The Boys of Fall are Back

 In the blink of an eye a collegiate athlete’s career vanishes in thin air. The four years in college go by as quickly as the previous four years in high school – sometimes even quicker.

Nonetheless, it is time for the boys of fall to take center stage in East Lansing.

Michigan State’s seniors enjoyed their last time training on Spartan territory at NFL Pro Day a few weeks ago. For 19 Spartans, the Pro Day was a chance to showcase their skills in front of all 32 NFL teams. More than 50 representatives attended from the NFL to gaze upon the potential future stars.

Before Bennie Fowler caught Peyton Manning’s last pass as an NFL quarterback – in Super Bowl 50 – the wide receiver performed at the NFL Pro Day. Despite not being drafted Fowler signed as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos. Obviously his production in college and performance at the Pro Day impressed the eventual Super Bowl champions.

This year, quarterback Connor Cook dazzled scouts with a tremendous outing. The man who stood behind center for the Spartans the past three years has undergone a steady stream of scrutiny for health and leadership reasons. Despite all of the heat Cook excelled with everyone watching.

Cook performed at a high level nailing every throw during his workout. His go to target this past year was Aaron Burbridge, and the senior wideout excelled at Pro Day as well.

Anything in the general area of Burbridge was snatched swiftly.

The winningest senior class in Michigan State football history put on a show, but it was familiar territory for all them – winning 43 games with this class, including a Rose Bowl, and a Cotton Bowl victory.

Now – it is time for the next senior class to cement their place in MSU and college football lore.

Head Coach Mark Dantonio has another excellent senior class to teach the incoming freshman, and now the journey begins. Spring practice has begun and Dantonio’s squad starts another trek to the College Football Playoff.

“I think every spring brings forth a set of goals for us. We want to try to get three percent better as a player, as a program. That’s sort of inbred in us,” Head Coach Mark Dantonio said.

Dantonio continued, “I think if you can do that for 15 practices, you get significantly better. I think that’s what we’re sort of measured ourselves against that.”

The Spartans finished ranked in the Top 10 for the third year in a row in 2015 (No. 3 in 2013; No. 5 in 2014; No. 6 in 2015). Since 2013, Michigan State has posted a 36-5 record, and one of only four schools in the country to play in a BCS Game, a New Year’s Six game, and the College Football Playoff. The others include Alabama, Florida State, and Ohio State.

“I think spring ball basically is sort of the beginning of the next phase for us,” Dantonio said.

The countdown to the 2016 campaign becomes shorter and shorter as the days go by. Nevertheless, an effective spring season is on the mind of Dantonio, and the rest of the Spartans. Including a successful spring game on Saturday, April 23.

“This is the first opportunity we have to see where we’re at as a football team. We watch our players – especially our younger players as they’ve had an extra year to develop and see how they come out of situations,” Dantonio said.

Currently in their second week, the Spartans pushed the throttle, wearing full pads. In another blink of an eye, fans will be entering Spartan Stadium to watch their beloved Spartans begin their trek back to the College Football Playoff.