Seeing as how we're here in Chi Town for the Big Ten Media Days, I figured I might as well ask Javon Ringer and Otis Wiley about last year's homecomming loss to Illinois. Both players shook their heads as if to say "If only we could play that game one more time." Javon remembers that game vividly because it was the one in which he injured his knee. But what Ringer remembers most is how people counted him out. "I knew I was coming back. I knew I wouldn't be out for the year like they said. I just kept my faith in God, I knew I would be ok. I mean I didn't have one surgery, I just kept my knee in a brace for a few weeks."
Some critics questioned Ringer for coming back to play late in the season for a team that wasn't going to have a post-season. "I didn't care about none of that. Whether we're winning or losing, I just want to play. I like to be with my teammates." Now Ringer says the knee feels fine and he plays on showing that this season.
Sometimes for a few years teams can get into a slump and perform poorly. These teams usuallyÂ become celler-dwelers and their confrence counterparts salavate when they see them on the schedule. Illinois had become one of those teams. But with a promising QB ready to break out, and the #1 recruit in the country coming in, Illinois looks ready to make a jump in the standings. I asked if Otis saw some of Illinois in this MSU team: A team that has underachieved in the past and finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten. "All it takes is a couple of wins to establish a good program. We need to close out games, play hard, and we will be where we want to be. I DEFINATELY think we're capable of that."
While Otis gave big ups (that's props for theÂ older crowd) to Illinois, he assured me that MSU wanted to do it their own way andÂ not follow in any teams footsteps in reaching success.Â With the way these two Spartans are talking, it may happen sooner than later.Â