Injuries for Michigan State Football Provides Opportunity For Talented Backups!

Hondo S. Carpenter

With Limited Injuries This Spring, Spartan Football Has Opportunities for People to Step Up!

When a team has the success that the Michigan State football team has since Mark Dantonio arrived you begin to accumulate talent at an amazing rate. Prior to Mark Dantonio it was a frequent part of the conversation that if this player can stay healthy or that player the Spartans had a chance.

As the Spartans proceed this spring they have their share of injuries, but that simply means others get a chance to step up. Dantonio addressed the injuries on his squad. “Skyler (Burkland) will be full go. A little limited in some things, maybe. Same with Hoover. So we're looking forward to getting both those guys back out there. Treadwell's full go. The guys that are limited is ‑‑ Bennie Fowler will probably be a guy that will miss maybe the first two weeks or so. But he should be able to by the end of the spring hopefully he's going full go.

He had a screw put in his foot 11 or 12 weeks ago, so he should be about game ready. We have a couple surgeries at the end of the season. So Chris Norman will miss the majority of spring ball. He could go out there through 7 on 7 and those type of things. But the majority of it will be no contact. So you have a couple other guys maybe like that. LT's same situation. Same situation.

We'll be able to run around towards the end of spring ball, but we do not want him to have contact in spring. That's unfortunate, because we have big plans for LT as well. So those are the three guys. Drew Stevens would enter into that phase as well.”

Taiwan Jones was the only member of the 2011 scholarship recruiting class to not red shirt last season. With super LB Chris Norman recovering this will give him a great opportunity to pick up reps on Michigan States much hyped defense.

Dantonio said of Jones opportunity, “He's more like Chris Norman as a freshman. He was on special teams, played a little bit. Tried to find a place for him, but there was a lot to learn. I think Taiwan will be an outstanding player for us here, and I think he'll compete for playing time.

I think he'll have a tremendous spring. He pulls the pin, he's got as much power and explosiveness as any linebacker out there. He's big. He's quick, but he has to learn to play fast at all times. He can't second guess himself. But that's part of the experience and what spring is for.

If you look at it, he'll probably have another thousand snaps sometimes this spring. A little different than most. Some people rush through spring. But we'll take our time and go five weeks with this. So there is going to be a lot of practice, evaluation of practice, practice, evaluation of practice. So there are going to be a lot of reps and situations he'll see as well as the other guys. But with Chris Norman out, he'll have his opportunity to play at the number one. Darien Harris is another guy that is an active player, and Ed Davis is another instinctive young player. Then you have the other guys who have been there. And I think you guys know their names.”

Injuries are part of the game of football. Champions have the depth to endure the problem. Not because they just have backups, but because they have backups with the same talent level as those ahead of them.

As the Spartans prepare for what could be a magical 2012 season, one of the biggest reasons is not the great starting units, it is the quality depth and backups on the roster. Something put on display this spring.

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