Update With Former Spartan Kevin Vickerson

Former Michigan State player Kevin Vickerson caught up with Spartan Digest while he attended the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp.

Former Michigan State defensive tackle and current Denver Bronco Kevin Vickerson took a visit to memory lane as he came back to Michigan for the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp to help and reminisce on some of the things he did growing up and what the young players are going through right now.

"I know what they fitting to go through because I'm going through it and been through it," he said. "I think I would be more disciplined. You learn things as you go on and you apply it to your life now.

"During the course of things trials and tribulations always makes you better so when you go through something. I'm applying it, not too late — I still got nine years in the league. I'm still playing and doing the things I love to do."

Working and the will to not want to stop has Vickerson wanting just a few more seasons in the NFL.

"If Lord's willing, I want to do five more. If I get 14 in me I will be fine," he said.

Just to get to where he's at with the Broncos, Vickerson wanted his work ethic and his mindset of being humble to show to the people around him.

"You always want to be approachable in my eyes and be humble in some ways on and off the field," he said.

Vickerson went into the offseason looking for a contract, but he didn't want to be a menace to the team. He's proud that he was signed to play two more seasons in Denver.

"Hard work and dedication," Vickerson said about his new contract. "It's a lot of hard work into it and there's nothing that went unseen.

"I wanted to make sure I was walking the right path and not being that guy that's on another field with issues."

With the stress of a new contract behind him, Vickerson can now work on another season with quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning was a player that Vickerson starting learning from the moment he landed in Denver.

"Extreme competitor, one of the best I've been around from the quarterback position by far," Vickerson said. Overall [as a] player too, just by his ways of leading on and off the field he's a true professional. You can always learn from someone like that."

The frustration from the Baltimore Ravens game has cleared. Vickerson mentioned that he and his team has to have a short-term memory in order to grow and get better as a team.

Vickerson will be working hard this offseason with his teammates in order for the ultimate prize, which he thinks every team should have their mindset on right now. Having the right mindset for himself and a run defense that ranked second in the NFL will help with that goal.

"We're trying to get a big ring," Vickerson said. "That's everybody's goal right now. We're putting in the work — finishing up the mini camp yesterday and just trying to put the work in on and off [the field.]

"That's what John Fox he preaches top 10 defenses and that's what he wanted to do. We were a top five defense last year. [We were] number one against the run and number one against the pass and I think I played a big part of that. I'm just trying to build on it now. With that being said you have to apply yourself right now during this offseason to be successful."

Being back in Michigan, seeing familiar faces felt relaxing to Vickerson as he was able to meet up with coaches Brady Hoke and Mark Dantonio.<> "It's always good to see the coaches," he said. "I met with Dantonio and coach Hoke. It's crazy with coach Hoke [because] he recruited me out of high school. He was assistant with the D-line coach, coach Dantonio when he was there with Nick Saban."

Vickerson was able to talk to Dantonio about the state of the program. With the program being in a rebuilding year, all the players were able to grow and gain experience especially the offensive side of things.

"The backfield is going to be young," Vickerson said about a backfield that lost their workhorse, Le'Veon Bell. "It's growth all around. The quarterback got another year under his belt so he should have a little more poise and should handle himself under pressure."

Vickerson felt that Michigan State needs to finish better overall and that comes through competition. Vickerson has a hunch that the quarterback competition will only help Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook. Dantonio already said Maxwell was the starting quarterback for the 2013 season, but competition will be breathing down the senior's neck.

"Competition brings out the best in everybody," Vickerson said about the quarterbacks. "So with that being said, competition never hurt the game of football. It only makes you better. So he should be pushing it or he will get pushed out the way."

The Spartans' offense wasn't a strong point for the team, but Vickerson suspects Dantonio to get them in the right direction even though he's more of a defensive coach.

"It's always a plus when you got a coach that's defensive minded," Vickerson said.


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