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Michigan State linebacker declares for NFL Draft

Another starter on the Spartans' defense will pursue a professional career...

Michigan State is up to four players who have declared for the 2023 NFL Draft after starting linebacker Ben VanSumeren made his intentions known via Twitter on Friday night.

"First and foremost, I want to thank God for blessing me with the opportunities that have been presented to me," VanSumeren wrote. "Without him, none of this would be possible."

VanSumeren began his career at Michigan, playing two seasons for the Wolverines before transferring to Michigan State ahead of the 2021 season. He was used sparingly as a backup that season, but did appear in all 13 games for the Spartans.

This offseason, VanSumeren entered the transfer portal in early spring, but chose to participate in spring practices with Michigan State. Despite a loaded linebacker room, the senior moved his way up the depth chart and ultimately chose to withdraw his name from the portal.

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In 2022, VanSumeren finished third on the team with 73 tackles, including three tackles for loss and two sacks. He added two pass break-ups as well.

"I would like to thank my teammates, coaches, trainers, advisors and support staff past and present," VanSumeren wrote. "I appreciate all of you. I especially want to thank Coach Tucker for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to become a Spartan Dawg."

Due to the free year of eligibility afforded to college athletes by the NCAA due to the COVID year in 2020, VanSumeren did have one year of eligibility remaining had he chosen to return to Michigan State. However, the senior determined that now was the right time to pursue a professional career.

"My time in East Lansing has been remarkable," VanSumeren wrote. "With that being said, it is time for me to take the next step to fulfilling my dream. I am declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft. Go Green always!"