Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Sports | Football

FOOTBALL

Thornhill files for draft

MSU senior linebacker Josh Thornhill filed his name for entry into the NFL Draft in April. Last season Thornhill led the team with 128 tackles, 93 solo, in 12 games for the Spartans. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker is projected to go somewhere between the second and forth rounds. Thornhill joins junior running back T.J.

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Football gets new coach

Danny Crossman was named linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for the MSU football team Friday. Crossman, 35, served as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech the last three years.

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Spartans among top linebackers final prospects

The No. 1 community college linebacker in America may come to MSU, and his decision could come as early as today. Rivals.com has Derrick Pope, a 6-foot-1, 218-pound linebacker from Garden City Community College in Kansas, the top Juco linebacker in the nation. Sunday, Pope listed MSU, Arkansas and Florida as his finalists.

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Coach leaves for Panthers

After one year, MSU’s linebackers and special teams coach has decided to move on to the next level. Spartan head coach Bobby Williams announced Wednesday that Sal Sunseri has resigned.

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Junior college linebacker visits E.L., takes in game

The MSU football program could receive another commitment for the 2002 recruiting class. But unlike the 19 players who have already given MSU football head coach Bobby Williams the nod, Derrick Pope, a 6-foot-1, 218-pound sophomore linebacker from Garden City Community College in Kansas, would add some hits to the offensively heavy class.

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Recruits part 3

John R. Buchtel High: Akron, Ohio 5-11, 170 pounds Cornerback Carlos Alexander is one of five Ohio natives coming to East Lansing next year. The cornerback was named to the All-Midwest Team by Prep Football Report. As a senior he had 48 tackles and five interceptions.

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Williams calls speed key element in recruits

Wednesday was a big mail day for MSU head football coach Bobby Williams.Nineteen letters reached Williams’ desk signed and sealed, securing MSU’s early signees for the 2002 recruiting class.“I am very, very happy this day has come and it’s come to a close,” Williams said.

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Recruits part 2

Clifton Ryan Arthur Hill High: Saginaw 6-3, 255 pounds Linebacker Ryan continues the long lineage of great athletes coming from the Saginaw Valley Conference.

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Recruits part 1

Kyle Brown West Bloomfield High: West Bloomfield 6-1, 195 pounds Wide receiver Brown verbally committed in late January and said he’s looking forward to teaming up with other fast wide receivers. “It’s gonna be pretty fun,” Brown said. His senior season was cut short by a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but that didn’t stop schools from recruiting him. His junior season he rushed for 1,300 yards and passed for 300.

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Defense hopes to fill hole

The departure of senior linebacker Josh Thornhill to the NFL leaves a big hole in the middle of the MSU football team’s defense next season.Enter a hopeful replacement for next fall - Riverside-Brookfield High (Illinois) linebacker Steve Kielp, who will sign a letter of intent to play for head coach Bobby Williams today.“I think Kielp, a top 10 player in the state of Illinois, is very important to Michigan State,” said Bill Kurelic, recruiting analyst for MidwestRecruiting.com.

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Spartans stay in state, add to receiving corps

The key ingredients to a passing attack are a quarterback with a strong arm and wide receivers with speed and height.And the Spartans didn’t have to look far for the speed and height, with three Michigan wide receivers among MSU football’s 2002 recruiting class.The 6-foot-7 Matt Trannon joins Kyle Brown and Agim Shabaj, who have both been clocked 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash.Brown and Trannon are ready to sign Wednesday, but Shabaj is having second thoughts.

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Wide receiver commits

Kyle Brown, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior wide receiver from West Bloomfield High, said Monday that MSU would be his college of choice.Brown said he called MSU head football coach Bobby Williams Sunday to officially announce his decision.“(MSU) was the school that really fit me,” he said.

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Football team adds offensive depth

With more than 20 football scholarship offers thrown his way, Joe Karaska had a tough decision at hand.On Sunday, the 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive lineman picked the green and white, becoming the Spartans’ 15th commitment for the 2002 season.“It was kind of both me and my mom’s decision,” Karaska said.

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Fans bite into tailbacks departure

Junior tailback T.J. Duckett is bolting from East Lansing - and a local favorite sandwich will probably be close behind. As the news of Duckett’s formal senior-year-skipping announcement bounced around town Thursday afternoon, fans had varying reactions.

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T.J. ducks out of U for NFL

The Spartan football team will have to switch to unleaded next season, as “Diesel” will no longer be available. A sense of satisfaction and relief beamed from T.J.

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U await, debate Ducketts decision

T.J. Duckett told The Associated Press he hasn’t made his decision on whether to forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.The Spartan star running back will announce his decision at 4 p.m.

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Should he go, should he stay?

Trust me, this is not a plea for T.J. Duckett to return next fall. Actually, I have no clue if the big guy will depart the banks of the Red Cedar for the NFL’s big bucks, but speculation has the 3,379-yard career-rusher fleeing MSU in a limo after his 4 p.m.

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Duckett to enter NFL draft

Spartan junior running back T.J. Duckett will be rushing out of Spartan Stadium for the 2002 NFL Draft, a person close to the MSU standout told The State News on Tuesday. And, if Duckett announces that decision as he’s expected 4 p.m.

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Spartan offense prepares for new look

The possible departure of junior running back T.J. Duckett would be a “disaster” for the Spartan football team, one top college football analyst said.ESPN college football expert Beano Cook said if Duckett takes his game to the NFL, MSU would struggle to compete in the Big Ten conference.“It’s a disaster for them - you can count on two more losses (for the Spartans),” he said.