Detroit Free Press. “I knew I won a Super Bowl, but how much does this game really mean to me? Is that all I came hear to play for, just one Super Bowl and be done? And like I said, the urge and that sensation of this is what my life is, football’s my foundation and I don’t want to lose that.”