EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – It was just over a year and a half ago when Michigan State was coming off its appearance in the College Football Playoff, but when the bottom fell out on 2016 with a 3-9 season, the Spartans aregoing with a new mantra for 2017 – “The Best Start Here.” and after the first day of practice, the Spartans are determined to prove they belong back among the Big Ten’s best.
“Well I think every year we come out here ready to go, and very optimistic about the opportunities that we have in front of us.” Said Mark Dantonio, entering his 11th season as the Spartans coach. “That’s the game of football and I think our guys have done that every year and I think they did it last year and will continue to do that, but I think the key to all this is to be able to stay constant in what you’re trying to do, stay convicted in what you’re trying to do and be able to do that day in and day out.”
“Coach Mannie, the word he said is ‘reaffirmation” to reaffirm what the Spartan brand is and who we truly are.” Junior Linebacker Andrew Dowell told 6 Sports.
The pads don’t go on until later this week but the Spartans were eager to get back on the practice field for day 1.
“Yeah definitely, we wanna compete, that’s the nature of the game, that’s what we are looking to get back to um and we feel, stack all the odds against us that’s alright.” Said Jackson Lumen Christi alum (’15) Khari Willis, now a junior competing for a starting role with the Spartans. “Whatever happened last year that’s last year, we move forward, whatever happened off the field ya know what I’m saying, that happened, we move forward. So we looking to definitely get out and compete and we’re fighting.”
“Oh yeah we were really anxious for today.” Dowell continued. “Like Gerald Holmes had said the offseason has felt like it has been forever, so we were anxious to get back out here, play actual football with the guys and get after it.”
Plenty more practices with kickoff coming up September 2nd vs Bowling Green. The next media access to practice is scheduled for Friday, August 4th.