Much has been made about Riley Bulloughâ€™s emergence as the newest member of his family to break onto the Michigan State scene. But
make no mistake; Riley is his own man and a true talent. And after over a year of waiting, Riley is hungry to be a Spartan.
The first recruit of the 2012 class to commit to MSU, Riley has been ready for a long time. Committing a year early, Riley knew
that he was born to wear the Green and White. The colors may be in his blood, since his grandfather, father, uncle, and brother Max (a stellar starting linebacker
returning from last year) have all donned the Spartan uniform.
We recently caught up to him on Spartan Nation Radio.Â Of the chance to be a Spartan he said, â€œItâ€™s a once in a lifetime opportunity.â€ Bullough got a taste of it when
he attended the spring game. In a recent interview on Hondoâ€™s Spartan Nation Radio, Riley said: â€œIt was exciting to get down there for the spring game, be
with some of the guys, and get ready to be down there during the summer.â€
Rileyâ€™s eagerness to be in a Spartan uniform has paid large dividends. He has gotten the chance to get to know most of the team, and coaches have gotten a chance to know him. He will certainly benefit because of his early decision. â€œItâ€™s made it a lot easier through this whole process and a lot of people donâ€™t get to experience that,â€ Bullough stated.
Rileyâ€™s enthusiasm has also led him to connect with the other members of the class of 2012. â€œWhat we used to do - when there was only a few of us committed to Michigan State - was if we saw someone who recently committed, we would talk to him in the computer and reach out to him right away,â€ he explained. â€œItâ€™s important to get to know the guys before youâ€™re coming on campusâ€¦ so itâ€™s not as hard on you when you get there.â€
But Bullough did not stop with the class of 2012. He has already started contacting the first members of the class of 2013. â€œIâ€™ve actually talked to a few of them,â€ Riley said. â€œIâ€™ve been meeting them - I metÂ a couple last weekend - and Iâ€™ve talked to Jon Reshke [a LB recruit from Bloomfield, Michigan] quite a bit. Heâ€™s been talking about some of the other commits for 2013, so I just look forward to being able to meet them all.â€
Merely talking to his future teammates is not enough for Riley, however. He is anxious to head down to East Lansing and get to a chance to work with them: â€œIâ€™m just really excited to get down there this summer and finally be a part of everything,â€ he said. Head Coach Mark Dantonio also seems eager to have the talented outside linebacker on campus. Coach Dantonio has said that he can see Riley contributing right away.
But though the MSU staff might like to see Riley in the green and white as soon as possible, the staff still might decide to redshirt him. Bullough isnâ€™t worried either way: â€œIâ€™m just going to come down there and obviously work as hard as I can,â€ Riley stated. â€œIâ€™m not going to shy away from playing well so I redshirt. Iâ€™m going to leave it up to the coaches.Â Thatâ€™s what all the players do, and thatâ€™s how it should be.â€
Regardless of whether or not Riley is a redshirt for the upcoming season, he will crack the starting lineup at some point in his career. Those who have seen his highlight tapes know that Riley, just like the rest of the Bullough family, loves to hit. He roams the field at linebacker, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting ball carriers. The pundits who have said that Riley is too small for the position will soon be silenced.
Thanks to an offseason training regimen, in which Riley lifts nearly every day, he has gained nearly 20 pounds in the last seven months. He now stands at about 6â€™2 and 225 pounds. â€œItâ€™s all good weight, which is good because you donâ€™t want to put on the wrong kind of weight,â€ Riley explained. â€œIâ€™ve gotten a lot bigger. I need to play outside linebacker, so I need to have the size.â€
Riley Bullough is both physically and mentally ready to be a Spartan. The latest in a long line of Bulloughâ€™s, Riley is ready to make an impact on an already good team. â€œMichigan State is such a great team, with such great chemistry on it. Iâ€™m just definitely excited to be a part of that family.â€