CHICAGO — Mark Dantonio stepped to the podium on Tuesday looking forward at Big Ten media days. After the 2017 his program had, it may be just as pleasant to look back as well.
Returning the most starters in the conference, the Spartans might see linebacker Jon Reschke as a luxury as much as anything else. The sixth-year player was removed from the team following the 2016 season, but was listed on the recently-released fall roster and may play a part in 2018.
“At that point in time, we started asking ourselves as a program, not me, but as players as well, did we want him back in our program or did we not,” Dantonio said. “I’ve always tried to do what’s right, and I’ve always tried to look at everything that was — always tried to look at everything in its completeness, what best affects that young man and his future.”
Whether or not he sees playing time in the fall is still up for debate and is a “step-by-step process” according to the MSU head coach, but the decision still lies – as it has all summer – with the players.
“Next step will be ‘does he come to camp or not.’ But at this point in time, all indications from my players is that they want him in camp.”
Reschke was a starter in 2016 but has been out of football for the last year-plus following his removal from the team. With the depth chart seemingly set in terms of starting linebackers, the amount of young talent backing up the likes of junior Joe Bachie may make it hard for Reschke to grab playing time.
Taking running back LJ Scott with him may have been unexpected, but Dantonio sees the event as a chance for the senior to continue his maturation process.
“I think when you bring players here, it’s an opportunity for them to come,” Dantonio said. “Sometimes it’s an opportunity for growth. Sometimes it’s an opportunity to take another step in their leadership.”
Scott will look to finally eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this fall after missing a couple of games in 2017 and managing 898 yards with eight touchdowns.
“I think this is an opportunity for growth to be able to listen, stand up here and talk to people. It’s something that he’s going to have to get to used to.”