Tuesday, June 22, 2021

'Fortnite' keeps current, former MSU football players connected

March 28, 2018
<p>Redshirt freshman kicker Matt Coghlin (4) congratulates sophomore quarterback Bryan Lewerke (14) after his touchdown during the game against Michigan on Oct. 7, 2017 at Michigan Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines, 14-10.</p>

Redshirt freshman kicker Matt Coghlin (4) congratulates sophomore quarterback Bryan Lewerke (14) after his touchdown during the game against Michigan on Oct. 7, 2017 at Michigan Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines, 14-10.

Photo by Jon Famurewa | The State News

Quarterback Brian Lewerke commented on a March 22 tweet from the Spartan Football official Twitter account, which has him outrunning "the storm" in the popular video game "Fortnite" on his 61-yard touchdown run against Western Michigan University last season.

Lewerke’s comment: “Best part about this is I’m actually the best Fortnite player on the team.”

“I’ve played with him, that’s a lie,” ex-center Brian Allen said after MSU’s Pro Day. “I’ll come out and say it, (offensive lineman) Tyler Higby is the best … Higby is the best at all the video games.”


Former linebacker Chris Frey, who admitted he doesn’t play with Lewerke too often because of a console difference, concurred with his former co-captain.

“Tyler Higby is probably one of the better (players),” said Frey, who plays on Xbox for four to five hours a day. “When (Lewerke) does play Xbox he’s pretty good. Tyler Higby, (sophomore offensive lineman) Tommy Liesveld is pretty good. I’ve got more wins, but I don’t get very many kills because I just get on teams that are good.” 

Lewerke said Frey and Allen's opinions when it comes to video games “are irrelevant.”

“I’m definitely better than Tyler,” said Lewerke, who plays on PS4. 

Fortnite launched on July 25, 2017. According to its website, the game is “One giant map. A battle bus. Fortnite building skills and destructible environments combined with intense PvP combat.” 

Or, in Frey’s words, “The Hunger Games.”

“A hundred people drop out of a bus, like over top of this map,” Frey said. “You land wherever. You have to collect guns and stuff and you can build. You can collect wood, you can tear things down. You can build up like forts and stuff. It’s pretty cool.

“It’s hard once you start, but once you get the hang of it, it’s much easier.” 

Allen said he did not play many video games before he left MSU, but since he’s been training for in Arizona for the NFL draft, he has time to spare.

He said he didn't know players could purchase a headset and talk to other people while playing.

“All my friends were saying I have to get (an Xbox),” Allen said. “Other than working out, eating — whenever I’m laying low, I’m playing with those guys and talking to them.”

Allen, who likes to drop in the Haunted Hills of the game, said the extensive Xbox crew includes himself, Frey, Liesveld, junior linebacker Joe Bachie, senior fullback Collin Lucas, sophomore safety Matt Morrissey, junior defensive end Kenny Willekes, former guard Casey Schreiner and former linebacker and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Riley Bullough.

Frey said Bullough is by far the worst Fortnite player he’s played with.

“We call him the collection guy,” said Frey, who likes to drop in Tomato Town. “He will get one or two guns. And then he’ll stack up on like chug jugs, bandages, just trying to keep everybody healthy throughout the game. He might get one kill every seven or eight games. 

“He knows his spot, for sure. And when he does get a kill, you’d think he won the game.” 

Lewerke said he usually rolls with Liesveld, sophomore linebacker Dante Razzano and occasionally freshman defensive back Xavier Henderson. 

“I wasn’t as close as I was with those guys until I started playing with them,” Lewerke said. “And now I hang out with them on the weekends, or outside of football.” 

But through all the heckling and trash-talking, there’s a silver lining. One of which is being able to stay in touch with team, even when they're not in East Lansing, Allen said.

“You kind of feel like you’re there in a way,” Allen said. “We've got a little crew that’s always on and stays in touch. It’s fun to get on there and kind of, shoot the crap with them.”

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