January 06, 2016

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Jack Conklin wrapped up his Michigan State career with an open letter to his teammates, coaches and fans.

Conklin is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft. The Spartans announced his decision Wednesday and posted his letter online.

''These past four years hold some of the most memorable moments of my life so far with my Spartan family by my side,'' the redshirt junior tackle said. ''I'm incredibly proud to have been part of the most successful run in Michigan State football history, and the experiences I've had with my teammates are unforgettable.''

The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Conklin was part of an offensive line that helped Michigan State win the Big Ten and reach college football's playoff. The third-ranked Spartans lost to second-ranked Alabama in the semifinals last week.

''Having deliberated whether or not to take my football career to the next level, I have made the decision with the support of my family to forgo my final season of eligibility,'' Conklin said in his letter. ''To say that this was a difficult decision for me would be an understatement, but I'm very excited for what the next chapter has in store for me. I'm truly blessed and grateful to have this unbelievable opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine.''

Conklin was named a second-team All-American this season by The Associated Press.

''The pre-draft numbers project Jack as a probable first-round selection, and there's no doubt that he'll be an outstanding tackle at the next level,'' coach Mark Dantonio said. ''He's well prepared to transition into the next chapter of his life, and we wish him nothing but the best as he chases his dream of playing in the NFL. He's not only been a major contributor over the last three seasons, but he's also been a tremendous ambassador for our football program.''

Conklin was a preferred walk-on in 2012 and redshirted that season. He earned a scholarship the following spring and was a regular starter for three years.

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Online:

AP college football: http://www.collegefootball.ap.org

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