Michigan State will kick off spring football on Tuesday. This is a great time of year for young players trying to make a move up the depth chart and for older players to improve. Spartan Nation has learned of several players’ health conditions as we speed towards what will be the most important spring football session of the Mark Dantonio era.
Jack Allen, OL, is out for the spring. Allen is recovering this spring and will sit out spring football. Allen is one of the Spartans best offensive linemen and MSU knows exactly what they have in him. Under new OC Jim Bollman, Allen will miss some critical on field instructional time, but will get plenty of observation and classroom learning with the new head man on his side of the ball. Although disappointing and certainly not ideal, this is not crippling for the team. It will allow several young and key players to garner extra reps.
Denicos Allen, LB, is out for the spring. Allen is a high performance player and a major contributor on the MSU power house D. Not fully recovered from off season surgery, Allen will sit out this spring. He knows this defense and the Spartans are stacked behind him. Getting the young players more reps combined with his knowledge already of the defense makes this is not a major issue. He is expected to be 100% for summer football.
Kodi Kieler, OL, is a big offensive lineman who will be back for the start of spring. There were questions about his health status, but Spartan Nation has learned he was getting better and we were able to confirm on Friday that he will be back. Kieler will benefit greatly from the tutelage of Jim Bollman and this is great news for Kieler.
Paul Lang, TE, played last year recovering from a massive injury that sidelined him in 2011. Although there was little to no doubt that he would be back for the spring, the good news is that he is finally 100% and with MSU in desperate need of TE help, this will be a major spring.
Niko Palazeti, FB, spent a significant amount of time last year injured and unable to contribute. FB was a major weakness on this team in 2012 and Palazeti’s injury crippled the team’s running attack. He is back and 100% and that is critical for the Spartans as they try to repair their running game.
Darqueze Dennard, DB, had off season surgery that was NOT related to the shoulder injury that he sustained last year. There has been significant doubt whether or not he would be able to make it back for any part of spring football. At this point, it is still unclear how much of spring ball he will miss, if not all of it. He will be 100% for summer camp. Dennard disappointed several NFL teams as Spartan Nation first reported when he made the decision last November that he would return to Michigan State and not forego his remaining college eligibility. Darqueze is so talented and the team so deep that his missing the spring either in part or full is not a major issue at all. There is no reason to take a chance or issue with what could be an All-Big Ten and potential All American player.
There are several other players recovering from injury, but Spartan Nation was not able to get definitive answers on those players so we WILL NOT speculate on their health or condition. Mark Dantonio has refused to speak with the local Michigan State beat media about spring ball on two occasions.
He will be speaking on Monday afternoon, and of course, Spartan Nation will have the coverage for you.